It's been a tumultuous start to the year for Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu with the Israeli Attorney General, Avichai Manderbilt, announcing on Thursday that he intends to indict him on a number of corruption-related charges.
On top of that, his party Likud has fallen behind the new Blue and White left of centre party led by former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Benny Gantz. For any more mere mortal politician, either of these would be very ominous ahead of the next General Election on April 9th.
However, Netanyahu is no ordinary politician. Despised politically by many (including this author) for his machiavellian tactics and seemingly genuine contempt for the plight of the Palestinian people, there are still very few analysts or followers of politics who really question his political acumen.
He has been the Prime Minister since 2009 (he previously also served from 1996 to 1999) and in that time has achieved numerous goals that at one point or other looked almost impossible. From his perspective the chief among them include completely stalling two-state negotiations through intermittent wars, military crises and clever delays, reversing the United States's involvement in the Iran de-nuclearisation deal and convincing the United States to recognise Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.
He has achieved many of those goals by promoting himself as a safe pair of hands who knows how to forge alliances around the world with like minded leaders. These key allies include Donald Trump, Viktor Orban and, most recently, the new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
However , even with all those achievements, this time might be different. While Netanhayu has displayed an almost magical hold over Israeli elections and an understanding of the Israeli electorate unmatched by any of his domestic rivals, he now also has to contend with the independent judiciary in the run-up to the election.
I last wrote about Netanyahu's struggles with corruption accusations over a year ago and even then it looked like he may be forced to resign. However he has held steadfast. He must now be hoping he can command a mandate form the Israeli electorate on April 9th and beat any charges that come his way.
If he can make it to July as premier, he will become Israel's longest serving Prime Minister. Given everything he is up against, it is looking increasingly unlikely. That said, there is no probably no politician in world politics better equipped to succeed...