Too confident? Netanyahu
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Lesson in arrogance

Op-ed: Bibi brags about no-war term, but Grad missile on kindergarten can change everything

The fascinating turnarounds in the US election campaign should have been an important lesson in humility for Likud, but instead the ruling party's arrogance is reaching new heights. It has learned nothing from the sad case of Obama, who in one debate managed to lose his significant lead in the polls.


The Likud's campaign is being conducted like a victory party. The Knesset has just disbanded, but at Likud headquarters people are already discussing which party member will serve as the next finance minister.


I'm sorry, but who promised you that you will form the next government? The pundits? They're only pundits, not the entire voting public. The pollsters? Polls taken ahead of general elections in Israel have been wrong on quite a few occasions. Benjamin Netanyahu himself was considered the frontrunner in the '99 elections and ended up losing to Ehud Barak.


While it's hard to imagine a scenario in which Netanyahu loses the January 22 vote, this does not mean that it is not possible. Fact: A short time after Netanyahu declared early elections, Moshe Kahlon, the minister for reduced cell phone prices, resigned. Who knows what other glitches will occur before the elections. Three months is a long time in a country that is known for producing a lot of news. Here, anything can happen from one day to the next.


Oddly enough, Netanyahu is to blame for his party's overconfident approach. Instead of motivating his camp and stressing that nothing is certain, his conduct is causing his people to become apathetic. During his boastful speech at the Knesset's dissolution session, the prime minister noted his economic achievements in a dramatic fashion and painted an unrealistic picture of Israel's security situation. "We've canceled the policy of restraint," he said, while Israel is paralyzed on the Gaza front.


Netanyahu also took pride in the fact that Israel was not engaged in any wars during his term and mocked Olmert's "unnecessary wars." If, God forbid, a Grad missile explodes in a southern kindergarten tomorrow, Netanyahu will be forced to launch an Operation Cast Lead of his own – so why brag?


The public has a tendency to be impressed by charisma, but charisma is not arrogance or euphoria, it is mostly humility. Netanyahu would be wise to tone down the self-adulation before the polls open.



פרסום ראשון: 10.24.12, 10:45
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