In less than 45 days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be able to finally rest assured that he won what might have been the riskiest political poker match of his career.
On January 20 — Inauguration Day — President Barack Obama will exit the world stage, and with him the specter of vindictive action against the Israeli government. When Donald Trump ascends to the presidency, Netanyahu will no longer have to worry about a backlash from Washington for vociferously opposing the Iran nuclear deal or for expanding Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Six weeks is a long time, in which a lot can still happen. But as things look now, Netanyahu’s confrontational approach to the outgoing administration — which helped him domestically, but which critics deemed a dangerous gamble on crucial US support — played out in his favor.
Obama could still decide to make a last-ditch effort to cement his legacy on the peace process, either by backing a Palestine-related resolution at the UN Security Council or by some other means.