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Netanyahu’s diplomatic blitz now victim of the coronavirus

The continuing coronavirus pandemic puts a damper on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic achievements.

February was supposed to be the month in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was going to launch a victory tour in the Gulf states, accompanied by an entourage of businessmen and journalists. It was supposed to celebrate a powerful campaign in the month before the fateful elections, and illustrate that the campaign theme that Netanyahu is a leader in a league of his own when compared with his numerous, small-time political rivals. This was to be accompanied by pictures of Netanyahu at poignant, historic ceremonies opening Israel’s new embassies in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

However, his original plans to hop between Arab capitals are being shelved. Instead, Netanyahu will spend the coming weeks in Israel making efforts to halt the COVID-19 virus that hasn’t been vanquished despite the country's successful vaccination drive. The prime minister is savvy enough to know that during a domestic crisis, his place is in Israel and not making flamboyant, flashy visits when dozens of Israelis are dying every day from the coronavirus.

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