In a Moment of Euphoria, Netanyahu Made a Very Revealing Slipup

Amid all the unforgettable statements made between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the prime minister said one thing which explains all our troubles.

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Netanyahu during a news conference in Milan, Italy, August 27, 2015.Credit: Reuters
Yossi Sarid

This newspaper, too, did year-end roundups, including one on the “most unforgettable quotes of 5775.” It wasn’t a particularly brilliant list. Even without “opinions,” celebrities here turn into “makers.”

Judy Shalom Nir Mozes tweeted; so what. Pnina Rosenblum and Rani Rahav did their duty; who cares. We’re still here with MK Oren Hazan as the head of the entertainment committee, and with Danny Danon, who stole everyone’s punch line of the year: “If we could invent a robotic spaceship in the shape of a dinosaur, with two female Israeli astronauts inside, we’ll be able to reach a safe place.” And Netanyahu heard that it was good, and immediately sent him from outer space to the United Nations.

The day will come that a historian will examine the list and come to the conclusion that it was a lean year, one that can be skipped. It was not. Toward the end, actually, after the Rosh Hashanah supplements went to press, the horses and donkeys came out with some important statements, without which 5775 would be incomplete; today’s column will complete it.

Thus spake the minister of defense, and his remarks have not yet been “seared into the consciousness”: “We know who burned the Dawabsheh family, but we cannot prosecute them because of the sensitivity of the sources.” That’s our Bogie, who was never considered the most guided and accurate weapon in the arsenal, and who even as a dairyman on the kibbutz would entertain the cows to increase their milk yield.

Did you get that? It takes great effort to build an intelligence source, so it would be a pity to blow his cover. His immunity also gives the murderers immunity. Bogie knows, and that should suffice. That’s why we included him in “the list of the most unforgettable quotes”; we shall not forget.

And thus spake the prime minister, after the Knesset passed the natural-gas regulatory framework agreement and the account book for 5775 was closed: “This is a big day for Israel. We are eliminating one obstacle after another, we passed the framework in the cabinet, and now in the Knesset, with a decisive majority. There is one more obstacle, but you know me: When I want something, I get it.” Then he applauded himself, like Ceausescu at a parade in his honor.“You know me” – yes, do we ever, and it is not always “a pleasure.” This time he took the words out of our mouth. Isn’t that what we’ve been saying all these years?

If he only wanted. If he only wanted “negotiations with no preconditions,” he would not build settlements on top of the ruins. If he truly wanted “two states,” he would not be working so diligently on establishing a single apartheid state. If he wanted to get a better deal with Iran, not to argue with the watchman; to serve the interests of his state, and not the political whims of his benefactors; to apprehend the “price tag” perpetrators and their masters, and not only to bang his fist on the table. If he truly sought the welfare of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, and not the welfare of Habayit Hayehudi and its cabinet members.

And had he wanted to rescue Israel’s foreign relations, rather than thumbing his nose, he wouldn’t have appointed Ron Dermer as ambassador to the United States, Danny Danon to the UN, Dani Dayan to Brazil and Fiamma Nirenstein as ambassador to Italy. If only, if only, but he does not want to, what are you going to do?

From his positive, one can deduce his negative: Yes to Sheldon Adelson, yes to Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel and their rabbis, yes to Yitzhak Tshuva, to Noble Energy and its formation of capital. No to Barack Obama and Israel’s friends in the Democratic Party, no to Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab peace initiative, no to the homeless and to young families.

In a single moment of euphoria, the picture snaps into focus: It is all in accordance with his will, as he himself admitted: “When I want something...” All at once, all their excuses disappeared: No more “governability issues," “crappy voting system,” “small, blackmailing parties,” and just one problem remains: Benjamin Netanyahu is the problem.

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