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A Mess at the Knesset

Power Plays and Brinkmanship Are Endangering Israel’s National Security

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the opening of the winter session of the Knesset, Jerusalem, October 23, 2017. Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

Over the last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been embroiled in a series of corruption scandals involving his family and close associates. His legal troubles, however, are not merely his personal problem but a test of his country’s resilience.

In early January, Israeli investigators recommended bringing charges against Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. During this time, the government has fallen into disarray, as members of Netanyahu’s own coalition have seized upon his vulnerability, advancing aggressive agendas that cater primarily to their constituencies. This frantic power play has exposed the faults within Israel’s political system, particularly the way in which it accommodates reckless behaviors that serve narrow partisan goals rather than broad, national objectives. At a time when the country must unify, with the Middle East roiled in conflict and an emboldened Iran testing its regional power, Israel does not need yet another

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