As he did when he was first elected prime minister in 1996 (against all odds), Netanyahu has again assembled a coalition of dejected minorities, one that has much in common with the coalition of minorities assembled by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932. Though Netanyahu himself is part of the old guard, an MIT graduate who smokes expensive cigars in the company of billionaires, his supporters see him as the quintessential enemy of the liberal elite: the Israeli WASPS (white Ashkenazi supporters of peace).
The surprisingly successful embrace of this subversive-anti-establishment stance led Netanyahu to trounce Shimon Peres in the 1996 elections, uniting a varied group of minorities who flocked to his tent of discontent: Russian immigrants, the Ultra-Orthodox, Oriental Jews and ultra-nationalists among them. In the 2015 elections, Netanyahu succeeded in performing the same trick during the last week of the campaign, just as the media was predicting his demise. He won what many here term an Israeli landslide victory due to his ability to lead a last-minute grass-roots rebellion of the periphery (both geographically and socio-economically) against the center. It was not his fiery speech to Congress that won Netanyahu the election, but rather a series of populist public-square rallies alongside a series of inflammatory media interviews that evoked the lingering identity crisis experienced by many Israelis, who still feel belittled and alienated, far removed from the real centres of power of the Democratic-Jewish state.
Ari Shavit, “Is Israel Losing Its Soul?”, Politico (20 March 2015) [http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/israeli-elections-israel-future-116266.html]