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If Netanyahu Studied Godfather Movies He Might Still Be Prime Minister (Opinion)

In Godfather Part II, Michael Corleone utters a line that became a part of the common political vernacular…

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If Bibi studied the Godfather movies he might still be the Prime Minister. The new Israeli government wasn’t about changing policy It was all about booting Netanyahu from the PM’s office. if Netanyahu studied godfather.

In Godfather Part II, Michael Corleone utters a line that became a part of the common political vernacular, “My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close but your enemies closer.” Probably the chief reason Binyamin Netanyahu is no longer Israel’s Prime Minister is that he should have listened to Corleone’s advice and done the exact opposite. Bibi should have kept his enemies close and his friends even closer, as it was those former political allies who pushed him out of the PM’s residence.

While they used to be Netanyahu’s allies, many leaders of the new coalition’s feelings about Bibi were the opposite of the now-famous line that Michael Corleone says to his brother Sonny in the first Godfather movie, “It’s not personal Sonny, it’s strictly business.” Their feelings about booting Bibi is that it wasn’t business but strictly personal.

Netanyahu’s Likud Party received thirty Knesset seats in Israel’s most recent election, the fourth in two years. Including the 2009 election that put him back in office, the last seven elections saw Likud earn more than 30 seats only three times. Each of those 30+ seat elections occurred during these 4 elections/two years period–possibility an indication that voters did not have a major issue with the performance of Likud/Bibi.

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Here’s where it gets interesting. First, take a look at the parties in the new coalition government. Especially the Top five parties.

  • Naftali Bennett, the new PM, and leader of the Yamina Party, used to be a close ally of Netanyahu. He even served as Bibi’s chief of staff. Since entering the Knesset in 2013, Naftali Bennett was part of a Netanyahu-led government but not as part of Likud. He was eventually booted from Bibi’s inner circle because he ran afoul of his wife Sara, who claimed Naftali leaked to the press about her. On the other hand, Netanyahu tried to leak to the press that Gilat, the observant Bennett’s wife, was a chef in non-kosher restaurants when they were living in the U.S. Bennett was furious ” “I feel sorry for you, Mr. Netanyahu. You personally took the trouble of calling the owners of Walla! (Israeli media company) to hurt my wife. This is a despicable and cowardly act. Shame on you.” As Michael Corleone said to his older brother Fredo, “Don’t Ever Take Sides Against Someone From The Family Again. Ever.”
  • Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope Party broke off from Likud in 2020 because he felt he was being held back by the party’s leader Netanyahu. Because of that affront, he tried to dethrone Bibi as Likud’s head and lost, Sa’ar left the party to form his own.
  • Avigdor Lieberman, the head of Yisrael Beiteinu, is probably to the right of Netanyahu and Bennett on foreign issues, but his party is very secular. Lieberman resigned from Likud during Netanyahu’s first tenure as Prime Minister because of the concessions Bibi made to the Palestinians in the 1998 Wye River Memorandum. In 2012 Lieberman’s Beinenu merged with Likud for the 2013 election. He moved to the opposition after the 2015 vote but joined the government in 2016. Lieberman chose to leave the government in 2019 because he didn’t like the ceasefire with Hamas that started the two years of elections. For the June 2019 election, he announced he would not join in a coalition with Likud. The only exception would be a unity government. cccccccccc
  • That was the same promise Blue and White leader Benny Gantz made before the 2020 election, one he broke, Blue and White began to lose support after it agreed to form a coalition with Likud where he would be PM after two more years of Bibi. Ganz was the chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from 2011 to 2015. Most of that time, he served under Netanyahu. Some say Netanyahu dissolved the government and called for the 2021 election to screw Gantz out of his spot in the rotation and keep the PM office for himself.

This coalition did not include the religious parties who were natural partners of Netanyahu and Likud. In aggregate, those parties represented another 22 seats which left a Likud-led coalition nine Knesset seats short at 52. However, if Netanyahu could lure one or more of the parties above, he might still be PM.

As for Ra’am, it was Netanyahu’s idea to bring them into a coalition; they would have probably joined a Bibi government if he was close to gaining the necessary 61 seat support.

At times, Bennett, Sa’ar, and Lieberman were all close allies of Binyamin Netanyahu and Likud. Lapid and Ganz served in governments led by Netanyahu. But none of those party leaders have any desire to work with Netanyahu again. In some cases, it was because of Bibi’s cutthroat management style, his hurting of their careers, or slandering their families. He lost the PM office because of those personal offenses, not because of political differences. As Don Corleone once said, “Revenge is a dish best served cold”.

The new government leaders will not make bold changes to Netanyahu’s policies–they can’t because the government has only a one-seat majority in the Knesset. That small majority is also why my prediction is that the coalition will fall apart before the end of 2021.

Will Bibi be back? He says he will, but It all depends. His upcoming corruption trial hasn’t totally damaged his popularity, disproving something Don Corleone says in the first Godfather movie, “Time Erodes Gratitude More Quickly Than It Does Beauty.”

But now that he’s no longer PM, he has to pay his legal fees, and there is nothing to slow down his corruption trial. The trial will dominate the news about Bibi and might send his image amongst the public down the abyss. Especially because one of the charges against Netanyahu was his favorable treatment of Walla! Media. Now even the right-wing media companies will sink their talons on Bibi.

Netanyahu should have followed Don Corleone, who said in the first movie, “I Spent My Life Trying Not To Be Careless.” But Netanyahu was careless in his relationship with others. And whether he is guilty or not, he was careless in avoiding even the appearance of corruption.

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Brian Laundrie’s Notebook Contains Details of Gabby Petito’s Death

Perhaps some closure can finally be afforded to Gabby’s family.

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At long last, some form of closure could be coming to the family of Gabby Petito.

Petito was at the center of one of the most bizarre crime stories of 2021, after her fiancé Brian Laundrie returned home from a joint cross-country road trip without her and immediately refused to cooperate with authorities who were investigating her disappearance.  Then, shortly after arriving back in Florida, Laundrie himself went missing.

Weeks late, Laundrie’s partial remains were found in a nature preserve near this family home along with a notebook.  Laundrie was determined to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Now, after months of waiting and wondering, the contents of the aforementioned notebook have been revealed.

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Petito’s family was in Florida on Thursday morning, roughly four months after their daughter was found strangled to death in Wyoming. An attorney representing Laundrie’s family said they had reached an agreement about how the couple’s property – including a notebook found with his remains – will be distributed.

The notebook contained “written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death,” according to the FBI.

“Gabby’s family would like to thank the FBI, specifically the Wyoming, Denver, New York and Tampa offices, all of their task force members and their assisting agencies,” Petito/Schmidt family lawyer Rick Stafford said in a Friday statement. “Gabby’s family would like to thank the FBI’s Victim Services Department for all they have done for them. Victim Services has been there for support from the earliest stages of this investigation and helped their entire family navigate through the worst moments of their lives.”

The story had captured the attention of world, and while this is undoubtedly a heartbreaking end to the tale, perhaps the Petito family can now take the next steps in their recovery.

At long last, some form of closure could be coming to the family of Gabby Petito. Petito was at the center of one of the most bizarre crime stories of 2021, after her fiancé Brian Laundrie returned home from a joint cross-country road trip without her and immediately refused to cooperate with authorities who were investigating her disappearance.  Then, shortly after arriving back in Florida, Laundrie himself went missing. Weeks late, Laundrie’s partial remains were found in a nature preserve near this family home along with a notebook.  Laundrie was determined to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Now, after months of waiting and wondering, the contents of the aforementioned notebook have been revealed. Petito’s family was in Florida on Thursday morning, roughly four months after their daughter was found strangled to death in Wyoming. An attorney representing Laundrie’s family said they had reached an agreement about how the couple’s property – including a notebook found with his remains – will be distributed. The notebook contained “written statements by Mr. Laundrie claiming responsibility for Ms. Petito’s death,” according to the FBI. “Gabby’s family would like to thank the FBI, specifically the Wyoming, Denver, New York and Tampa offices, all of their task force members and their assisting agencies,” Petito/Schmidt family lawyer Rick Stafford said in a Friday statement. “Gabby’s family would like to thank the FBI’s Victim Services Department for all they have done for them. Victim Services has been there for support from the earliest stages of this investigation and helped their entire family navigate through the worst moments of their lives.” The story had captured the attention of world, and while this is undoubtedly a heartbreaking end to the tale, perhaps the Petito family can now take the next steps in their recovery.

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US Ponders Diplomatic Evacuation as Putin Moves on Ukraine

Sign #475 that things are going south in Ukraine…

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The way Vladimir Putin tells it, we’re all just overreacting to his placement of hundreds of thousands of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border.

Of course, this is classic Putin.  The Russian President has long understood the ins-and-outs of the antagonization game, and is likely just pushing buttons for the sake of pushing buttons…at least in his recent diatribes.

But there is little doubt that he’s up to something, and the US isn’t going to take any chances when it comes to innocent Americans who are now in the line of potential fire.

The U.S. is weighing whether to evacuate family members of diplomats stationed in Ukraine as Russia masses more than 100,000 troops on its borders, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Under the plan, family members would be ordered to return home while non-essential employees would be able to leave voluntarily. An announcement may come within days, according to the people, who asked not to be identified before a decision is reached.

The ruble erased gains on the news, falling 0.1% against the dollar. Yields on most Russian local currency sovereign bonds rose on Friday.

The operation would be no small task.

The U.S. employs about 180 American citizens and 560 Ukrainians at its embassy in Kyiv, according to the embassy website. That doesn’t include family members, so the number of U.S. citizens living in embassy housing is probably much higher.

While Putin has consistently suggested to the global media that this whole thing is getting blown out of proportion, these actions by the US State Department speak volumes.

The way Vladimir Putin tells it, we’re all just overreacting to his placement of hundreds of thousands of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. Of course, this is classic Putin.  The Russian President has long understood the ins-and-outs of the antagonization game, and is likely just pushing buttons for the sake of pushing buttons…at least in his recent diatribes. But there is little doubt that he’s up to something, and the US isn’t going to take any chances when it comes to innocent Americans who are now in the line of potential fire. The U.S. is weighing whether to evacuate family members of diplomats stationed in Ukraine as Russia masses more than 100,000 troops on its borders, according to people familiar with the matter. Under the plan, family members would be ordered to return home while non-essential employees would be able to leave voluntarily. An announcement may come within days, according to the people, who asked not to be identified before a decision is reached. The ruble erased gains on the news, falling 0.1% against the dollar. Yields on most Russian local currency sovereign bonds rose on Friday. The operation would be no small task. The U.S. employs about 180 American citizens and 560 Ukrainians at its embassy in Kyiv, according to the embassy website. That doesn’t include family members, so the number of U.S. citizens living in embassy housing is probably much higher. While Putin has consistently suggested to the global media that this whole thing is getting blown out of proportion, these actions by the US State Department speak volumes.

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