A.When Benjamin Netanyahu steps up to the podium again, for the time being for the last time as Prime Minister of Israel, he begins his speech with two statements, as always powerfully presented and clearer than all the other speakers before and after him. He stands here on behalf of millions of citizens who have chosen to stand upright and not submit, says Netanyahu. He means his voters who have now not got their will done. And he alludes to those Israelis who were outsiders in the state for a long time and some still are: The Jews who immigrated from Arab countries, literally marginalized by the elite for many years; the Likud voters of the small towns and the periphery, of which Netanyahu was and continues to be for many.
He has always cultivated outsider thinking, although he has been Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister. For a long time it was part of the self-image of the once national liberal Likud party, but it was also given to Netanyahu himself from an early age. His father Benzion belonged to the fringes of the revisionist-nationalist movement and believed that he could barely gain a foothold under the socialist-Zionist governments of the then ruling Labor Party. Benzion Netanyahu was a historian specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. He moved to America to teach, where Benjamin went to school, college and university, and worked briefly as a management consultant. But even after the Cherut party, the forerunner of Likud, came to power in 1977, Father Benzion was not taken as seriously by these politicians as he had hoped.