Friday, June 04, 2010

Countdown on Netanyahu?

Nehemia Shtrasler is the economics editor for Haaretz, the independent newspaper published in Tel Aviv and often called the New York Times of Israel. Today he published a piece which was not translated for the English language version of either the print paper or the English web site. A few choice passages:

If anyone feels that our international standing has gotten worse and someone else thinks that we are behaving like a suicidal country - think again.

For behold - the Prime Minister says that all the criticism we are receiving due to the brutal seizure of the
Marmara is nothing other than "international hypocrisy." And Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says that the guilt for the entire incident lies with the Turks, who sent the ship...

Two days ago Netanyahu appeared on television in a delusional speech before the nation. This was a personal defensive speech of the lowest level imaginable. Netanyahu spoke about our obligation to prevent the entrance of arms and rockets into Gaza, as if that is what the debate is about. The question is instead over the method, over the lack of planning, over the arrogance, over the scarcity of intelligence, over the miserable management, over the fact that no one seemed to take into account the price Israel would pay for a brutal seizure leading to deaths, and over the danger into which commandos were thrust without knowing the ambush awaiting them.

About this colossal failure Netanyahu did not say a word. In his familiar way, he continued to frighten the Israeli nation with "an Iranian port that will arise in Gaza."

But today it is clear that if anyone is hastening the arrival of an Iranian port in Gaza, it is Netanyahu himself. His failures are leading now to a second Goldstone Commission, which will investigate the event and arrive at severe conclusions, which will likely result this time in the demand that the blockade be lifted from Gaza, including the military blockade.
Netanyahu, who says that from our perspective, "security is above all else" is the one who is most damaging the security of Israel. In a year and a quarter he has succeeded in turning a country which was a strategic ally of Israel into a bitter enemy. By his own hand Netanyahu has thrown Turkey into the arms of Iran and Syria, with no possibility of repairing the damage...
To great astonishment, Netanyahu has succeeded in harming even the subject that is dear to his heart - the Iranian atomic threat...

The dangerous new low of Israel's international status teaches something about the beginning of the countdown on the Netanyahu regime. Thus it was in his earlier round ('96-'99). The beginning of the demise came about as a result of his successful scuttling of the Oslo Accords and a return to fire and rifles. Thus he became despised by the Clinton administration and the governments of Europe.

One can hope that this time it will not stretch out 3 years. The danger is too great.

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