One term too many
Begin, Shamir, Peres, the state's architects, the greatest strategists, never lasted more than two terms.
If I were superstitious, I would write that someone up there is warning us against Benjamin Netanyahu being elected for a third term as prime minister. No, isn't a tsunami, nor a typhoon, but the storm is strong enough to paralyze our lives, close down roads and cause long electricity failures.
On the second day of the storm, U.S. President Barak Obama appointed Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, and the Jewish lobby immediately got on its hind legs, in its effort to derail the appointment. Was Bibi that active in support of the Republicans that he deserved to receive Hagel in the Pentagon? Obama supporters promise the Jews that Hagel never was and never will be anti-Israeli. Did that calm Netanyahu? Maybe.
In any case, one can count on Obama, in his second and last term, to put America's interests first. So will Hagel. Still, senior officials are sensitive. When they feel they're insulted there is a price.
And why did Ehud Barak pop up to defend Hagel? Does that mean that after retiring from politics, he still plans on returning to the Defense Ministry for another term under Netanayahu?
We live in a puzzling era, and the most puzzling and disturbing question is how on earth our prime minister is about to be elected for a third term? Begin, Shamir, Peres, the state's architects, the greatest strategists, never lasted more than two terms. Netanyahu, who was severely beaten at the ballots after his first term, and only just managed to secure a second term due to Tzipi Livni's failure, is so sure of himself that he opted to call an early election to secure his third term.
Netantyahu's trick in order to bewitch the public into voting for him is to present a real or pretended threat. The idea is based on the notion that the more the public is afraid, the more it will be convinced that only Netanyahu can save the state. So, what about his promise to choose the two state solution? Well, it was just a promise.
When head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan, retired he openly criticized Netanyahu's wish to attack Iran, and called it a dangerous gamble. Within seconds, he was transformed within Netanyahu's circles from yesterday's legendary hero to a hostile factor.
Recently, former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, who could boast significant successes in his term, also slammed Barak and Netanyahu. In an interview to Yedioth Ahronoth he said that he and his staff never trusted Barak and Netanyahu's ability to lead a move against Iran. "We didn't trust their people's motives… their personal and opportunistic interests preceded national interests… Netanyahu is afraid, he backtracks and shirks responsibility… this is a crisis of leadership and reeks of contempt to the public's interest… Israeli upgraded Hamas' standing and humiliated Mahmoud Abbas. Netanyahu's moves further damaged the chances still left for peace."
Diskin's description of how Netanyahu and Barak smoked cigars and drank whiskey in the halls of the Mossad during an important meeting with senior officers stole the headlines and caused critical reactions to the interview. One immediately recalls how Barak quipped that in the middle of a government meeting during the second Lebanon war, Haim Ramon found the time to kiss a soldier.
Churchill led Britain in WWII while smoking a cigar and drinking whiskey, while Golda Meir humbly prepared tea for her guests in her little kitchen, and still wasn't aware that a war was about to break out.
Diskin, too, like Dagan, warned against the implications of a strike against Iran. Indeed, the prime minister is the senior commander of the security forces, and he is the one who calls the shots. And, of course, one should never encourage a coup, but it is important, at this moment, that all those who were in a position to know firsthand the possible consequences of a politician aiming for a third term should speak up.
Maybe all those who are still drunk with Netanyahu's glory, will awaken, before he brings disaster upon us all.