Yoaz Hendel, a former adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, has become one of his harshest right-wing critics, condemning his policies in columns and talk shows, and directing a rally against corruption allegedly infiltrating his government.  Now, even Hendel reflects on his views on the Israeli Prime Minister, impressed by his role in the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the dissolution of the Iranian nuclear agreement and Israel's blows to the Iranian armed forces in Syria. He is not alone. Netanyahu's popularity has greatly increased in recent polls and overshadowed the graft probes, which already contained police referrals to indict him in two cases.
"Nothing has changed as far as his attempts to undermine our democracy and institutions are concerned," said Hendel, who resigned as the Prime Minister's spokesman in 2012. "But I have to acknowledge that the way he copes with strategic challenges forces me and others to the right. Englisch: www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?op…27&Itemid=47
Netanyahu 's seizure of power is still potentially endangered and his political achievements should have nothing to do with the decision of Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit to accuse him of corruption cases – at least in theory, but it would require a particularly aggressive Attorney General to indict a popular, sitting Prime Minister for the first time in Israel's history, said Eran Vigoda-Gadot, professor of political science at the University of Haifa.
"In ord To bring a sitting prime minister to jail, you need to come up with a smoking gun, "Vigoda-Gadot said. "We tend to think that the separation of powers is strong enough to allow the judiciary to make independent decisions regardless of public opinion, but in reality judges and advocates-general, without admitting it, are influenced by what is happening around them."
A few months ago things were bleak for Netanyahu. Several former advisers had agreed to testify against him, and as doubts about his political persistence grew, right-wing rivals began to position themselves for the post-Netanyahu era .
Today, headlines about gifts are over by expensive cigars and billionaire champagne. European leaders accused Israel of killing more than 120 Palestinians in sometimes violent protests in the Gaza Strip. But at home, Netanyahu is widely regarded as the powerful leader who led Washington to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear program and recognize the embattled Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Netanyahu will fly to Berlin, Paris and London next week as he tries to persuade the leaders of the world to increase pressure on Iran.
The election of like-minded Trump was a blessing to Netanyahu The Obama administration had been tense about their divergent approaches to Iran and the Palestinians. During his campaign, Trump promised to postpone the embassy and end the Iran deal, and after he was elected, he delivered.
Israel's strong economy, for which Netanyahu takes a lot of credit, has also helped him to stand. Gross domestic product rose more than 4 percent in the first three quarters and unemployment is approaching record lows. Investments in high-tech are high and tourism is booming.
"From economics to security, the Israelis know they're fine, they do not want change at the top," said Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, whose Jewish home party rivals Netanyahu's Likud for right-wing voters. "Much of it is mostly his merit, and he is reaping the political benefits."
There are high risks for Netanyahu's strategic achievements. Trump's withdrawal from the Iran deal could trigger a setback and increase the conflict in the region. Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and retaliatory Israeli air strikes could spread to a war orbiting the West Bank and Jerusalem. And there is still a threat of direct confrontation with Iran over its military presence in Syria.
Critics say that there is another Netanyahu besides the one who has achieved success on the diplomatic stage – one that poses a threat to Israeli democracy. The prime minister ranted against the police and the media, accusing them of dropping his nationalist government. He also supports laws to curb police violence, and the media reported that he is opposed to extending the term of office of the police chief, who has four corruption investigations in all.
"There is an intentional, orchestrated attempt to undermine the rule of law in Israel as the Prime Minister's investigations are close to prosecution," said Yair Lapid, chairman of the opposition Yesh Atid faction and Netanyahu's main competitor in polls , Beginning of the month. "And the one who directs the attack is the one who should protect him."
But these allegations are unlikely to affect Netanyahu's government partner or a constituency that remained faithful during his darkest days. Netanyahu, who has been in office for 12 years, may well be on his way to becoming the country's longest-serving prime minister.
"We are being bombarded by good news," said Ran Baratz, another of Netanyahu's former advisors. "The political forces that opposed him a few months ago understand that he has full control again."
( adds Netanyahu's trip to Europe in the seventh paragraph. )