IN JAPAN in the good old days, Binyamin Netanyahu would by now have committed hara-kiri. In England at that time, the monarch would have appointed him governor of the most remote little island in the Pacific Ocean. In Israel, his popularity rating is bound to go up. Because in our country, the old adage is getting a new twist: Nothing Succeeds Like Failure.
AND WHAT a failure! Wow!!!
He has practically declared war on the President of the United States, the Leader of the Free World, the Supreme Protector of the Jewish State. Not so long ago, one would have thought this impossible. But nothing is impossible for Benyamin Netanyahu.
For anyone just arrived from the planet Mars, here is a brief summary of Israel’s dependence on the US: it gets from it the bulk of its heavy arms and does not have to pay for them, it can depend on it to veto all UN Security Council resolutions that condemn Israel’s deeds and misdeeds, it receives from it billions of dollars every year although the Israeli economy is flourishing.
There is another benefit which is often overlooked. Since the world believes that both houses of the US Congress are totally subservient to Israel, all countries pay Israel for access to Congress. One has to bribe the doorkeeper to get in. For an Israeli prime minister to start a quarrel with the President of the US looks like sheer lunacy – as indeed it is.
Yet Netanyahu is not insane, though his actions suggest that. He is not even a fool.
So what the hell does he think he is doing?
THERE ARE several possible explanations I can think of.
One is pampering the Israeli public. Far from creating a New Jew as Zionism promised, the Old Jew dominates Israel. The Old Jew believes that the entire world is anti-Semitic, and any new evidence fills him with satisfaction. You see? The Goyim haven’t changed at all.
Netanyahu’s popularity ratings are bound to rise with every new manifestation of foreign hostility. If even the Americans, who for so long pretended to be the best friends of Israel, sell us out to the anti-Semitic Iranians, we need a strong and steadfast leader. In short – a Netanyahu.
Another plausible explanation for Netanyahu’s behavior may be his genuine belief that no US senator or representative would ever dare to buck AIPAC’s orders, knowing that this would be the end of his (or her) political career. Like the worst of the anti-Semites, Netanyahu believes that the Jews rule the world, or at least the US Congress. At the crucial moment, Congress will vote for AIPAC, against the US president.
Another explanation may be, paradoxically, a blind belief in President Obama’s integrity. Netanyahu thinks that he can hit him on the head, spit in his eye, kick his behind, and still Obama will act coolly, rationally, and support Israel all the way, except on the Iranian deal. He will go on sending arms and dollars, vetoing Security Council resolutions, receiving phone calls from Israel in the middle of the night. You know how these Americans are. Subservient. Especially black ones.
BUT THERE may be another explanation, that trumps all others.
Affronting the US president, his administration and his party, Netanyahu is gambling with our future. Which brings us to the emperor of the gambling world, the king of Las Vegas, the prince of Macao: Sheldon Adelson. Adelson does not hide his support for Netanyahu the man, the family and the party. He spends huge sums of money on a Hebrew daily newspaper that is distributed gratis to Israelis, whether they want it or not. It is now the largest-circulation paper in Israel, and devoted personally to Netanyahu and his wife. It has no other purpose.
Yet Adelson seems to have no real interest in Israel. He does not live here, even part time. So what is he getting in return?