Although several Israeli brigades have withdrawn from the Gaza Strip in the face of a less massive phase of the military offensive against the Islamist group Hamas, 2024 will continue to be a year of war with greater or lesser intensity. It is the forecast in Israel where, however, it is much more complex to predict what is going to happen on its political front. The most serious attack in its history suspended the battles that hope to return with force at the end of the war.

The dramatic ruling of the Supreme Court (TS) that annulled last Monday the first law approved in the judicial reform project in July is the icing on a cake that for obvious reasons no one asked for at the last Government meeting in Jerusalem to celebrate its first anniversary. Although 7-O perhaps put the controversial legislative process on the shelf forever, the Supreme Court’s decision symbolizes the failure of Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.

As if that were not enough for the veteran leader, the highest court ruled this Wednesday (six judges in favor and five against) that the amendment he promoted to make the process of declaring a prime minister unfit (preventing the legal advisor from and attorney general can do so) will be effective only from the next Knesset. The TS considers that the law had a motivation linked to his personal interest, constituting a misuse of Parliament’s authority.

Exactly one year ago, a euphoric Netanyahu announced upon his return to power that his government would “do good to all Israelis.” Today, the majority of Israelis say that it would be good for Israel to go home, regardless of what may happen in a war that, 90 days later and despite the daily funerals of its soldiers, still has broad internal consensus for end the fundamentalist group. Israel’s biggest war since 2006 goes beyond Netanyahu, but its outcome will influence his political survival.

Since his dazzling appearance with a ‘Made in USA’ aroma in the Israeli political firmament in the 90s, Netanyahu has known how to get up from his falls and overcome obstacles of all kinds. Whether when in the Likud primaries in 1993 he nervously denounced blackmail on television due to rumors about an alleged video tape that demonstrated an act of infidelity to his wife Sarah or when in 2020 he became the first active Israeli head of government sitting in the dock in the corruption trial.

Now, however, Bibi faces the “hardest yet”: surviving the greatest tragedy in Israel’s history (1,200 dead and 240 kidnapped) and the resulting shock and anger, managing the pressure from the families of 129 still in captivity and the situation of some 130,000 citizens evacuated from the towns bordering the south (Gaza) and north (Lebanon) while the devastating war continues in the punished Palestinian strip with options, increased after the Israeli “selective assassination” of one of the main ringleaders of Hamas (Saleh Arouri) in Beirut, from a clash with the Shiite group Hezbollah.

Netanyahu did not order the operation against Hamas for political reasons, since any leader – left or right – would have done the same after the 7-0 massacre. The question, however, from some analysts is whether it will prolong the war more than necessary to avoid “the day after” fearing that the demand for responsibilities will move to the streets, as happened after the Kippur war 50 years ago, and increase pressure on the Knesset for early elections.

“There will be time to thoroughly investigate what happened and ask all the relevant questions to everyone, including myself, but now we must focus on winning the war that the terrorists imposed on us by fulfilling the three objectives: ending Hamas, freeing the kidnapped and ensure that Gaza is no longer a threat,” Netanyahu said.

“I don’t pay attention to the polls because if I did, I wouldn’t have been prime minister for a long time,” he answered, referring to some numbers that indicate that Israelis demand elections after the war and that they prefer the centrist leader Benny Gantz as prime minister. He joined the emergency cabinet.

According to the Channel 13 survey, his performance as prime minister receives a score of 3.7. Netanyahu would obtain 16 seats when he currently has 32. His fall is as spectacular as Gantz’s rise, which goes from 12 to 38 seats. Netanyahu’s bloc (Likud, two ultra-Orthodox parties and two ultra-right parties) governs thanks to its 64 seats (out of 120) but today it would have only 45, while the heterogeneous field that includes an Arab party, a leftist party, a center party and a center-right would reach 71. It is a huge turnaround although new parties and alliances are expected in the next elections.

Netanyahu’s loss of popularity was gradual in the first nine months of last year, marked by massive demonstrations against the attempt to weaken the power of the Supreme Court against the Government, and abrupt in the last three months as a result of the unprecedented failure that allowed the terrorist attack. of Hamas.

His rivals point to him by linking the internal division and the external attack, recalling that senior military commanders had warned him that the fracture in Israel was seen by Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas as “a historic sign of weakness.” And on the right, many regret that he will sanctify the calm in Gaza by allowing Yahia Sinwar’s group to arm itself.

Netanyahu is confident in the success of the war (which depends above all on the return of the kidnapped people and the departure of Hamas) and the movement of voters further to the right in the conflict with the Palestinians as a result of the armed infiltration of Hamas and the silence of President Abu Mazen who did not condemn her. For this reason, he emphasizes the message that he will not allow the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza.

Netanyahu, however, refuses to design the strategy for the day after and tries to balance between the president of the United States, Joe Biden, who largely allows him to continue the offensive, and two of his partners, the ultranationalists Bezalel Smotrish and Itamar Ben Gvir, which allow him to continue ruling.