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Avigdor Liberman drives Israeli politics crazy

Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman had promised that he would not accept any other solution than a "liberal unity government," and so far, he has kept every last letter of that promise, even if driving all politicians crazy.
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After a long promo and rising expectations, the perfect storm is finally upon us. On Nov. 20, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz returned his mandate to President Reuven Rivlin and became the third politician in all of Israel’s history who was unable to fulfill the task of forming a new government (the other two being Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and leader of the defunct Kadima party Tzipi Livni). Israel is now closer than ever to an inconceivable downturn in its history, with a third election in less than a year. Meanwhile, the security situation is heating up — the air force launched an extensive attack against Syrian and Iranian targets on the night of Nov. 18-19 — and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is about to charge Netanyahu with assorted crimes. There is no solution in sight to the political situation, and there is no Israeli Alexander the Great to slice through this Gordian knot in a single blow to free Israel from this tailspin.

“As strange as it may seem, one of the people most responsible for Netanyahu’s troubles is head of the Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh,” a senior figure in the Likud told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. His reasoning is quite simple: Just before he was appointed to be Netanyahu’s defense minister, Avigdor Liberman announced in May 2016 that if he was given the job, he would tell Haniyeh that he has 48 hours to return the bodies of Israel’s fallen soldiers and abducted citizens, or he will be assassinated. This promise followed Liberman around like an explosive boomerang from the moment he took the post. Haniyeh is alive and well, at least until now, while Liberman, whose brand was, “My word is my word,” found himself battered and humiliated by every outcast and misfit in the political system and on social media.

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