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Israeli Election Mismatch Pits Fire-breathing Netanyahu Against Sluggish Gantz

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Benjamin Netanyahu is larger than life. He casts a giant shadow over the country he’s ruled for over a decade. Netanyahu controls his cabinet, lords over his party, scares the legal system, deters journalists, tames civil servants and transforms ambitious politicians into petrified poodles. For the past few years, he’s been waging war on Israel’s ostensibly entrenched democracy and rule of law, which is now nearing its final, decisive round: One man against the sacrosanct bedrocks of his country, with more than reasonable chances to triumph.

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Netanyahu is always a master of manipulation and a specialist in spins, but in election campaigns he invariably reaches his zenith. A survival instinct sharpens his mind and injects his veins with boundless energy: He is ruthlessly focused, his charisma works overtime and his words inspire fear among rivals and enthusiasm among fans. In ancient Greece, Plato defined similar maestros of eloquence and oratory, who distort reality and enchant the crowds, as practitioners of witchcraft.

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© Haaretz