Netanyahu-Trump Partnership Is Stronger Than Ever. Are These Its Final Days?

What was missing with Mr. Trump, however, was the curb on Mr. Netanyahu that Mr. Clinton and Barack Obama had each applied, Mr. Shavit said: “The fact that he’d had a Democratic president was like his external superego.”

“The moment Trump was elected, it unleashed a far more aggressive, vulgar and manipulative Netanyahu than we had seen before,” he added.

It was the “license” Mr. Netanyahu felt with Mr. Trump, Mr. Shavit suggested, that allowed him to attack the police chief and attorney general, both political allies until they pursued corruption charges against him; to abandon an agreement, enormously important to religiously liberal American Jews, to enhance non-Orthodox Jewish prayer at the Western Wall; and, most recently, to broker an alliance with a racist anti-Arab party, Otzma Yehudit, or Jewish Power, whose ideology has been compared to Nazism.

These moves have further eroded his support among liberal American Jews who have felt squeezed between their support for Israel and their animus toward Mr. Netanyahu.

“Democrats have to convey that they’re pro-Israel but anti-Netanyahu,” said Batya Ungar-Garson, a Brooklyn-based columnist for The Forward. “It seems tricky, but his criminal case and his coalition with Otzma have made that so much easier for them. He’s given them a totally fair target.”

If Mr. Trump’s generosity toward Mr. Netanyahu’s Israel has been purposeful, it could be seen at least partly as a drawn-out but determined effort to butter him up to make it more difficult for him to say no to the Trump peace plan. The fear all along among right-wing Israelis has been that Mr. Trump would draw down some of the good will he has banked with Mr. Netanyahu, possibly by demanding such hard-to-swallow concessions as statehood for Palestine with a part of Jerusalem carved out for its capital.

Yet Mr. Netanyahu now trails Mr. Gantz, whose appeals for right-of-center support are widely believed to mask a willingness to compromise for peace if the Palestinians show a readiness to do the same.

Source

more recommended stories

  • $1 Billion for Mental Health: The Reality of de Blasio’s ‘Revolutionary’ Plan

    [What you need to know to.

  • The Fight to Tame a Swelling River With Dams That May Be Outmatched by Climate Change

    Want climate news in your inbox?.

  • ‘Florida Is Tired of Being a Cheap Date’: Andrew Gillum Wants to Help Democrats Win in 2020

    Andrew Gillum has more free time.

  • Report Says U.S. Airstrikes Have Killed 14 Civilians in Somalia

    WASHINGTON — For years, the Pentagon.

  • On C-Span’s 40th Anniversary, a Top Executive Reflects on Its Political Impact

    Forty years ago, C-Span went live.

  • Trump Renews Attacks on John McCain, Months After Senator’s Death

    WASHINGTON — Tucked between St. Patrick’s.

  • After 2 Crashes of New Boeing Jet, Pilot Training Now a Focus

    The chief executive of Boeing backed.

  • On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

    Meanwhile, candidates’ moves to the left.

  • In Beto O’Rourke’s Announcement, His Wife’s Silence Stands Out

    Beto O’Rourke, the charismatic Texas Democrat.

  • Mnuchin Vows to Protect Trump’s Privacy if Tax Returns Sought

    WASHINGTON — Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury.

  • Trump on Tech: Planes Are ‘Too Complex to Fly,’ and ‘What Is Digital?’

    WASHINGTON — He prefers Sharpies over.

  • Congress Warns Against Medicaid Cuts: ‘You Just Wait for the Firestorm’

    WASHINGTON — If President Trump allows.

  • ‘Airbnb Tax’ in N.J. Opens New Front in Battle Over Internet Economy

    [What you need to know to.

  • In Unusual Move, Fox News Condemns Jeanine Pirro’s Remarks on Muslim Legislator

    In an unusual reproach, Fox News.

  • New Images of North Korea Buildup Confront Trump’s Hopes for Disarmament

    WASHINGTON — President Trump was forced.

  • On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

    From the president’s checks to a.

  • Chelsea Manning Is Jailed for Refusing to Testify in WikiLeaks Case

    WASHINGTON — Chelsea Manning, the former.

  • When Foreign Leaders Send Presidents a Gift, Flattery is Usually a Theme

    Foreign officials also appear to have.

  • On Politics: Trade Deficit Hits Record $891 Billion

    • Trade talks between the United.

  • U.S. and E.U. Are Headed for a Food Fight Over Trade

    WASHINGTON — After a White House.

  • House’s Anti-Semitism Resolution Surfaces Generational Fight Over Ilhan Omar

    WASHINGTON — The decision by House.

  • Roger Stone Faces Questions Over Whether He Violated Gag Order

    The former Trump adviser Roger Stone.

  • On Politics: Behind the Failed Trump-Kim Summit

    President Trump made a bet that.

  • On Politics: The Biggest Stories of the Week

    From Michael Cohen’s testimony to the.

  • Manafort’s Lawyers, Saying He Learned ‘Harsh Lesson,’ Seek Lenient Sentence

    WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Paul Manafort,.

  • On Politics: Trump Ordered Kushner’s Security Clearance

    • Mr. Trump declared on Thursday.

  • What to Watch For in Thursday’s G.D.P. Report

    After a monthlong delay because of.

  • Supreme Court Seems Ready to Allow Cross Honoring War Dead

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court seemed.

  • Biden’s Family Is Urging Him to Run in 2020

    NEWARK, Del. — Former Vice President.

  • Paul Manafort’s Lawyers Argue He Has Been Unfairly ‘Vilified’ Before Sentencing

    WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Paul Manafort,.

  • How Lindsey Graham Went From Trump Skeptic to Trump Sidekick

    I asked Graham if he considered.

  • 40-Foot Cross Divides a Community and Prompts a Supreme Court Battle

    BLADENSBURG, Md. — In the back.