I was a fly on the wall when Benjamin Netanyahu picked up the phone to the Pfizer CEO:
How Bibi pushed a 4th election and 3rd lockdown, and how we exposed his secret flights. LISTEN
Bibi: ‘Hello, dear Albert, we need four million doses of the vaccine.’
CEO: “Well, the regular price is $19 a dose, but for you it’ll be $29, because you didn’t pre-order. Send me a check, I don’t have time to chat, the whole world is calling.”
Bibi: “Thank you, thank you very much. I suggest that we pay $39. The money’s not a problem. It’s not mine, and anyway we have no budget and no spending limit. The only thing I care about is getting this out to the media quickly.”
CEO: “I want you to know that I’ve never had a customer offer a higher price than I asked for, but okay, we’ve got a deal for $39 in cash per dose.”
And then, as soon as he got off the phone, Bibi rushed to the nearest television studio, where he told how he’d been toiling away day and night, practically spitting blood, until at the last moment he came up with an incredible solution: paying double the price for the same merchandise. Twice what Europe paid.
In his self-congratulatory speeches about the vaccines, Netanyahu also forgets to mention the tens of millions that he poured down the drain in the Biological Institute in Nes Ziona. He visited the place, had his picture taken, proclaimed that the results were very promising and that we were on the brink of having a highly effective Israeli vaccine. And gullible folks believed him. This is the great strength of the arch-scoundrel, who at this point barely remembers where Nes Tziona is.
- Israel enters third nationwide coronavirus lockdown
- The existential question of no importance: Bibi or Gidi
- A good word for Netanyahu, for a change
So it’s ridiculous to praise the heroic “operation” to obtain vaccines behind enemy lines under fire. And it’s even more ridiculous to grovel before Bibi, to flatter him and sing his praises (“A good word for Netanyahu, for a change,” Gideon Levy, December 27).
The vaccine is the cornerstone of Netanyahu’s strategy to win the upcoming election. His plan has four stages.
Stage 1. An extended lockdown, preferably until February 4, the date for submitting electoral slates. During this period of a little over a month, Bibi will rule the airwaves. He will make frequent appearances to comment on the lockdown, the infection rate and the vaccines, and slip in some election propaganda each time. This is a political lockdown that will lower the infection rate and deal a severe financial blow to the self-employed, business owners and the unemployed, who will plunge into the dark depths of huge losses and debts. The lockdown will also facilitate the postponement of his trial.
Stage 2. The vaccine. The main effort will be to quickly inoculate, within a month, all Israelis over 60 and those with preexisting illnesses. When that happens, there should be a significant drop in life-threatening cases of the disease, as 95 percent of the deaths from the coronavirus have occurred in people above age 60.
Stage 3. Declaring victory. In early February, Bibi will make his grand declaration of victory over the coronavirus. He will crow about how he saved us from the pandemic just as he saved us from Iran. He will forget all about how the pandemic wreaked havoc on us for 10 months because of his tendency to panic and give in to pressure. He won’t mention how he surrendered to the Haredim, how he failed to implement the traffic light plan, how he never dealt with the problems at the airport or in the Arab localities. He has one goal only: to get his trial canceled.
Stage 4. A new economic plan. Towards the middle of February, Bibi will announce a “new economic plan” designed to lift the private sector out of the gloomy depths and into the light. The plan will include the full reopening of commercial activity, hotels, restaurants and cultural venues. The catharsis will be huge. The gratitude will overflow. Songs will be sung in his honor. The “plan” he’ll present will consist entirely of a massive monetary giveaway – to the self-employed, to businesses, to the unemployed, for raises in the public sector, for larger grants to the local authorities, for industrialists, merchants, hoteliers, to the Haredim and the settlers. It will be the costliest election economics we’ve ever seen.
And then, on March 23, mesmerized by the arch-scoundrel, we’ll all run to the polls to pour out our thanks to the man who saved us from certain death. And Gideon Levy will be leading the way.