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Israeli opposition entangled in succession battle

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps appearing in public as if he had not been defeated, but his rivals within the Likud party are already preparing for battle.
Israeli parliament member and former Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat meets voters during the election campaign for the Likud party, at Mahane Yehuda market, Jerusalem, March 19, 2021.

Two weeks have passed since Benjamin Netanyahu left the prime minister’s office and assumed his new title as leader of the opposition. However, anyone who has followed Israeli politics over these dramatic two weeks will have noticed that Netanyahu continues to send the message that there was no change of government in Israel after all, and that new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett did not just enter the toughest, most complicated job in the entire Middle East.

Netanyahu’s secretary continues calling him “prime minister.” So do Knesset members from the Likud. Netanyahu even met with the former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in the prime minister’s residence, even though he no longer holds that title. As a result, the current prime minister’s office was forced to reach an agreement with Mr. Netanyahu’s office that Netanyahu and his family would move out by July 10, about a month after leaving office, and that he would not hold any official meetings in the residence until then.

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