Sunday, June 14, 2009

Short of expectations

If Binyamin Nethanyahu really was led by common sense alone, and if he truly had Israel's interests in mind, in today's speech at Bar Ilan University he would use the opportunity to gain international support for a coalition against the only existential threat that Israel faces on the outside. Unfortunately, while the Palestinians are continuously learning from our mistakes, in recent decades Israel appears to have learnt mainly one thing from its neighbours: not to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Bibi knows very well what he has to say and do to receive genuine support for Israel's position on the issue of a nuclear Iran. Still, I bet he will say all that he and other Israeli officials have been saying about Iran for years, without telling us or the world anything that we want to hear as far as Israel's settlements' policies are concerned. Could it be that he fears his own signs of G'd ( in Jerusalem, Beit-El, Qiryat Arba, and elsewhere ) more than he fears the ayatollahs of Teheran and Qom? He definitely appears to be concerned more about keeping his fragile coalition together, preserving the status quo at all costs and not angering those who do not trust him anyway, than he is about building sorely needed trust and credibility abroad, finding vital allies against Ahmadinejad, or building a stronger, more prosperous, just and Jewish state. Personally, I am a bit disappointed, I thought that he and Mr Lieberman would be more pragmatic and hungry for real power than they have proven themselves to be in the last few months. If he does not change his ways and his views drastically and very soon, Binyamin Nethanyahu might end his 'renewed' political career faster than we and he expected, after having antagonized everybody in his own party and country, plus the whole world. Clearly I am not holding my breath for tonight's speech. When it comes to speeches and salesmanship, Bibi - a very eloquent man and probably the most telegenic politician of Israel - could learn a thing or two, three, four....hundred from the Master(s) in Washington. After Cairo University, Bar Ilan University will almost certainly be nothing but a very poor rehash. And yes, I would love to be able to write tomorrow that I was completely wrong, and that Bibi dazzled me, Israel, and the world.

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