WHICH IS the real Netanyahu?
- Bibi the weakling, the invertebrate, who always gives in to pressure, who zigzags to the left and to the right, depending whether the pressure comes from the US or from his coalition partners?
- The tricky Likud chief, who is afraid that Avigdor Ivett Lieberman might succeed in pushing him towards the Center and displace him as the leader of the entire Right?
- Netanyahu, the man of principle, who is determined to prevent at any cost the setting up of the State of Palestine, and is therefore using every possible ruse to sabotage real negotiations?
The real Netanyahu stand up!
Hey, wait a minute, what's going on here? Do I see all three of them rising?
THE FIRST Netanyahu is the one who meets the eye. A leaf in the wind. The con man without principles and with plenty of tricks, whose sole aim is to survive in power. This Netanyahu practically invites pressure on himself.
Barack Obama pressured him, so he agreed to the settlement freeze -- or the perceived settlement freeze. In order to avoid a crisis with the settlers, he promised them that, after the agreed ten months, the construction boom would be resumed with full vigor.
The settlers pressured him, and he did indeed resume the building at the appointed time, in spite of the intense pressure from Obama, who pushed for an extension of the moratorium for another two months. Why two months? Because the congressional elections take place on November 2, and Obama desperately needs to avoid a crisis with the Jewish establishment before that. For this end, he is ready to sell Netanyahu the whole inventory -- arms, money, political support, a set of guarantees about the outcome of the negotiations that have not yet even begun. Sixty days! sixty days! my kingdom for sixty days!
Netanyahu is now zigzagging between these pressures, trying to find out which is the stronger, which one to give in to, how much and when. In his dreams he probably feels like the Baron von Munchhausen, who found himself on a narrow path, with a lion behind him getting ready to spring and a crocodile in front of him opening its awesome jaws. (If I remember right, the baron ducked and the lion jumped straight into the jaws of the reptile.)
This is the great hope of Netanyahu. AIPAC will help to deliver Obama a crushing defeat in the elections, Obama will deliver a crushing blow to the settlers, and Baron von Netanyahu will rub his hands and survive to fight another day.
Is this the real Netanyahu? For sure.
BUT THE second Netanyahu is no less real. This is Tricky Bibi who is trying to out-fox Tricky Ivett.
Lieberman astounded the UN General Assembly, when, as the Foreign Minister of Israel, he addressed this august body from the rostrum. Because our Foreign Minister did not rise to defend the policies of his country, as did his colorless colleagues. Quite the opposite: from the UN rostrum he vigorously attacked the policy of his own government, giving it short shrift.
The official policy of the Government of Israel is to conduct direct negotiations with the Palestinian leadership, in order to achieve a final peace treaty within one year.