AMMAN: It is unclear whether we are witnessing the final chapter of the era of Israel’s longest-standing prime minister but his days of glory appear to be over.
Dian Butto, a Palestinian American lawyer and former member of the Palestinian negotiating team, said that the era of Netanyahu as the sole ruler of Israeli politics is certainly over.
Butto, who is teaching international law at Harvard University, said that for the last few years the general thinking in Israel was that “there is no alternative to Netanyahu.”
Butto also expected that the demise of Netanyahu would be felt within his Likud party.
“Until recently elections slogans said that Netanyahu and the Likud is good for Israel and that Netanyahu and Trump are in a different league. But with Netanyahu gone politically the Likud party will be shaken to its core.”
Mohammed Wattad, a senior analyst working on the Arabs 48 news site in Haifa, said that the days of calling Netanyahu the king of Israel are over, but his disappearance will not be immediate.
“True, the corruption indictment against Netanyahu ends the rule of the King of Israel, but he will continue to hold on to the seat of the prime minister as long as possible.”
Wattad said Netanyahu had created an international war within Israeli society by putting into question the very basis of the government’s social religious and political existence.
“Some analysts believe that the corruption that Netanyahu represents is much more threatening to Israeli society than the Iranian nuclear threat.”
However, Haifa University political science professor Michel Oun believed that it is too early to count Netanyahu out.
“He has said he will continue in his position as long as he can and that he is the victim of a coup. I think the legal case will continue for three to four years and unless his immunity is lifted it will be impossible to remove him from his position as a member of Knesset until a judgment is made and enforced.”
Johnny Mansour, a Haifa-based historian and political science lecturer at Beit Berl College in Israel, said that Netanyahu will stay in the job and he listed five different scenarios for the future:
* he resigns and continues as head of a caretaker government
* 2/3 of the Knesset asks that his immunity be lifted, which is very difficult since he heads a coalition of 55 out of 120 members
* a coup takes place in the Likud and the party will collapse.
* a new war breaks possibly in the north and he will stay in power.
* in the absence of a coalition agreement a third election takes place.