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Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
Bibi's ill-advised request
Op-ed: PM should have anticipated public's response to his request to change investment portfolio

The citizens of the asylum that is the State of Israel have seen it all, heard it all and been through it all. It seems as though nothing can surprise us.

 

In another country, Finland for instance, the recent events that have occurred in Israel would have filled the pages of history. What happens in Israel in one week can provide work for the next five generations of historians in Helsinki.

 

This week it was reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned to a special committee in the State Comptrollers Office and requested permission to make changes to his private investment portfolio. This important requirement dissuades people with authority from being tempted to invest according to information only they are privy to.

 

In any normal country such an event would not have attracted any attention, but we, of course, are not normal: As soon as the report was published people began to wonder 'what does Bibi know that we don't?' Is he trying to sell portions of his portfolio because he knows an attack on Iran is nearing and he fears a decline in value - just like that story about former IDF chief Dan Halutz at the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War? What is he buying? What is he selling? And why?'

 

Make no mistake, this is not corruption. So what's wrong with this picture? The problem is that none of Netanyahu's aides asked him: 'Why should you revise your portfolio? Why now? It's obvious that people will automatically assume the worst and you'll have to explain yourself.'

 

Netanyahu, for his part, should have realized that the timing is bad; that it would be ill-advised to play around with his investment portfolio at a time when he has to deal with reports of an imminent recession, coalition problems and the Iranian-orchestrated terror attack on Israeli tourists in Burgas. He should have anticipated the public's reaction to such a request.

 

Citizen Bibi is allowed to do things that Prime Minister Netanyahu isn't. You are a prime minister, don't deal with you portfolio, especially during such crazy times.

 

 

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