Frenemies? Netanyahu and Lieberman’s Contentious Relationship Sends Israeli Politics into Tailspin

  • Israeli politics have gone haywire due to the contentious relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former protégé/turned leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman.
  • With an early election looming due to Lieberman’s actions, Netanyahu’s political future looks uncertain, and he’s also expected to face charges in a criminal corruption case.
  • A political science professor said: “They’ve been going at each other for years.”
  • Netanyahu called Lieberman “a serial toppler of governments” and Lieberman said the PM has created a “cult of personality.”
  • Recently, Lieberman prevented Netanyahu from forming a coalition government, which “ended in a vote early Thursday morning that dissolved parliament less than two months after elections and triggered another national vote in September.”
  • Though Lieberman started as Netanyahu’s aide and worked his way up to launching his own party, the two have had a rocky relationship and differentiated themselves.
  • “While the U.S.-educated Netanyahu has cultivated an image as a telegenic and worldly statesman, Lieberman speaks in a dour, Russian-accented monotone. While Netanyahu presents himself as a leader, Lieberman is seen as a master backroom operator.”

Reference Links

  • AP: Netanyahu’s future clouded by rivalry with former ally READ
  • The Real News Network: Netanyahu Government Falls – Will New Elections Change Anything? READ
  • Haaretz: Analysis: One April Morning, This Man Woke Up and Decided Netanyahu Will Not Be Prime Minister READ

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