Home News Netanyahu’s one-man Israeli rule likely over thanks to ‘Bibi fatigue’

Netanyahu’s one-man Israeli rule likely over thanks to ‘Bibi fatigue’



Benjamin Netanyahu may yet survive his lackluster performance in Israel’s election Tuesday. But the one-man rule that marked most of his time in office is likely over.

Known by fans as “the Wizard” for his mastery of political manipulation, the prime minister is fighting to remain in office — and out of jail. He’s already offering to share power with his main rival, former Army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. For the first time in a decade, people here are starting to contemplate what a post-Bibi Israel would look like.

Netanyahu, 69, has been at the top for 10 consecutive years and an earlier three-year stint, having served as prime minister longer than anyone in the country’s history. Now even opponents who constantly highlight his failures pay homage to unmatched skills.

A master communicator, a political pro who has improved the Israeli economy by leaps and bounds, Netanyahu has also adeptly navigated Arab enmity without too much bloodletting while expanding Israel’s global reach.

When he last assumed office, in 2009, Israel’s gross domestic product was $207 billion. A decade later it’s nearly doubled to $390 billion. Making Israelis wealthier helped Netanyahu maintain power. Few here miss the country’s earlier days of a socialist-oriented economy. Despite ballooning deficits and a widening wealth gap, Bibinomics are here to stay.

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