Netanyahu's partisan streak has paid off, but for how long?

FILE - In this March 25, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump welcomes visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House in Washington. In the eyes of critics, Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to bar two Democratic congresswomen at the request of President Donald Trump is the latest reckless gamble by a prime minister willing to sacrifice Israel’s national interests for short-term gain. And yet the pursuit of such allegedly short-term gains has kept Netanyahu in power for more than a decade. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
FILE - In this July 15, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, right, speaks, as U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. listens, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. In the eyes of critics, Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to bar two Democratic congresswomen at the request of President Donald Trump is the latest reckless gamble by a prime minister willing to sacrifice Israel’s national interests for short-term gain. And yet the pursuit of such allegedly short-term gains has kept Netanyahu in power for more than a decade. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

JERUSALEM — Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to bar two Democratic congresswomen from a West Bank visit at the request of President Donald Trump is in the eyes of his critics the latest reckless gamble by a prime minister willing to sacrifice Israel's national interests for short-term gain.

The move infuriated Democrats and risked turning Israel into even more of a partisan issue at a time when Americans are fiercely divided.

Israeli analysts said Netanyahu had blatantly disregarded a bedrock principle of Israeli foreign policy — that it remain above America's partisan fray.

Yet the pursuit of such allegedly short-sighted policies has kept Netanyahu — who seeks an unprecedented fourth term in next month's elections — and his Likud in power for more than a decade, making him the longest-serving leader in Israel's history.

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