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The dissolution of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, just a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sacked two senior Cabinet ministers, marks a surprising turnabout. Indeed, when Israelis vote again in March, more than two years ahead of schedule, Netanyahu could be voted out of office, with important implications not only for Israel, but also for the wider Middle East.

Until last summer, Netanyahu appeared politically unassailable. His coalition government, despite some internal bickering, was expected to serve out its term. Not even 10 percent of Israelis would have preferred the opposition leader, the Labor Party’s Yitzhak Herzog, as prime minister.

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