Israelis are now debating what role the Balfour protests may have played in overthrowing Mr. Netanyahu, who spent 12 consecutive years in power, and 15 in total, and in breaking the political deadlock that sent the Israelis at the polls four times in two years.
Now leader of the opposition, Mr. Netanyahu skipped the traditional handover ceremony, contenting himself with meeting Mr. Bennett alone for half an hour on Monday. He vowed to overthrow the government of Mr. Bennett, which he called “left”.
The prime minister’s office could not immediately say when the Netanyahu might leave Balfour. A person close to the family, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private matters, said the topic had not been discussed, but noted that some previous prime ministers had been granted a delay grace period of up to two months before leaving the residence.
Named in honor of Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary whose declaration over a century ago laid the diplomatic foundation for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, Balfour Street has become synonymous with what the Critics saw the increasingly polarizing, undemocratic and monarchical impulses of Mr. Netanyahu, his wife Sara and their eldest son Yair. Many considered them to have royal illusions. Battling corruption charges, Mr. Netanyahu denounced the police, mainstream media and the judiciary and accused them of plotting to overthrow him.
The term “Balfour” has also come to refer to a political concept identified by Ben Caspit, an Israeli commentator and author of two biographies of Netanyahu. In the prime minister’s circles, Mr Caspit said, people began to talk about policies or decisions that would or would not win the approval of “the house”, which first meant Ms Netanyahu, and in recent years , also referred to Yair Netanyahu.
“It was a three-member board of directors,” Mr. Caspit said in an interview, “and Bibi did not have a majority.”
The person close to the Netanyahu family said that although Ms. Netanyahu and Yair Netanyahu expressed their opinions, he had never seen extraordinary interference in decision-making to justify the reputation they had earned.