The evening before he boarded his Feb. 2 flight to Uganda for a historic meeting with the head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dropped by a Bar Mitzva celebration for the twin sons of the Likud's Knesset faction head Knesset member Miki Zohar. The hall was packed with some 2,000 Likud members who endured lengthy security checks as well as government ministers and Knesset members from the ultra-Orthodox parties aligned with the Likud. The brief appearance at the event must have been important for Netanyahu, despite its timing on the eve of one of his most important diplomatic missions of recent years.
From now until election day on March 2, Netanyahu’s campaign will swing between forays into Likud territory and party bastions in Israel’s geographic periphery and diplomatic missions abroad. In between, he may even manage a small US-approved territorial annexation in the West Bank, perhaps of the settlement town of Maale Adumim — all designed to obscure the fact that the candidate for the country’s top job has been indicted for bribery.