For months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s longtime position as leader of the ruling Likud Party has been challenged internally, with ultra-hawkish factions led by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon looking to oust him.
Danon, who chairs Likud’s Central Committee, had been openly trying to revise the party’s constitution to give the committee, and by extension himself, effective veto power over Netanyahu’s decisions, citing the peace talks with the Palestinians.
With the peace talks collapsing in an incredible mess at the end of March, Likud’s internal turmoil, and open talk of the party splitting in half, has evaporated practically overnight, with a compromise ensuring Netanyahu’s continued rule.
The compromise means next to nothing anymore, with the PM agreeing to central committee meetings on peace talks that aren’t even happening anymore and agreeing to an election list split with Yisrael Beiteinu that Beiteinu leaders already announced weeks ago.
But the deal allows Danon to spin the battle as a victory, and since all he and much of his hawkish following really wanted was to kill the peace talks, it really is one.
The questions surrounding Israeli politics now are no longer about Likud’s internal composition but the coalition government’s, and with neither Yesh Atid nor Hatnuah apparently willing to withdraw from the coalition over the talks’ collapse, a government that seemed to be speeding toward early elections now seems to be stabilizing.
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