‘Magician’ Netanyahu has turned into a ‘confidence trickster’

Israel's prime minister has indulged in scaremongering and more and more voters have had enough, writes Sky's Dominic Waghorn.

(Sky news) Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure in Israel’s election is a repudiation of tactics he took straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook.

He was unable to win a bigger share of the vote after Israelis appeared to reject their prime minister’s Trumpian style of campaigning.

For instance, Mr Netanyahu lurched to the right with a promise to annex a third of the occupied West Bank, to the horror of European nations.

He also indulged in scaremongering, warning of the danger of Israeli Arabs coming out to vote in their droves.

His son and other supporters tweeted pictures of Arab voters thronging polling stations that turned out to be fake. They were of Turks in another election in Istanbul.

Not enough Israelis bought it, and Mr Netanyahu appears to be worse off than after the last inconclusive election six months ago.

But there is more to it than that. Read the following description of Mr Netanyahu’s record in office by David Horovitz, founding editor of The Times of Israel.

This is how Mr Netanyahu allegedly coped with allegations and scandals: “He’s been castigating the media and the opposition, obviously, but also he’s been castigating the cops and the state prosecutors as (being) part of a witch-hunt to oust him from power.”

It could be a description of Donald Trump.

And for Mr Netanyahu, it seems that more and more Israelis have had enough.

Even though many regard him as the best way of keeping them safe against foreign enemies, they don’t like what he is doing to the country at home.

Horovitz says: “There’s Netanyahu the securer of Israel from the outside and then there’s the Netanyahu perceived by many Israelis as dangerous to Israel’s democratic and social fabric.”

On the streets of Jerusalem, we met a woman who has always voted for Mr Netanyahu – but not now.
“I hope he’s finished,” she said. “I think he’s reached the point where he’s busy thinking about himself and not thinking about the country.”

Anshel Pfeffer, author of Bibi, the Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu, says the leader seems to have lost his mojo.

“Bibi has been called for so many years the magician, and now the magician seems to be just a confidence trickster,” he said.

Analysis given by: Dominic Waghorn.

Source: Sky news.

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