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Photo: Amit Shabi
Netanyahu. A regular pattern in his public conduct
Photo: Amit Shabi
Shimon Shiffer
Why do we keep believing Netanyahu?
Op-ed: Every time the prime minister convinces Israel's citizens of the rightness of his moves, he backtracks on them. The same could happen with his Congress speech.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to convince me that the Israel Prize is handed out in the "one member brings another member" method – leftists handing out the prize to their fellow leftists.

 

He promised us that he would change the system, writing on Facebook: The selection must be "more balanced than before."

 

 

Netanyahu is right. It's time to clean up the deceptive method that has taken over our lives, says the concerned citizen, the ultimate supporter. We must clean up everything taking place here: The government system which gives leftists a share of the cake controlling the reality of ourselves, a more decent resource distribution. Everything.

 

And after Netanyahu managed to convince the convinced citizen, the latter was amazed to hear over the weekend that the prime minister had accepted the attorney general's directive and decided to backtrack on the dismissal of the Israel Prize judges and practice the required restraint during the election campaign. The judges are now supposed to pull their resignation and the candidates are supposed to prepare their suits for the ceremony.

 

And now seriously, without intending to change anything fundamental in the things you read here: Netanyahu shouldn't surprise us. It happens to us all the time with him, and I am referring to a regular pattern in his public conduct.

 

Just like he didn't want Reuven Rivlin as president and worked to change the rules of the game to the point of considering cancelling the presidency, while crushing everything that has been fixed in our political way of life, he eventually got Rivlin. Just like he didn’t want Karnit Flug as the Bank of Israel governor and searched for candidates around the world instead of her, he eventually got Flug.

 

At the same time, Netanyahu's conduct is blatant and odd on strategic issues as well. Let's take Iran's drive for a nuclear weapon, for example. Netanyahu declared that this is an existential danger as far as Israel is concerned, not to mention a danger to the regional stability – which will affect the fate of the "moderate" Arab countries and spur a nuclear arms race in the entire region.

 

The prime minister implied that as far as he was concerned, Israel would act alone, with all the means at its disposal, in order to remove the Iranian threat.

 

Bibi, the concerned citizen will say, you have managed to convince me. You have convinced me so much, that even if we have to live in residential secure spaces, in fortified rooms, and even if we are required to pay the highest price – our lives – we are behind you all the way. And yet Iran is about to turn, before our eyes, into a state with a nuclear weapon.

 

And what about us? Netanyahu is going to Washington, in spite of President Barack Obama's objection, to address the two houses of Congress. A speech, instead of removing the threat. A speech at the expense of our special relationship with America.

 

And now, imagine that after Netanyahu managed to convince us of the rightness of his defying move against the Obama administration, after we already agreed that it is his duty to travel to the end of the world in order to defend us – imagine that in a short while from now the Prime Minister's Office will issue a statement saying that he has decided to accept the appeals he received from every possible person and not to go to Washington.

 

What about us, the convinced citizens? Netanyahu will once again leave us all wet in the rain, without an umbrella, without a shelter from the storm. And we believed him. And he always leaves us amazed over the fact that we fail to learn the lesson and keep believing him.

 

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