Position Versus Opposition?
Events following the departure of Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu after 12 consecutive years as Prime Minister of Israel were expected to be similar to Donald Trump’s after losing the Presidential Election to Democrat Joe Biden. The new incumbent Leader of the Israeli Opposition distanced himself from the revolutionary zeal of his supporters, compared to former US President Trump and the Trump-ists.
According to an article published recently in Every Morning Asia portal, Netanyahu and Trump are two former leaders who, during their tenure, made quite a strong imprint on their National Politics. Once they have left the first stage, they have tried to return, not by conventional methods, such as highlighting the current administration’s failures, but by questioning their authority to rule from the very beginning. There are, of course, some differences between Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trump, during the campaign for the US Presidency and while in office at the White House, was the spokesperson for a segment of the American population, as well as the flag-bearer of their dissatisfaction. The billionaire-turned-president had always been characterised as the clear leader of only one side in the so-called cultural wars of modern American society.
Netanyahu, on the other hand, has not reached the same cult of personality as that of Trump. Many West Bank settlers and Right-Wing Israelis did not always see him as one of their own! Likud, Netanyahu’s party, was supported throughout the election campaigns by the Mizrahi (Israelis with origins from West Asia and North Africa) and Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jews) communities. However, this support came more on background of their loyalty to Likud, rather than a personal affection for its Leader.
Unlike Trump, Netanyahu has not developed a personal relationship with his party’s leaders. Inside Likud, Bibi has always been appreciated not for what he is, but for what he does, bringing victories in elections. Now that victories have gone, the rift between Netanyahu and many Likud leaders is, seemingly, difficult to bridge. There are even rumours inside the Likud Party that Netanyahu may be replaced as its Leader!
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, widely known as a good friend of Netanyahu and Trump, has started losing his popularity steadily. Before becoming the PM in 2014, Modi had promised that he would bring Good Days (Achhe Din) for his countrymen. However, the majority of the Indians have realised the fact that they elected an Authoritarian Government twice (in 2014 and in 2019) in the last seven years. During this period, the number of jobless has not only increased, but the rate of Economic Growth has decreased, as well! The Government of India has further failed to tackle the COVID-19 Pandemic, making the situation worse. To keep his support base intact, PM Modi is desperately trying to play his old cards of Patriotism and Nationalism. Political Experts are of the opinion that it might be difficult for him to win a third term in 2024, even after suppressing the voices of Opposition leaders and the Media. The question arises here is: Will Modi face Trump and Netanyahu’s fate in the 2024 Indian Parliamentary Elections?
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