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Netanyahu’s show of strength actually reflects weakness

As police investigations gain momentum and the noose tightens around Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s neck, the premier finds himself more isolated than ever.
Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) and his wife Sara react to his supporters during an event by his Likud Party, in Tel Aviv, Israel August 9, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RTS1B3H9
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With the investigations into his affairs intensifying, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to organize a huge rally in support of himself. He wanted to remind everyone that he still has huge numbers of people behind him. On the evening of Aug. 9, he got what he wanted when he stood before thousands of supporters at the Tel Aviv Convention Center. Yet, even as he stood there, he could not hide his weakness or the pressure he feels as the various interrogations threaten to close in on him.

Netanyahu in the summer of 2017 is a prime minister fighting for his political future, while at the same time engaged in a long and Sisyphean legal struggle that is only just beginning. This is not the same confident Netanyahu of just last year, who offered a show of power in closed talks with journalists from all the major media outlets, treating them to long, decisive monologues on his views about the economy and security issues, his struggles with the left-wing media and his plans for the future.

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