Has Netanyahu’s End Finally Come?

How Bibi Lost His Grip on Israeli Politics

Netanyahu in Washington, March 2019 Dan Balilty / The New York Times / Redux

Next March, Israelis will head to the polls for the third time in less than a year, and, once again, the vote will amount to a referendum on the rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu may now be in the final act of his political career: the Magician, as Israelis used to call their longest-serving prime minister, has lost his erstwhile grip on the political system, having failed twice to form a coalition following last year’s elections. But that Netanyahu is holding on at all, even as he faces indictment on several corruption charges, is remarkable—and a testament to just how much he has transformed Israel’s democracy. 

The vote in March will be the country’s third attempt in a row to form a stable government after two consecutive elections in April and September ended in deadlock. Netanyahu’s centrist challenger, Benny Gantz, came close to

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