They are the unwitting infantry in Binyamin Netanyahu's army: men dressed in bright red overalls and matching baseball caps, and stationed at street corners, supermarkets and bus and train stations across
Israel Hayom -- owned by
At 63, Netanyahu -- known to all as Bibi -- has just become the longest serving prime minister after
The lack of a credible challenger is one reason why Netanyahu called an election nine months before the scheduled end of his four-and-a-half year term. (This, in itself is remarkable: from shaky and short-lived coalitions lasting a year or two,
And, while the centre and centre-left was still considering how best to challenge Netanyahu, he surprised almost everyone by announcing an alliance of the Right. His party, Likud, has joined forces with Yisrael Beiteinu, a party even further along
A re-elected Netanyahu will find himself face to face with a re-elected President Obama, back on their familiar sparring ground of
For this, he has been described as messianic, a mythomaniac and a megalomaniac. His former intelligence chief,
Paradoxically, on other key matters, Netanyahu has a record of being cautious -- even weak, according to critics. He has dug in over the so-called peace process with the Palestinians, played safe on the economy and avoided confrontation with ultra-Orthodox Jews over their exemption from military service.
That could change. As with Obama, the key question of a second term is what to do with it. If Netanyahu decides that boldness should override caution in 2013,
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- Nuclear Deal with Iran Possible If Bad Habits Change
- Turkey: Zigzag Diplomacy Leads Nowhere
- Syrian Chemical Weapons Threat Eerily Familiar?
- Tunisia and the Struggles Of Drafting a New Constitution
- Egypt: Dark Shadows
- Mortality Alters the Arab Order
- Libya: Gaddafi's Guns Trigger Collapse
- Egypt: The Roundabout Road Back To Tahrir
- Healthcare System Crumbling in Syria as War Rages
- Syria: Al Assad's Last Stand
- Every Day Brings New Drama in the Middle East
- Egypt and the Strategic Balance
- Gaza Clash Reveals Morsi's True Colors
- Syria: Is the World Waiting for Genocide?
- T-ball War in the Middle East
- To The Brink Again for Israel and Gaza
- What Exacly Would Israel Like to Do with Its Palestinian Population?
- 'Pharaoh' Morsi
- Egypt's 'Moderate' Despot
- Israel and Gaza: Then and Now
- Egypt, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula
- Iran's Agenda in the Gaza Offensive
(c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.