netanyahu - Emil Salman - October 12 2010
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Photo by Emil Salman
Text size
related tags

Several months ago, at the 100th birthday celebrations for his father Benzion, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that the centenarian had predicted the events of September 11, 2001 in the early 1990s. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister's Office announced that Netanyahu himself had predicted the collapse of the Chilean copper and gold mine, where 33 miners had been trapped for 69 days until their ultimate rescue.

On topics such as the Middle East peace process, the settlement freeze, or recent inflammatory remarks by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the Prime Minister's Office has kept consistently mum. However, when the rescue of the Chilean miners became the headline of the day, the Prime Minister's Office chose to bring quotes from Netanyahu's book, published 23 years ago, to the public's attention.

It is not clear whether it was Netanyahu himself who asked his office to publicize the quotes, but it is very likely that he approved their release.

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the rescue of the Chilean miners today that it was one of those rare moments of elation," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement Wednesday, adding that "the entire world has been moved by this human act of saving miners trapped in the belly of the earth. We extend our blessings and the blessing of the people of Israel to the Chilean nation and to everyone who assisted in the rescue."

The statement goes on to mention that "Netanyahu predicted such an event – a mine disaster – in his book Terrorism: How the West can win from 1987." Quotes from the book were sent to reporters in addition to a scanned page from the actual volume.

In his book, Netanyahu described a possible mine disaster, saying that even though only a handful of miners may be trapped, the entire world's attention would be riveted to their welfare "for a long time." He explained his argument, saying that it would not only be the intense media coverage of such an event that would turn people's attention to the event, but every individual's private feeling that it could be him or her trapped in a similar situation.