• The Financial District


Haaretz analyst Chemi Shalev has blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for living in a world of his own, a dark and treacherous place, and deluding himself that he is surrounded by powerful enemies who have banded together to destroy him like US President Donald Trump.

“The elites, media, police, justice system, malevolent external forces and the thousands of protestors demonstrating outside his home in Jerusalem are all part of a ‘Deep State’ plot aimed at getting rid of him by whatever means possible,” Shalev wrote on August 3, 2020. “Netanyahu is not new to his concocted world. He has been railing against sinister elites and ‘enlisted’ media from the moment he entered politics over 30 years ago. In the past, however, Netanyahu kept his conspiracy theories separate from the actual day-to-day management of Israel’s affairs. His incitement against the nasty leftists out to get him peaked during election campaigns; it was seen as posturing meant to inflame supporters and drive them to the polling booths.”

This changed after Netanyahu’s police investigations and subsequent criminal indictments and he has tried vainly to undermine the legitimacy of the proceedings against him, propelling his paranoid fantasies to center stage. “The most powerful man in the country started depicting himself as a helpless nebbish, victimized by sinister forces that, for the most part, remain unseen.”

In conclusion, Shalev stressed: “Netanyahu is so consumed by his obsessive self-victimization that he is blind to the outpouring of public rage at Israel’s coronavirus-induced paralysis. He is so absorbed in his efforts to avert standing trial for corruption that he views the protests as part and parcel of the overarching conspiracy against him. The demonstrators, he said on Sunday, are engaged in an anti-democratic plot under the guise of democratic protests… Netanyahu’s assertions of an all-encompassing plot that includes the police, the Justice Ministry, the judicial branch and the media are unfounded, unsubstantiated and patently absurd. They are nonetheless amplified and disseminated by Netanyahu’s lackeys and growing legions of dedicated disciples in the media. They’ve been embraced by many of his right-wing followers and – apparently far more ominously – by Netanyahu himself.”

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