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Israel: Benyamin Netanyahu, a prime minister surrounded by his former allies


Many former members of the head of government have joined the ranks of his opponents.

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Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu with Avigdor Lieberman, then Minister of Defense, in May 2016 in the Knesset. Sebastian Scheiner / AP

The priest who announces himself against the Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, in case of defeat in the legislative elections of September 17, has this of singular: in the bulk of the pack, he has only friends. "Ex" more precisely. Former political allies, advisors and key collaborators, all spent time in the prime minister's office or in his senior administration. All were thanked unceremoniously or slammed the door. Few do not keep a grudge.

This inconstancy fascinates. In forty years of political life, Benyamin Netanyahu has constantly evacuated around him. On Sunday, September 15, Ayelet Shaked, her ally at the head of the Yamina group of ultra-nationalist parties, was still amazed. The former prime minister of the Prime Minister deplores the "hatred" that Mr. Netanyahu, whose entourage openly suspected during the summer to betray their alliance.

For her part, Mrs. Shaked intends to force Mr. Netanyahu to keep his promises. She needs goads, she says, well on her right, to force him to annex Palestinian territories in the West Bank, and to refuse a compromise when the US administration announces its grand peace plan for the Middle East. , waited in the next days.

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The Blue White coalition, which competes in the polls with Likud, lists two defectors from the right-wing party: a recent director of cabinet of Mr. Netanyahu, Zvi Hauser, and a former director of communication, Yoaz Hendel. Finally, the man by whom Benyamin Netanyahu can fall, Avigdor Lieberman, who refuses to join a future right-wing government under his leadership, is a former ally of thirty. It was he who directed his capture of Likud, since 1993.

Solitary exercise of power

"Bibi" thinks to be a lot smarter than the people around him. He is utterly alone at the top, and those who have left him embittered think he cares only for himself. Apart from his family and some trusted friends, he has no allies, only helpers, " says Eyel Arad, former strategist of Netanyahu's first successful campaign in 1996, who left him. after ten years of companionship.

Mr. Netanyahu is a mistrustful man. Three former members of his first circle today testify against him in cases of accusations of fraud, breach of trust and favoritism towards a telecom operator in exchange for more media coverage. favorable: Shlomo Filber, former lawyer and confidant, Ari Harow, former director of cabinet, and Nir Hefetz, former media adviser of the Netanyahu family. All expect to find Mr. Netanyahu in a court if the prosecutor of the country, Avichai Mandelblit, ultimately decides to indict him before the end of 2019. The prosecutor is another "traitor" for the entourage of Mr. Netanyahu: he was in 2013, he too, secretary of his cabinet.

Source: lemonde

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