Candidly Speaking: Netanyahu speaks for Israelis
With threats confronting Israel on so many levels, it is not surprising that most Israelis united in support of their prime minister.
Netanyahu, Ban, Liberman Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s skilled oratory last week at the UN climaxed
his highly successful global campaign to convince the Western world that a
nuclear Iran controlled by messianic mullahs would not merely impact Israel but
would have catastrophic consequences for the entire civilized world.
was largely due to his unremitting warnings and threats of unilateral preemptive
action, that the US and Europe belatedly imposed sanctions and began paying lip
service to utilizing military force as a last resort should sanctions fail to
Unfortunately in the midst of this, a number of disgruntled
former Israeli intelligence chiefs began publicly casting doubt about Israel’s
capacity to confront Iran alone. Whether they were right or wrong cannot be
confirmed. But their irresponsible outbursts did reassure the Iranians that
Netanyahu was bluffing and discouraged the US from adopting a tougher
Regrettably, US President Barack Obama’s track record of resorting
to decisive military action is dismal and despite his assurances that the US
would never enable the Iranians to attain a nuclear military status, it is hard
to visualize this administration undertaking decisive military action on its own
Netanyahu therefore pleaded with Obama to draw red lines in
relation to Iranian nuclear development, which when crossed would either enable
Israel to act or result in the United States itself making a military
Obama cynically dismissed Netanyahu’s pleas as “noise” which he
pledged to block out. His simultaneous reference to Israel merely being “one of
our leading allies in the region” signaled that he no longer felt obliged to
pursue his “charm offensive” towards the Jews in relation to Israel. That was
further confirmed when he snubbed Netanyahu by refusing to meet him in the
course of his visit to the US, despite finding time to appear on TV talk
With the threats currently confronting Israel on so many levels,
it is not surprising that most Israelis united in support of their prime
However this did not extend to the preposterous responses
emanating from some opposition leaders or the left-wing Israeli media. Haaretz
launched a loathsome campaign accusing Netanyahu of exploiting the Iranian
threat as a means of promoting the presidential candidacy of his “friend” Romney
This encouraged the pathetic leader of Kadima, Shaul Mofaz, to make one of the
most irresponsible outbursts ever made by an Israeli opposition leader. In the
Knesset he asked: “Prime Minister, tell me who is our biggest enemy, the US or
Iran? Who do you want replaced Ahmadinejad or Obama?” Needless to say these
pathetic attacks were quoted by the increasingly hostile liberal American media
as well as left-wing American Jews who began chanting their mantras about “Bibi
interfering in domestic US politics.”
One leading Jewish-American
commentator made the absurd statement: “I’ve never seen an Israeli PM who has so
mismanaged Israel-US relations.” This even emboldened a number of Democratic
congressman to voice their condemnation of Netanyahu.
NETANYAHU would prefer Romney, who consistently expresses support for Israel, to
become president rather than Obama, who personally loathes him and exhibits
little positive chemistry towards Israel.
But the reality is that
Netanyahu has assiduously avoided engaging in the US presidential elections, and
on occasion, even lavishly praised Obama. It is surely outrageous to accuse the
prime minister of Israel of meddling in US domestic politics because he relates
to the need to impose red lines on an issue that has genuine existential
implications for his country.
The United Nations reflects the prevailing
global malaise. Last Monday, Ahmadinejad bizarrely attended a UN summit on “the
rule of law” where he accused Israel of being a “fake regime” which “will be
Two days later, on Yom Kippur, representatives of all UN
nations – except the US and Canada – listened respectfully while the genocidal
Holocaust denier, a brutal dictator, preached morality to them.
subsequent address dealt primarily with the Muslim riots. Much of it condemned
the crude anti- Islamic film, for which the US was never responsible.
he only made passing mention of the state sanctioned hate propaganda against
Christians and Jews which dominates the Islamic world.
In relation to
Iran, despite failed US diplomacy, he not only omitted any reference to red
lines but even failed to state – as he had in the past – that all options were
open if the Iranians continued their drive towards nuclearization.
following day, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of criminal
activity and threatened a new intifada unless Israelis capitulated to his
demands. This followed his earlier meeting with Alan Dershowitz and a few other
naive Jews to whom Abbas had pledged he would take a more moderate line towards
He was followed by Netanyahu, who bent over backwards in his UN
address to be bipartisan, thanking Obama, ignoring his snubs and playing down
any tension between them. He claimed that the objective of both Israel and
America was to act as a barrier against “the forces of medievalism which seek a
world in which death rather than life is glorified.” He warned of the dangers of
a “nuclear-armed al-Qaida” and predicted that “red lines” would prevent rather
than lead to war.
He visually displayed a red line on the sketch of a
bomb with a fuse to illustrate Iran’s progress in amassing sufficient enriched
uranium to make a nuclear bomb which he predicted would be achieved by the
summer of 2013. The sketch was denigrated as childish by churlish Israeli
politicians and much of the liberal media but proved to be extraordinarily
effective and received wide exposure.
WE FACE difficult times. Despite
reassuring statements made by both parties, there is no denying that the
USIsrael relationship is exceedingly fragile. There is a mutual lack of
confidence between Obama and Netanyahu. All the White House seeks from Israel
are further concessions being extended to the Palestinians.
meantime, while the Middle East region is undergoing profound upheavals, the
Iranians are enjoying the spectacle of “Big Satan” and “Little Satan” sparring
with one another as they progress relentlessly towards their nuclear
Understandably, many Israelis are deeply concerned with the
prospect of Obama being reelected and seeking to impose indefensible 1949
armistice lines as his first step to implementing Middle East peace.
be an Israeli leader is a thankless task. Our most important objective must now
be to set aside minor differences and on this occasion unite in support of our
government and Netanyahu.
There is an enormous reservoir of goodwill to
Israel among Americans at the grass roots level. If they see that our prime
minister speaks on behalf of the overwhelming majority of his citizens on this
issue, they will realize that the allegations against him meddling in US
domestic politics are simply untrue.
It will also encourage them to
pursue their own interests by exerting public pressure on their politicians to
tighten the screws and take whatever measures necessary to forestall the global
Iranian nuclear threat.
The writer’s website can be viewed at
www.wordfromjerusalem.com. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org