If Bibi studied the Godfather movies he might still be the Prime Minister. The new Israeli government wasn’t about changing policy  It was all about booting Netanyahu from the PM’s office. if Netanyahu studied godfather

In Godfather Part II, Michael Corleone utters a line that became a part of the common political vernacular, “My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close but your enemies closer.”  Probably the chief reason Binyamin Netanyahu is no longer Israel’s Prime Minister is that he should have listened to Corleone’s advice and done the exact opposite. Bibi should have kept his enemies close and his friends even closer, as it was those former political allies who pushed him out of the PM’s residence. if Netanyahu studied godfather

While they used to be Netanyahu’s allies, many leaders of the new coalition’s feelings about Bibi were the opposite of the now-famous line that Michael Corleone says to his brother Sonny in the first Godfather movie, “It’s not personal Sonny, it’s strictly business.” Their feelings about booting Bibi is that it wasn’t business but strictly personal.

Netanyahu’s Likud Party received thirty Knesset seats in Israel’s most recent election, the fourth in two years. Including the 2009 election that put him back in office, the last seven elections saw Likud earn more than 30 seats only three times. Each of those 30+ seat elections occurred during these 4 elections/two years period–possibility an indication that voters did not have a major issue with the performance of Likud/Bibi.

Here’s where it gets interesting. First, take a look at the parties in the new coalition government. Especially the Top five parties.

  • Naftali Bennett, the new PM, and leader of the Yamina Party, used to be a close ally of Netanyahu. He even served as Bibi’s chief of staff. Since entering the Knesset in 2013, Naftali Bennett was part of a Netanyahu-led government but not as part of Likud. He was eventually booted from Bibi’s inner circle because he ran afoul of his wife Sara, who claimed Naftali leaked to the press about her. On the other hand, Netanyahu tried to leak to the press that Gilat, the observant Bennett’s wife, was a chef in non-kosher restaurants when they were living in the U.S. Bennett was furious  “I feel sorry for you, Mr. Netanyahu. You personally took the trouble of calling the owners of Walla! (Israeli media company) to hurt my wife. This is a despicable and cowardly act. Shame on you.” As Michael Corleone said to his older brother Fredo, “Don’t Ever Take Sides Against Someone From The Family Again. Ever.”
  • Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope Party broke off from Likud in 2020 because he felt he was being held back by the party’s leader Netanyahu. Because of that affront, he tried to dethrone Bibi as Likud’s head and lost, Sa’ar left the party to form his own.
  • Avigdor Lieberman, the head of Yisrael Beiteinu, is probably to the right of Netanyahu and Bennett on foreign issues, but his party is very secular. Lieberman resigned from Likud during Netanyahu’s first tenure as Prime Minister because of the concessions Bibi made to the Palestinians in the 1998 Wye River Memorandum. In 2012  Lieberman’s Beinenu merged with Likud for the 2013 election. He moved to the opposition after the 2015 vote but joined the government in 2016. Lieberman chose to leave the government in 2019 because he didn’t like the ceasefire with Hamas that started the two years of elections. For the June 2019 election, he announced he would not join in a coalition with Likud. The only exception would be a unity government. cccccccccc
  • That was the same promise Blue and White leader Benny Gantz made before the 2020 election, one he broke, Blue and White began to lose support after it agreed to form a coalition with Likud where he would be PM after two more years of Bibi. Ganz was the chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 2011 to 2015. Most of that time, he served under Netanyahu. Some say Netanyahu dissolved the government and called for the 2021 election to screw Gantz out of his spot in the rotation and keep the PM office for himself.

This coalition did not include the religious parties who were natural partners of Netanyahu and Likud. In aggregate, those parties represented another 22 seats which left a Likud-led coalition nine Knesset seats short at 52. However, if Netanyahu could lure one or more of the parties above, he might still be PM.

As for Ra’am, it was Netanyahu’s idea to bring them into a coalition; they would have probably joined a Bibi government if he was close to gaining the necessary 61 seat support. if Netanyahu studied godfather

At times, Bennett, Sa’ar, and Lieberman were all close allies of Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud.  Lapid and Ganz served in governments led by Netanyahu. But none of those party leaders have any desire to work with Netanyahu again.  In some cases, it was because of Bibi’s cutthroat management style, his hurting of their careers, or slandering their families. He lost the PM office because of those personal offenses, not because of political differences. As Don Corleone once said, “Revenge is a dish best served cold”.

The new government leaders will not make bold changes to Netanyahu’s policies–they can’t because the government has only a one-seat majority in the Knesset. That small majority is also why my prediction is that the coalition will fall apart before the end of 2021.

Will Bibi be back?  He says he will, but It all depends. His upcoming corruption trial hasn’t totally damaged his popularity, disproving something Don Corleone says in the first Godfather movie, “Time Erodes Gratitude More Quickly Than It Does Beauty.”

But now that he’s no longer PM, he has to pay his legal fees, and there is nothing to slow down his corruption trial. The trial will dominate the news about Bibi and might send his image amongst the public down the abyss. Especially because one of the charges against Netanyahu was his favorable treatment of Walla! Media. Now even the right-wing media companies will sink their talons on Bibi.

Netanyahu should have followed Don Corleone, who said in the first movie, “I Spent My Life Trying Not To Be Careless.” But Netanyahu was careless in his relationship with others. And whether he is guilty or not, he was careless in avoiding even the appearance of corruption.

if Netanyahu studied godfather