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Hanoch Daum Photo: Rafi Deloya
Hanoch Daum Photo: Rafi Deloya
 
 

Give Bibi some credit

Obama got carried away, while Netanyahu managed crisis responsibly

Hanoch Daum
Published: 03.21.10, 18:03 / Israel Opinion

Part 1 of analysis

 

At one point last week, it appeared that the only person around here to maintain some sort of balanced perspective is a 14-year-old child, who happens to be the prime minister’s son.

 

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After winning the national Bible Quiz, PM Netanyahu’s son was not confused or overly passionate, modestly and shyly declaring that in his view, the real winner is the Book of Books, which will remain here long after people remember who won the quiz and when.

 

There was something comforting in the fact that a young person of all people managed to put things in a reasonable perspective and provide an inspiring insight, on a week when everyone here competed with each other over whose vision is more focused on the short-term.

 

There was something almost amusing in the differences we saw this past week between the Prime Minister’s Office’s conduct and the exaggerated zeal of its many critics.

 

While many of Netanyahu’s critics stood up and yelled, and screamed, and bemoaned our terrible situation, almost going as far as urging us to pack up and move way, officials around the prime minister maintained their silence. The PM’s Office, which has been criticized by everyone quite a bit, did not rage and did not blame anyone; it also refrained from issuing a plethora of media statements.

 

Aesthetic sin; substantive punishment

Meanwhile, the forum of top seven government ministers also convened, without leaking anything from its discussions. We got the sense that someone is managing this crisis responsibly and by maintaining the right perspective, while other people are covering it based on a sense of complete vertigo.

 

Many people, including Americans, agree that President Obama got carried away. Even those who believe, like I do, that the metaphorical hands of the official who signed the construction permits during Biden’s visit need to be cut off, must admit that there is a limit to the panic that can be produced over wrong timing.

 

Israel’s sin was an aesthetic one. Yet the punishment the US sought to impose on us was a substantive one. There is something disconnected from reality, exaggerated, and disproportional in the Obama Administration’s attempt to pounce at the Israeli mishap and attempt to use it in order to prompt a statutory change in Jerusalem’s status.

 

Part 2 will be published Sunday night

 

 

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