Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s peace plan, revealed Nov. 28 by the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, is important for more than just its content, which is not really new and simply adapts previous ideas to recent regional developments. It shows that the Yisrael Beitenu chairman has found a one-time opportunity to replace Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister.
Over the last few weeks, Liberman realized that the polls indicate he can no longer compete with the popularity of HaBayit HaYehudi's chairman, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, within the right-wing electorate. He could clearly sense this trend during the days of the Protective Edge operation. He and Bennett each separately occupied the Netanyahu-opposition role within the Cabinet, portraying him as an irresolute and weak leader and challenging his position as leader of the right. But while Bennett benefited from this militant approach, calling for the occupation of the Gaza Strip, Liberman actually suffered. This outcome became evident in polls taken during the operation that showed HaBayit HaYehudi headed by Bennett receiving as many as 20 seats, while Yisrael Beitenu dropped to just 10 seats or even fewer.