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Netanyahu plots comeback

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not giving up on his hopes to topple newly appointed Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits in the Knesset before parliament votes to approve the new government, Jerusalem, June 13, 2021.
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Up until June 28, Benjamin Netanyahu’s official website referred to him as prime minister of Israel. More than two weeks after being removed from office, former Prime Minister Netanyahu still finds it hard to believe he has been ousted, and adapt to a changed reality. His Likud party’s lawmakers still call him “prime minister,” and all parties of the Likud-led opposition have been instructed clearly to reject the legitimacy of the new government, to ignore the regime change, to dub Prime Minister Naftali Bennett a “conman” and the government he leads “the greatest political fraud in the history of the state.” They act as if they still control the Knesset, refusing to accept the voters’ verdict and the June 13 swearing-in of the government that replaced theirs.

Netanyahu is having trouble bidding farewell to the power, authority and perks of office. His family continues to reside in the official prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, after Bennett agreed to delay his move there for a few weeks. Netanyahu is now trying to force the Likud to cover his private expenses, much like his years in government. He does not have a credit card, he only just got a cellphone, he has not driven a car in ages and he has no inkling of how ordinary Israelis manage their daily lives. Evidently, he sees no reason to adapt. Instead, he is running around the country, walking barefoot along the beach in the town of Bat Yam, drawing attention and posing for selfies, basking in the love of his many supporters who also continue to refer to him as “prime minister.” This is one of the toughest hangovers in the annals of Israel’s history.

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