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Netanyahu basks in victories, but graft probes still loom

by 18/05/2018 03:17:00 0 comments 1 Views

Netanyahu, prime minister for a total of some 12 years, has always maintained his innocence, but the investigations have gradually ratcheted up speculation over whether he will eventually be forced from office.

His wife Sara Netanyahu is also facing a possible trial over alleged misuse of public funds, which she denies.

With that in mind, Netanyahu may have had good reason to literally break out in dance this week over one recent victory.

Just two days before the embassy opening, Israeli singer Neta Barzilai took first place in the Eurovision Song Contest, sending a wave of euphoria sweeping over Israelis of all ages and political allegiances.

On Sunday, arriving at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu briefly flapped his arms in a reference to Barzilai's signature chicken dance. He did the same when meeting Barzilai later in the week.

A recent poll would have only further improved his mood.

The poll conducted by Israeli newspaper Maariv on May 9 and published on May 11 showed Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party on a surge even before the embassy opening -- or even the Eurovision win.

It predicted Likud expanding its hold on the 120-seat parliament to 36 places from its current 30.

The survey was carried out a day before Israel confirmed hitting "dozens of Iranian military targets," in Syria after repeatedly warning it would not tolerate continuing Iranian deployment in the war-torn neighbouring country.

Jerusalem Post senior commentator Amotz Asa-El said those strikes and the way the operation, codenamed House of Cards, was managed won Netanyahu more prestige than Trump's actions.

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