Former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is set to return to his post following his acquittal on long-standing corruption charges. The hawkish leader of Yisrael Beiteinu isn’t stopping there, however.
With the Israeli secular right/far right cabinet increasingly at odds, Lieberman can establish himself as a mediator between the two sides, and the “joint list” between Yisrael Beiteinu and Likud may give him a shot at eventually replacing Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister.
This was discussed previously in the wake of the last election, with the prospect raised of Netanyahu and Lieberman splitting the term in office, though this was generally assumed to be unlikely with the trial dragging on.
Lieberman’s ambitions may temper his usual bellicose stances, hoping to reinvent himself as a palatable leader of the Israeli right instead of the surly diplomatic liability his first term as Foreign Minister set him up as.