The only thing capable of provoking right-wing voters en masse in the campaign - which officially began Wednesday at midnight - is an overall attack on their notorious judicial system • But around Netanyahu warned of the boomerang effect • Meanwhile, the fire returns to Lieberman again
The Likud will try to broadcast not only the fate of the prime minister at stake but the character of the state for generations. Demonstration of support for Netanyahu in Kiryat Shmona
Gil Elijah / Ginny
The game of accusations between major parties even before the Knesset was dissolved - and, of course, even more since it became official - will not be relevant within a few weeks. Politicians from all corners of the spectrum will begin to focus on the agenda that will serve them, with him running until the polls open in three months.
Even before the dissolution of the Knesset, white and blue marked the line, which is actually recycling the previous campaign: immunity, corruption and what is in between. Ideological boundaries will be further blurred. The division to the right and to the left will, again, be ruled out of hand. Negotiations with the Arab factions in support of the government led by them will be forgotten, and the reality that the natural partnership is the Labor Party and Meretz will almost be erased.
Blue and white should be decided, and this will be done through two steps: portraying Benjamin Netanyahu as himself who cares only, with the intention of wasting it on right-wing voters, and by encouraging voting in the Arab sector, to increase voter turnout there. The party leaders are running for election when they cheer: The polls are smiling, the agenda is embarrassing for Netanyahu, who was also seen as a major culprit in the election campaign, and a block of 61 with the Arabs seems at hand.
After months of bending of hands, Benny Gantz succeeded in subduing Yair Lapid and publicly renouncing the rotation. Not only was there a technical concession here, in Gantz's view, but the removal of one of the major obstacles to decision-making. To him, a torch was like a millstone on his neck. If it depended solely on him, he could have been prime minister in six months under the rotation agreement with Netanyahu. The cockpit still exists, and the quartet members will meet, consult and make many joint decisions. But that will happen because of Gantz’s character and his personal inability to cope alone. Not because he has to.
The concession to the rotation weakens not only Torch but everyone he did not punch in the quartet. A torch was a force Gantz had trouble dealing with. If in the past he had to fold or hide information from him that he knew would not be in his mood, such as his behind-the-scenes employment of Ronen Tzur as a personal advisor, then from now on, the Blue and White chairman would not have to hide from a torch. He wanted to give him a foothold in the campaign, and he wanted to spell it out. Gabi Ashkenazi, who began to sound insidious heresy, was completely neutralized by the folding of a torch, in which sense Gantz earned from all worlds.
War on the house
Gantz starts the current race for the 2020 election when he is more polished, due to more. His media interviews are safer and less compelling. His face is radiant and luminous, and he seems to have received a shot of encouragement and genuine hunger forever. On the other hand, Netanyahu seems off. scarred. Ammunition-free. Had they both been in the shampoo commercial, there would be no doubt who was in the pre-picture, and who after. Who is vital and light-filled, and who is faded and scaly.
Gantz starts the race when he is more polished, due to more // Photo: Oren Ben Hakon
Netanyahu knows that in this election - the battle of his life, no less - he must reinvent himself. It would be no good to say to Gantz that he was a left-wing man who went with the Arabs. The message did not get Likudniks out the previous time, and he certainly would not get them out this time. At the same time, the Arab faction may pull out of the houses voters in numbers we did not know, all while the slow but consistent leakage from the Likud to white-blue continued in the period following the indictment.
The only thing that is now capable of casting the right-wing voters en masse to the polls, it seems, is sharp and firm messages against the judicial system: the State Attorney's Office, the High Court, the Judicial Institution and all of the clerical bodies that have over the years named themselves the true landlords and masters. Benny Gantz does not arouse emotion in the right-wingers like Dinah Silver. Yair Lapid is a lovable angel compared to the demonic figure of Liat Ben Ari.
When they feel the war is against them, right-wing voters will leave the homes. Not only will they come to vote, but they will also take to the streets and demonstrations. In a professional and accurate campaign, Likud will be able to compare the feeling that this is not a war on Netanyahu, but a war on the house. Not only is the political destiny of one person, however talented, at stake here, but the character of the country for generations to come. That if Netanyahu falls, the right falls, and not just now but forever. That the system learned it could. That she could bring down a popular prime minister, and after she learned the method, no one would be immune to it anymore. That the battle is lost in advance. That even if a right-wing prime minister ever emerges, he will be submissive and at his mercy.
Netanyahu will first be forced to utter the words "Deep State," which characterize the underground system that seeks to conquer power through a nonviolent revolution that relies on an uncontrolled legal system that has assumed supreme powers. He will remind the public of the "Yitzhaki Document", which centers on information and suspicions against Knesset members, and through it, will alert, the system acts to terrorize MKs and elected officials. He will impose unilateral High Court decisions that led to his method of destroying the settlement and halting initiatives and moves when they arrived From the right side of the map.
In this kind of campaign Gantz and White Blue are a secondary player. They are probably not the enemy. They are the next victims to the extent that they are elected to power. That they, and those who follow, will be puppets on a wire by the ruling underground system. Escope is run over. And these choices are the last chance to do so.
Reorganization on the right
Whoever understood the situation well was Vice President Raz Nizri, who attacked his colleague Dina Silber, who in her speech demonstrated the complete disconnect and mental discomfort she and her friends are in. While she talked about restoring confidence in the system, Nizri claimed her words worked just the opposite. Convinced, but in practice system critics are increasing.
Their voice, he said, sounded more and more. It is time, he said, not to repel the criticism and blame the attackers, but just the opposite. Increase transparency. Encourage relevant and professional review. Addressing the flaws as they unfold and not whitewashing them in the hope that the almost complete media backup will help smooth everything out and move on. People have a full stomach and a million questions and questions none of Silber's friends find necessary to answer.
If Netanyahu decides to adopt the line led by several Likud officials, led by Justice Minister Amir Ohana, the prosecution will face a difficult test period for it. Perhaps the most difficult test in its history. But not sure that Netanyahu is there. Even in recent briefings, the prime minister has been careful not to over-attack the justice system. Against the Supreme Court and the State Attorney's Office, he slightly allowed the bridle, but in the meantime he refused to speak against the court and the High Court. Quite a few Likud ministers warn him that this may come back to him like a boomerang. That such a campaign might bring new audiences but also keep old ones away. According to some, the legal story, the Deep State and the power of the prosecutor's office are not really an issue that hundreds of thousands of people are interested in, so much so that they come to the polls to decide the issue.
So, in the meantime, the prime minister decided to attack Lieberman, under the message that a vote for him is a vote for fourth elections. Lieberman takes the votes of his voters, not realizing them. Does not join either side. Neither fails to establish unity. Any mandate it receives detracts from either party's ability to obtain a parliamentary majority and make a decision. That is why voting for Israel in our home is not just a garbage can, but a clear voice for the continuation of the political crisis. Lieberman's descent from the stage will make a decision, especially when each of the other parties is clearly associated with the camp and the leader who leads it.
Netanyahu also decided that unlike last time, and like the time before, he would have to roll up his sleeves and arrange the right-wing camp in the most optimal way. This is so as not to lose any mandate. According to the plan, only two parties will be on the right of the Likud. The new right - when the prime minister's assessment is that Naftali Bennett's status as defense minister will allow him to pass the blocking percentage without risk; And the Jewish home, together with a Jewish rebellion and power, which had previously faced itself alone.
Moshe Feiglin's identity will also find a place to be, either in the Likud or in the new right, so as not to lose more votes in the right. As for Ayelet Shaked, she will probably have to decide for herself which frame to go with. Netanyahu will be prevented from interfering in her case.
Again, "the hostile media"
Even before Netanyahu has to contend in the national arena, he will have to contend in the local arena, in the party primaries forced upon him by Gideon Sa'ar, and will be held on December 26.
Netanyahu did not want the deal and tried to evade it in any way, but his opponent's determination to challenge him led him to decide that the damage in the absence of primaries would be greater than their existence.
Likud does not like subversives, and Sa'ar's move was subversive and unacceptable to Likudian eyes // Photo: Yehonatan Shaul
But Netanyahu does not only want to win the party's run for office, but to prevent a storm from climbing over 30 percent of the support, which will help him achieve a victory picture and allow the media to portray the prime minister as humiliated by his party. Since even Moshe Feiglin managed to get 30 percent support against Netanyahu, the task he undertook seems almost impossible.
It seems that the more Netanyahu attacks Sa'ar, the more he will make him an equal candidate. He knows that the storm has an asset that Feiglin never had - tremendous media support, like anyone who succeeds in undermining Netanyahu's leadership, and immediately gets a broad spread of his messages, portraying him as a great leader, no matter which party he belongs to and his political views. This is the window at the time. So has Lieberman in recent months. And so storm now.
Likud does not like subversives, and Saar's move was indeed insidious and unacceptable with Likudian eyes. Not that it required primaries, but that it needed to be maintained before the Knesset dissipated. When Netanyahu is still negotiating to form a government, to them it was not just a stabbing, but a knife-wielding blow. But the media support of Netanyahu's hostile press obscures these moves and makes them legitimate.
Low profile on the left
Those who show signs of adversity in the face of the Knesset's dispersion on Wednesday night, and whose voices have not been heard recently in the face of the supposedly (or rather the rioting) of the major parties, are Labor and Democratic camp members who may find themselves in existential danger.
Leaders of the left-wing parties see with bride's eyes how blue and white grows like a donut, while they shrink from dogs. As far as Gantz and his friends are concerned, the most important thing in the election is restoring last year's achievement, being the largest party and claiming the first place in the premiership.
But growth for one is bad news for another. Last time, both parties were able to pass the blocking percentage. This time the challenge is more complex.
It is believed that the members of those parties will give industrial quiet to their heads and will not seek further contention for the party's lead up to the 2020 elections. The only one who may run against Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz is Itzik Shmuli, but he would probably prefer the latter not to deal this time but to keep the Next time option.