This is a cross post from Marc Goldberg’s Times of Israel blog
After years of selling US politicians down the river, years of perfectly timing announcements of settlement growth to the arrival in Israel of US diplomats, Bibi now you are on the receiving end. And you deserve to be.
I assume that you are surprised by the words President Obama spoke to Bloomberg where he took the surprising step of saying what he really thinks. Only you could be surprised. In your arrogance you thought you could interfere in US politics as much as you wanted without it coming back to bite you. Did you think AIPAC would protect you? Did you think they could? Perhaps you have forgotten the difference between a lobby and the President.
You are the perfect example of the man who wins the battle and in doing so loses the war. You like process, you like the idea of a never ending peace process that you can drag on and on until the other side walks away. You like never having to actually make a decision, you like calling for unity…as long as it’s unity behind you.
But you don’t like making decisions. You don’t like doing anything that might affect your image of yourself as a leader beloved by all. So you will cling on, by your fingernails, to your non-policies. You won’t give the Left the peace treaty they wish for with the Palestinians and you won’t give the Right what they want by annexing any of the West Bank. You will keep walking that tightrope even when it is cut at both ends by the people who have had enough of your weight dragging it to the ground.
A real leader isn’t someone who is universally popular, a real leader is someone who is prepared to endanger their own popularity in the pursuance of their principles. But you don’t have any of those do you? When Ben Gurion sank the Altalena he knew it would polarize the country but he did it anyway, when Begin began settlement building in earnest, when he signed the peace with Egypt and withdrew the settlements in the Sinai, when he invaded Lebanon, he knew that these measures would alienate different parts of society but he did them anyway. Agree with these measures or disagree these are the measures of leaders who put what they think is best for the country above personal popularity.
You who prizes process over endgame, who builds settlements while negotiating their removal, who calls for a committee to investigate problems when hundreds of thousands are marching on the streets. You who oversaw landmark legislation on conscription only to ensure the deferment of punishment for failure to obey the new laws. You aren’t all things to all people, you’re nothing to any of us.
You deserve the abuse you receive from the leader of the most powerful country in the world. A country we need far more than needs us. You deserve everything you get from Obama but we don’t. We deserve better, we deserve a leader who is prepared to make the tough decisions for the good of the country rather than one is interested only in his own decaying cult of personality.
I’m sure you’ll get plenty of applause from AIPAC, I’m sure that while your ship sinks into the deep waters of obscurity you’ll be played off by an orchestra. In the meantime we’ll already have drowned, trapped below deck with no way of escape.
The people of Israel deserve better!