Bibi’s Savvy Tactics?

Aluf Benn of Ha’aretz wants Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new governing coalition in order to make a peace deal with the Palestinians possible. His current coalition would not support a two-state solution in any form the PA would accept. Netanyahu, Benn writes, should act now and avoid being blinded by overconfidence:

There is no greater threat to good statesmanship than being drunk with success. This is what brought down some of history’s greatest leaders, and it is what now threatens Netanyahu.

A different aspect of the op-ed struck me as worthy of note: Benn’s appraisal of Netanyahu as a savvy political tactician on every front. In Benn’s view, Netanyahu has handled the Israeli public, Turkey, Obama and the US, Fatah-Hamas, and Abbas well. Everything has worked in his favor.

I can see some of the points, but it seems to gloss over the global delegitimization campaign (which is much more than just the PA/Abbas threat of a September UN resolution). The poor personal relations with Obama could come back to hurt Netanyahu. The Iran issue is far from over. To me, the picture looks quite mixed going forward.

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2 Comments to “Bibi’s Savvy Tactics?”

  1. That is the difference between a politician and a statesmen. Bibi has learned his lessons from the past and he is today a very good politician: doing very well to promote his own interests and his popularity with his constituency. He is, though, a poor statesmen, neglecting to advance any of Israel’s long term interests.

  2. Excellent point, Boaz. So I’ve tended to think of the similarities between Netanyahu I and II in terms of discomfort with US-led peace process. But you point out an important area of change.

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