Photo: New Media Likud
Netanyahu and Bennett. The sin of arrogance
Photo: New Media Likud
Sima Kadmon

How did a crushing election victory turn into such a farce?

Op-ed: Even in their worst nightmare, Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu didn't believe that the Justice MInistry, which they had been saving for their yes man, would eventually fall into the hands of bitter rival Ayelet Shaked.

What we heard Wednesday night was likely the cruel laughter of the irony of fate, when it gave Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu's bitter rival, Ayelet Shaked, the portfolio they care about the most: The Justice Ministry.



It's the portfolio they had been saving from the very first moment for their yes man, the person most loyal to them. Even in their worst nightmare, they didn't think that it would eventually fall into Shaked's hands.


Who wouldn't have liked to be a fly on the (cracked) wall at the prime minister's residence on Jerusalem's Balfour Street, when the Netanyahus began realizing that the humiliation Shaked and Bayit Yehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett had been subject to for many weeks was coming back like a boomerang to hit them strongly in the face.


Even a particularly wild imagination wouldn't have been able to come up with such an ironic script, in which the prime minister – who was on the top of the world only six weeks ago and was certain that he would be able to put together his government with his hands tied behind his back – comes to the president at the very last moment, breathless, with a narrow coalition in which all the ingredients – including his friends in the Likud – despise him, while he, on the other hand, can't tolerate them.


Netanyahu with Bayit Yehudi representatives, including his new justice minister, Ayelet Shaked (L)
Netanyahu with Bayit Yehudi representatives, including his new justice minister, Ayelet Shaked (L)


So is there any wonder that Shalom Shlomo, the closest man to Bennett, has been sending his contacts in the past few days the song "Eich Shegalgal Mistovev" (what goes around, comes around) by late Israeli singer and composer Shmulik Kraus?


"The first phone call I will make immediately after the election results are published will be to Bennett," Netanyahu said on the eve of the elections, when he needed the Bayit Yehudi voter's ballots. He just failed to say that it would also be the last phone call he would make, and that it would be a pleading call, a call of surrender, of "help, I have no coalition," forcing him to accept all of Bennett's demands.


And Bennett had a lot of demands. The cries of joy in the Bayit Yehudi party when Avigdor Lieberman announced that he would not be joining the new coalition were a sign of things to come. Their meaning was: Now we'll show him. And they did show him. Bennett didn't a finger in Netanyahu's eye; he stuck a nail.


What happened here in the past six weeks, and how a crushing election victory turned into a farce which Israel had yet to see, will be discussed for many years to come. How did negotiations with parties that had no other alternative end in a way which is worse than what any fresh intern at a law firm would have been able to come up with.


And it's all because of one thing: The sin of arrogance, the same sin which has already brought down quite a few prime ministers.


Netanyahu and his people simply refused to believe that someone would turn them down. They were sure that they could do whatever they wanted. Lieberman would give up the position of foreign minister? Don't make them laugh.


פרסום ראשון: 05.07.15, 09:53
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