I’m not sure if it was after I heard reports that Joe Biden was thinking of appointing Hillary Clinton UN ambassador – a relatively junior post for someone who was almost president of the United States – but when I read about the international campaign against Effi Eitam’s candidacy to become Yad Vashem chairman, the idea occurred to me: Why not have Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Yad Vashem chairman?
At first thought, it sounds like a joke. Netanyahu is only at the start of his term – okay, it’s his fifth term, and true, he sure acts like someone determined to remain in his position at all costs. And, yeah, chairman of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance center, is a swell job, but some might see it as a demotion: How could a former prime minister become the director of an institution?
I can’t deny there’s something to that. Still, Netanyahu is no ordinary prime minister and Yad Vashem is no ordinary institution. We shouldn’t be stuck in our old ways. The world has changed. If Clinton becomes the UN ambassador it won’t detract from her stature, but just the opposite: The position of UN ambassador will be enhanced and the United Nations will regain its former glory.
Between us, the historian’s son is really living history, so much so that it often seems he’s getting lost in time and remembering events that happened before he was born. What he wouldn’t give to deliver a speech at the Munich Conference – just imagine the PowerPoint presentation he would have prepared for them. Five minutes with Chamberlain and history as we know it would be history.
Who better than “the protector of Israel” who, unlike those folks during the Holocaust, spots the danger in time, to be put in charge of commemorating the Shoah and ensuring that its legacy is passed on to future generations? When you think about it, it would simply mean shifting between one branch and another, from the executive branch to the commemorative branch. Netanyahu could turn Yad Vashem into the memory lab of the Jewish people; that would help preserve the people just as much as memory.
If a truly suitable position could be found for Netanyahu, it might make it easier for him to loosen his grip on power. Of course, placing a senior official like Netanyahu is no easy task, but with a little thinking outside the box, a position where he could really shine can be found. There are other jobs out there that aren’t being exploited to their full potential and where a person like Netanyahu could accomplish a real revolution.
Just try it out and see how it sounds: Jewish Agency Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu. Boom. In my mind I see the first Jewish digital currency. Or what about chairman of the International Monetary Fund? Show me somebody who wouldn’t want a piece of the huge success of Netanyahu the financial genius! Even better: Imagine Netanyahu as UN secretary-general.
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But if you ask his wife, if all were right with the world, the ideal position for Netanyahu would be president of the United States. Alas, the world is messed up, and to be president of the United States, you need to have been born there. This is a problem but not the end of the world. If the door to control over America is locked, try going in through the window of AIPAC. Mor Loushy’s documentary “Kings of Capitol Hill” leaves no doubt that, behind the scenes, the AIPAC chairman directs U.S. policy on Israel, even the whole Middle East and further afield.
The geographic distance prevents Israel from becoming the 51st state, but in a world where humans are on the way to merging with machines, where people will live on the moon and vacation on Mars, why quibble over the 11,000 kilometers that separate Israel from America? Think what the world will look like when Netanyahu heads AIPAC. The sky is only the limit for losers.