Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dedicated the past weekend to preparing a new propaganda video against leftists and journalists, but his message was aimed at one person only: Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. The left and the media, his favorite targets, were only a cover this time; an excuse to send a message in a sophisticated manner to the person who will determine his legal and perhaps political future.
The video shows solemn and militant-looking left-wing protesters demonstrating against Mandelblit, to pressure him to indict Netanyahu "at any cost." The video concludes with the question: "Will they succeed?" To those who believe both the overt and covert messages in the video, the answer is clear: They have succeeded. After all, the attorney general is expected to indict Netanyahu. And Mandelblit made this decision because he capitulated to pressure from the left and the media.
There is no one quite like Netanyahu during elections time. He's the no.1 campaigner; he works fast and effectively. On Friday night, reports emerged about the attorney general's expected decision to file an indictment against him, and a minute after the Shabbat ended, Netanyahu's video has already gone viral.
Netanyahu used to have campaigns about policy, security, Hamas, Iran and the Arabs going to the polls in droves. These issues are no longer on the agenda. Has anyone heard about the Iranian threat recently? Netanyahu is constructing his campaign and setting an agenda meant to undermine the credibility of law enforcement authorities. To add authenticity and establish a rational and solid theory, he is including the media and the left, who are hated anyway.
The upcoming elections campaign, or what's left of it, will be all about investigations and indictments. Netanyahu is waging the battle of his life through the elections campaign. Meaning: There is an attempt to overthrow him using fruitless investigations, false accusations and selective enforcement.
Over the years, Netanyahu has been very careful about showing respect to law enforcement: the police, the prosecution, the attorney general, the courts. He was seen as a true democrat. But the further the cases against him progress, the further progresses his erosion of those who will determine the fate of one of the most popular prime ministers we've ever had. As far as Netanyahu is concerned, he won't allow such trifles to interrupt his tenure.
In December 2017, Netanyahu dismissed the police's recommendations, saying most of them would be thrown out. In December 2018, he took it to a new level, putting the head of the outgoing police commissioner Roni Alsheikh on the chopping block and accusing him of personal harassment ("a rigged game"). Now it's Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, whom Netanyahu accuses of capitulating to the left and the media in one fell swoop of a video. This is how you build a campaign.
Netanyahu is facing the most significant test of his political life. There is no way back from this. In such a war, almost all is fair. This war against the media, the left, the state prosecutor and the attorney general will be THE campaign of the April 2019 elections. The Iranians and Hamas will have to wait till the next round.