Photo: AFP
PM Netanyahu. 'Go in peace and return in peace – and maybe even bring peace'
Photo: AFP
Eitan Haber

8 tips for Netanyahu as he meets Obama

Op-ed: Eitan Haber offers PM Netanyahu some advice ahead of his US trip, meeting with Obama: Ignore rabbis, remember US support.

Oh, America: Once again you're off to America. It's wise and sensible to maintain our relations with the world power which is supporting us diplomatically, economically and in terms of security. Some are referring to this week's trip as "decisive." Don't worry, it's not. They will call the next trip "critical" and the following one "historical." But we know that won't happen. Indeed, you've gone a long way in the negotiations, and you are no longer in the same camp as Moshe Feiglin and Tzipi Hotovely, but you still don't believe Abbas and the Palestinians, and as long as that's the case – none of your trips to the US will be decisive, critical or historical.



Rabbis: It was reported that last weekend prominent rabbis sent you a letter imploring you to stand tall and not to give up on parts of the homeland. Here is a piece of advice: Call Ezra Seidoff, your deputy director. He is very familiar with the cellars of the Prime Minister's Office, with the cabinets and mainly with the drawers. Ask him to put the letter in one of those drawers, like you did with previous and other letters. America is more important than the rabbis. May the letter rest in peace.


With God's help: Continue asking Gil Shefer or Natan Eshel to provide you with Bible verses for your speeches. The rabbis and their friends like these quotes. But you have been sitting in the prime minister's bureau for enough years to know that the Shema Yisrael (Hear, O Israel) and Etzu Etza Vetufar ("give advice and it will be foiled") prayers have yet to save the life of a single Israeli soul. The American Phantom jets, on the other hand, for example during the Yom Kippur War, have saved the lives of thousands of Israelis.


Concern: Don't worry, the US president is well aware of your difficulty to make decisions, perhaps rightfully so. You and we know: Your decision on the Palestinians could be, perhaps, the second most important one after Ben-Gurion's decision to establish the State of Israel. America has time. It has waited 47 years since the Six-Day War. It will wait some more. You should also start thinking about the jubilee celebrations of that war. Do you remember how you met Ehud Barak on the tank? Oh, that wasn't you.


A real man: The American president has known for a long time that you are the messenger of an ancient nation that has experienced much suffering, which not give in, and will not grovel, and will not beg. So you shouldn't give a damn about him. Like MK David Rotem and his friends at the Knesset, show him who you are and what we are. And don't forget to telephone the Air Force commander afterwards and explain to him what will happen if his planes are grounded due to lack of spare parts.


Use your teeth: Remember the standing ovation Menachem Begin received when he informed the cheeky Americans in a Congress address that Israel was giving up on the economic aid. And most importantly, you should also remember that the Israelis have a short memory. They don't know to this very day that in return for that courteous concession we got generous compensation in security aid "on account." Take this opportunity to instruct the economy leaders remaining in Israel to equip themselves with water bottles. They will also help them wake up after they faint when they hear about your generosity.


Herzl: In the AIPAC conference, speak to the attendees as if each of them was Theodor Herzl. They deserve a lot. It’s also not their fault that the current US president tends "not to give damn" about them. It's not your policy against the White House which is burdening AIPAC's activity. It wasn't them either who attended a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in Jerusalem. By the way, who is Mitt Romney? Where has he disappeared to?


Decision: If you still decide to do something for an agreement with the Palestinians, don't reveal your decisions. Use worn out words like "painful concessions." Speak about your father's home, about Jabotinsky, about "Am Yisrael Chai" and about "forevermore." It works great. And if you decide to take even the smallest step towards the Palestinians, call the head of the Shin Bet's VIP protection unit. If only you won't need him and his people.


Go in peace and return in peace – and perhaps you'll even bring peace?


פרסום ראשון: 03.03.14, 00:19
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