Thursday, June 10, 2021

Netanyahu: Last Weekend At Balfour Or A Last-Minute Surprise?

Netanyahu's final days: Last weekend at Balfour or last-minute surprise?

The musicians aboard the Titanic continued playing as the ship went down, as if they were oblivious to the disaster taking place that would soon submerge them.
Similarly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a point of looking like he is continuing to do his job, as if this coming weekend will not be his final few days at the prime minister’s official residence on the corner of Jerusalem’s Balfour and Smolenskin streets.
There are no removal trucks. There has been no speech acknowledging defeat. And of course, there has been no contact whatsoever with incoming prime minister Naftali Bennett, or anyone close to him.

What there has been, however, is interesting references in private conversations to Ariel Sharon’s last-minute success in blocking Shimon Peres from forming a government in 1990. Sharon helped Agudat Yisrael MK Eliezer Mizrachi go into hiding, protected by bodyguards hired by Sharon, leaving Peres to face the wrath of his wife, Sonia, who made a rare appearance in the Knesset plenum’s visitors gallery for naught.

Five of the seven MKs in Yamina have been assigned bodyguards to protect them, as has New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar. But the guards are there to enable them to vote, not to help them avoid voting.
If anyone goes into hiding, it might be backbench Ra’am (United Arab List) MKs Walid Taha and Saeed Alharomi.
It would only take one MK to vote against the coalition for it to lose its narrow majority and keep Netanyahu in power. Sources close to those involved in preventing the government’s formation said there was still a 15-20 percent chance that they could manage to stop it.

They said with knowledge, that Monday night’s leak of the coalition guidelines to Channel 12’s political analyst Amit Segal was proof that there is somebody within the new coalition who is working to sabotage it. The coalition deal’s clauses that would have prevented a Netanyahu comeback were changed after the backlash from the leak that night and that was already an achievement for Netanyahu.

With that much at stake, it is no wonder that Netanyahu will leave no stone unturned ahead of Sunday night’s vote. Only if the vote happens and he is officially out of power, will Netanyahu play his final song and get ready to move.
“It’s not over yet,” a source close to Netanyahu said. “He always prepares for the worst scenario, but there is more happening than meets the eye. Let’s see on Sunday.”

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