Lieberman’s Return to Israeli Politics Augurs Change in Style, Not Substance

Lieberman’s Return to Israeli Politics Augurs Change in Style, Not Substance

On Wednesday, an Israeli court found former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman not guilty of corruption, opening the door for him to return to a prominent role in Israeli politics now that he is cleared of the charges of fraud and breach of trust.

He is likely to resume his post as foreign minister in the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the short term, however, his return to government is likely to have a bigger impact on Israel’s domestic politics than on its foreign policy.

“Netanyahu is far and away viewed by the public as the person who is most capable of leading the country, but in the long run, Lieberman would like to be prime minister, and to do that he needs to challenge Netanyahu to be head of the right,” said Jonathan Rynhold of the Department of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, adding that Lieberman is not likely to achieve this objective in the short term. “Everything he says and does will be calibrated as a move toward prime minister.”

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