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Will Netanyahu fan flames or accept public’s verdict?

Will Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accept the verdict of the Israeli public, or will he try to ignite the flames one last time, before the new government is sworn in?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Health Ministry-organized appreciation ceremony for health-care system personnel and partner agencies for their contribution during the coronavirus pandemic, Jerusalem, June 6, 2021.
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Is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a Middle Eastern clone of former US President Donald Trump? Is Israel’s emerging “government of change” the equivalent of President Joe Biden’s administration seeking to heal divisions and the country’s democratic institutions, as New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote June 3? It is hard to ignore the similarity between the warning by the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley in the waning days of the Trump administration — “We do not take an oath to an individual. … We take an oath to the Constitution.” — and last week’s leaked warnings attributed to an unnamed senior Israeli military source — “We will not allow anyone to set the Middle East on fire.”

No one in Israel was under any illusion that “anyone” was a reference to Netanyahu. As Al-Monitor reported June 4, the comments were made public following Netanyahu’s threats to block Iran’s nuclear program with or without US approval, and renewed attempts by right-wing activists to stir up unrest in Jerusalem by holding the Flag Parade in the Old City of Jerusalem June 10.

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