Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. A dreamer?
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Elyakim Haetzni
Photo: Dan Balilti

Stage actor Netanyahu

Op-ed: One can’t help but wonder whether Bibi lies, or ‘merely’ plays a role like an actor

I’m pessimistic and fear that at the end of the day the spin doctors from here and there will invent a formula that would grant the politicians the excuse to approve the freeze (note: In the media such development is considered “optimistic.”)


For the time being, freeze objectors draw some optimism from seeing Netanyahu’s colorful bubbles evaporating. A Channel 7 journalist reported that his questions at the State Department and White House on whether the US pledged not to ask for more than a three-month freeze, not to include Jerusalem in the moratorium, and impose a veto on anti-Israeli decisions were met with a vigorous denial of such commitments.


A media report quoting a “senior US Administration official” claimed the opposite: The US is explicitly demanding a freeze in Jerusalem as well. Here, the prime minister was forced to admit that there is no US commitment in respect to Jerusalem, and that the issue was not discussed in New York.


However, he immediately added: “Construction in Jerusalem shall continue as it was.” As it was? It’s been a year where he personally has banned any construction. Eventually it also turned out that the gift of 20 stealth aircraft was an invention, and that their purchase was offered to us to begin with.


So do we have here a Netanyahu fabrication, disproven when he had to prove it in writing, or did the Americans change their mind?


To the Americans’ credit, Netanyahu insists on continuing to market the freeze, even after the gift package had been proven empty. A good-faith seller who discovers that he wasn’t paid would call off the deal.


Is Bibi a dreamer?

So who is our prime minister – a dreamer who lives in a world of illusions and who can make do with talking about Jerusalem construction, while in essence construction is frozen? One who demands US agreement to a declared end to the freeze after 90 days, yet pledges to only allow symbolic construction in practice? Is this his way to create a false impression, or dare we ask, is he lying to us?


In October 2006, the Knesset held a session on the fifth anniversary of Minister Rechavam Ze’evi’s murder. PM Netanyahu delivered a speech where he praised Ze’evi responsibility and decency. “At times he would walk over to me before or after a government session and say that he doesn’t agree with such and such step, but proposes that I do A and not B…in the government, he was a very practical and responsible man.”


Only in reality Ze’evi never served in Netanyahu’s government, and therefore he could not have walked over “before or after government sessions.” Everything Netanyahu “recalled” was merely a product of his imagination.


Those who wish to support Netanyahu would say that he is not lying, but rather, playing a role like an actor on stage; an actor who plays the role of Julius Caesar or Hamlet is not lying, but merely putting on a show. If he’s a good actor who identifies with the role, he would draw more applause. And this leads us to wonder: Perhaps the benefit package from America is just a show?


Given the growing contradictions between Netanyahu’s declarations and the facts, and between his promises and their delivery, one wonders: Is he in touch with reality? And are the prime minister’s words a lie or imagination, malicious deception or “just” a game?” And most importantly: Which option is more dangerous?




פרסום ראשון: 11.22.10, 11:05
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