This is the happiest-looking photo of Netanyahu we could find. It’s from the opening of a new highway interchange last month.(Ariel Schalit-Pool/Getty Images)

The National Insurance Institute of Israel reports today that the Israeli economy is growing slightly, after suffering from the global slump for the past year. According to Haaretz, there’s been a five percent drop in unemployment and a 2.2 percent drop in the number of welfare recipients.
This is clearly good domestic news for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in the past few months has seen his coalition government strengthened for a variety of reasons. First, Israelis have rallied behind him in the face of U.S. pressure to stop settlement growth. Second, the chaos in Iran bolstered his conservative government, which was elected in part because of its commitment to national security. And finally, the impending resignation of Netanyahu’s controversial foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman—should Lieberman face charges for fraud, which seems likely—would give Netanyahu even more of a purchase on power, and this just months after being elected in a tightly contested election and on very tenuous terms. Good economic news is just icing on the cake.

Is Israel Emerging From the Economic Crisis? [Haaretz]