In this respect, too, Avigdor Lieberman is not Israeli. He is Russian.
WHEN "IVET," as he is called in Russian, selected his Knesset faction four years ago, he acted, as always, according to his mood of the moment. No nonsense about democracy, primaries and such. There is a leader, and the leader decides.
There was this very beautiful young woman from St. Petersburg, Anastassia Michaeli. Not very bright, perhaps, but good to look at during boring Knesset sessions.
Then there was this nice man with the very Russian name, Stas Misezhnikov, which no Israeli can pronounce. He is popular among the Russian immigrants. Davay, let's take him.
And this Israeli diplomat, Danny Ayalon, may be useful if I become Foreign Secretary.
But moods pass, and people elected stay elected for four years.
The beauty turned out to be a bully, in addition to being stupid. In a public Knesset committee meeting, she stood up and poured a glass of water over an Arab member. On another occasion, she physically attacked a female Arab member on the Knesset rostrum.
The nice Russian man was rather too nice. He regularly got drunk and organized parties for his mistress abroad, expenses paid by his ministry. Even his bodyguards complained.
And the diplomat trumped the lot, when he invited journalists to witness his humiliation of the Turkish ambassador, putting him on a very low seat during a meeting. This led on to the famous Turkish Flotilla incident and did -- is still doing -- incalculable damage to Israel's strategic interests. Also, Ayalon was a compulsive leaker.
Lieberman did not react to all this. He defended his people and criticized their critics, who were anyhow leftist trash.
But now has come the time to appoint Lieberman's faction to the next Knesset, again without democratic nonsense. To their utter consternation, the three were dismissed with five minutes' notice. All without any display of emotion. Cold. Cold.
Don't mess with the likes of Lieberman. Any more than with Vladimir Putin and Co.
If I were Binyamin Netanyahu, I would not worry about Abbas, Ahmadinejad, Obama, Morsi and the combined opposition in the Knesset. All I would worry about would be Lieberman, somewhere behind my back. I would worry very, very much. Every minute, every second.
Two weeks ago, two fateful things happened that may hasten the political demise of "King Bibi." One was not of his making, the other was.
In the Likud primaries, dominated by ugly deal-making and manipulations, a new Knesset faction was selected that was almost exclusively composed of extreme rightists, including outright fascists, many of them settlers and their appointees. Against Netanyahu's wishes, all the moderate rightists were unceremoniously booted out.