Jerusalem—Barring last-minute heroics, the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history will soon be out of power.
Netanyahu became Israel’s youngest-ever prime minister during his first term (1996–1999) and its longest-serving prime minister during his second (2009–present) and has weathered numerous onslaughts, including multiple corruption charges.
Meanwhile, as most nations still grapple with COVID-related crises, Israel is back to normal, apart from its largely closed international borders.
Yet it is also undeniable that Mr. Netanyahu has become the most divisive leader in Israeli history. In the past election, Netanyahu’s Likud party attained its most votes ever. That number was still not enough to maintain power, yet it shows the power he holds among the party’s base. And at the same time, Netanyahu’s enemies have increased across all sectors of society.
Mr. Netanyahu is fighting to safeguard Israel’s future, just as he has done during previous American administrations. It is the American regime that has turned hostile.
“If we have to choose—I hope it doesn’t happen—between friction with our great friend the United States and eliminating the existential threat, eliminating the existential threat [wins],” Netanyahu said recently.
More than any other political leader in Israel, Netanyahu is keenly aware of the anti-Israel policies of the United States. He almost certainly realizes that this is a greater threat to his country than even Iran. More than any other political leader in Israel, Netanyahu recognizes that it is a United States-backed Iran that poses the greatest threat to Israel.
Netanyahu was chosen by the people, “he saw the sword coming,” and he warned of the danger of a United States-backed Iran, embodied in Barack Obama’s nuclear deal. And the American people listened, voting into power a leader who was determined to nullify the deal and restore deterrence on Iran.
Israel faces a historic moment right now. Several important biblical prophecies are in play, and political upheaval—particularly one that emboldens Israel’s enemies and makes the Jewish state more vulnerable—could rapidly advance the fulfillment of these prophecies. Still, although Netanyahu may be gone, the warning will continue.