JERUSALEM — Little more than a year ago, it seemed that the political career of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, was all but over. Out of power, he was struggling to maintain relevance. State prosecutors had offered his lawyers a plea deal that would have let him avoid jail in his ongoing corruption trial, in exchange for leaving politics for seven years.
The negotiations fell through, the trial continues, and Netanyahu, who denies the corruption charges, instead ended last year as prime minister for the third time. It cemented his reputation as a magician who can escape any political straitjacket.