Benjamin Netanyahu has won the Likud primary with 47% of the vote, beating out rival Silvan Shalom for the leadership of a party that suddenly finds itself in third place.
When Netanyahu visualized the circumstances under which he’d regain leadership of Likud, somehow I don’t think that’s quite what he had in mind.
Still, he will lead a party that is the voice of Israelis who felt betrayed by Sharon’s disengagement plan or who believe that Sharon led Israel down the wrong path. Unfortunately for Netanyahu, they aren’t in the majority. And come March, in all likelihood, he will find himself in a situation that is nominally different but factually familiar: the opposition. Only this time, it will be from without instead of from within.