Israel protests may dent Netanyahu's ego, but do they threaten his power?

Israel protests may dent Netanyahu's ego, but do they threaten his power?

Images of thousands of people in the streets and police scuffling with protesters paint a picture of an increasingly isolated prime minister whose lengthy grip over Israel may finally be loosening. The visuals are striking, and the protests have certainly grown in size, yet whether they can hurt more than Benjamin Netanyahu’s ego is still to be seen. Dismissing the rallies as a ploy by his political enemies, Netanyahu has accused what he says is a sympathetic media of making the demonstrations seem more significant than they truly are. While his rhetoric has been slammed as authoritarian in style, the 70-year-old leader may have somewhat of a point. Both his supporters and opponents agree the politician, who has been in power since 2009, has incredible staying power. While one of his predecessors, Ehud Olmert, stepped down after it appeared he would be indicted, Netanyahu confidently refused to leave power after he was charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Furthermore, if they had wanted to, Israelis have had many chances to oust him. Within the past two years alone, due to a political crisis propelled by Netanyahu’s refusal to give up his seat, the country has held three back to back elections. In two of those votes, Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party won the largest share of the vote in Israel’s parliament. And in the one in which the Likud came second, Netanyahu still managed to block the opposition from coming to power. At the same time, Netanyahu has proved the ...
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