Liberman says budget defeat shows Netanyahu has ‘lost his magic,’ is washed up

Former ally-turned bitter rival suggests former PM has lost the will to fight, quotes Likud MK’s as saying: ‘We were idiots for listening to him’

5 November 2021

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman suggested on Friday that opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to prevent the approval of the state budget signaled the end of his control over the Likud party, saying that he had “lost his magic.”

Liberman — a former ally and confidant of Netanyahu, turned bitter political foe — who united his Yisrael Beytenu party with seven other parties in a coalition that ended Netanyahu’s 12-year reign in June, said he had also seen growing dissent in Likud.

“I’m not a magician, I’m the finance minister. The magician is someone else,” he said in an interview with Channel 12 news on the budget, referring to Netanyahu’s reputation for pulling political magic at the last moment.

“In my opinion, his magic is finished,” Liberman said, echoing words on the front page of the Yedioth Aharonth daily on Friday that proclaimed: “No rabbit is coming out of the hat now.”

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