December 1, 2022

Bibi’s Sweetest Victory – Mishpacha Magazine

In this campaign, there were no rabbits out of hats; the battle plan was carefully mapped out from start to finish


JShabak’s personal security unit operates like the US Secret Service. Thus, on election night, the candidate who comes out on top in the exit polls begins to enjoy protection early in the evening, as if he had already taken office.

After a year of driving around in a lightly weathered Skoda Superb sedan, accompanied by a single security vehicle, opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu returned to his usual car last night, traveling the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway in a long procession. He received the results at the Carlton Hotel on the shore of Tel Aviv, then went to deliver his victory speech to the Binyanei Ha’umah in Jerusalem in a 12-vehicle convoy, with all the protection given to a Prime Minister in exercise.

But before he left, Netanyahu had spent nearly five hours in a closed room with his advisers — from 10 p.m., when the exit polls were announced, until 2:40 a.m., when he left Tel. Aviv to close the night, and the campaign, with a victory speech.


During those moments, holding an espresso the way he likes it, in a glass cup, Netanyahu had time to reflect.

“Imagine what we would have looked like if Meretz had switched places with UTJ,” Netanyahu said, as that left-wing party struggled to cross the electoral threshold, along with the Arab party Balad.

As he received ongoing reports and prepared for his victory speech, Bibi found a few minutes to settle accounts and remind the parties he pushed together that without him the Israeli right might have plunged into a nadir like the one in which is now the left.

After four election nights of leading the bedtime exit polls and then waking up with worse results, Netanyahu has learned some important lessons. He traveled to the Carlton Hotel to deliver a victory speech to supporters only after the victory predicted by exit polls was verified with the ballot box.

As he received these numbers in real time, he repeatedly spoke to the leaders of all parties in his bloc to reinforce the message. With the outcome of the Arab vote remaining a mystery, Netanyahu agreed with party leaders that they would rush to declare victory, to bolster the narrative of a right-wing sweep, pending final updates.


During those trying hours until 2:30 a.m., when all he had was the exit polls, Netanyahu sat in his high room at the Carlton Hotel overlooking the sea, getting reports in real time on the Arab scene. Hillel Kobrinsky, Yair Lapid’s chief strategist, had mounted a vigorous campaign in the Arab sector, funneling money and personnel into an operation to push the three Arab lists over the threshold to block a right-wing majority.

Netanyahu recounted how he worked to unify the disparate elements of the religious Zionist party and resolve the squabbles between the factions of United Torah Judaism. He gave a big hug to Zevi Fleischmann, responsible for managing the strategy in the chareidi sector.

In this campaign, there were no rabbits out of hats; the battle plan was carefully mapped out from start to finish. It began by soliciting wealthy and influential chareidi donors in New York City in a week-long blitz to prevent the UTJ from splitting. Then came the dismantling of Gantz’s campaign, after he presented himself as someone who could be chosen with the support of the chareidim.

Finally came Netanyahu’s operation in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak over the past few days.

Shlomo Filber’s internal poll, conducted for Likud after the period when such polls could be legally published, revealed the value of half a term of disenchanted chareidim who planned to stay home. Bibi’s response was to personally travel to Chareidi areas, and he delegated his schedule those crucial days before the election to Fleischmann. He engaged in a rally in Bnei Brak and ate cholent – ​​streamed live – at a Chareidi Leil Shishi establishment.

To dispel fears of vote poaching on the Chareidi side, Fleischmann coordinated these events with Motty Paley, the grandson of Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, who clarified that Netanyahu had no intention of persuading wavering Chareidim to vote for Likud. ; he wanted to get them to the polls to vote UTJ. The results proved that these hesitant chareidim responded to his call.


Until this week, Binyamin Netanyahu’s victories over the past 25 years could be classified as follows. Number one was his comeback victory in 1996 over Shimon Peres, closing a double-digit deficit in the polls in two months after Rabin’s assassination. Number two was his victory in 2015, another instance where he won against all odds and early predictions.

The joy that enveloped him from this week’s triumph was almost as sweet and intense as that of 1996. Even within his own party, Bibi had already been buried and praised. Just a few months ago, he seriously considered entering into a plea bargain that would have kept him out of politics for good.

Now, as the trial continues, in the face of conflicting media outlets that have invested a lot of effort and money to see him off, the man has made another incredible comeback. With siyata of Shmayahe came through this tough time over the past year with a clear strategy and won.

After a cumulative 13-year tenure as Israel’s prime minister, Bibi now feels like a fresh start. At 73, about six years younger than the incumbent US president, he feels at the peak of his strength. For the first time, right-wing Israeli voters gave him the tools to establish an unfettered government.

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