Photo: Motti Kimchi
'IDF provided Netanyahu with the public photo he so wanted to have his name on'
Photo: Motti Kimchi
Shimon Shiffer

Netanyahu's empty weapons display

Op-ed: PM was looking for his victory photo in light of miserable failure to recruit world against Iran.

"I instructed that the threat hanging over the heads of Israel's citizens be removed at any cost," Prime Minister Netanyahu declared Monday evening during the spectacular production of the display of the weapons hidden in the belly of the Klos-C ship at Eilat's military port.



There is no way to convince the convinced that the only principle guiding Netanyahu's move is not the desire to secure their safety. Or as the talkbackers write on different websites: "Bibi, have fun, enjoy every minute and continue making the Left and the media jealous."


And yet, allow me to suggest a different narrative of Netanyahu's conduct, especially in terms of the war over our consciousness. The prime minister spent four years preparing the public opinion for the possibility of Air Force jets attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. According to foreign reports, more than NIS 11 billion (about $3 billion) were taken from the state budget for the preparations ahead of the strike – which was eventually not executed.


Moreover, the world made a 180-degree turn in the completely opposite direction from the one Netanyahu tried to signal to his colleagues, the decision makers in the different capitals. The international community is in the midst of a negotiations process with Iran to rekindle the relations and bring Tehran back into the family of nations, in a way which will include curbing and supervising the effort to obtain a nuclear weapon.


'Celebration for the poor'

On Monday evening, instead of the real thing Netanyahu was pursuing – a violent disbandment of Iran and damage to its nuclear facilities – we watched yet another product of the bold actions, especially in terms of intelligence collection, which deserve every word of praise, of the intelligence community and naval commando soldiers – who took control of an old ship whose crew showed no resistance against the Israeli armada's raid.


To tell you the truth, it was a "celebration for the poor," and all that was left for Netanyahu was to unravel his tie, put on the dark jacket and point an accusing finger at the world's hypocrisy. The entire world is against us. True, the world is hypocritical. The world is looking for ways to solve issues in the international arena peacefully, without using force. But there are weighty reasons for that.


The memories from George W. Bush's appearance in 2003 against the backdrop of American warships, in which he declared victory in the second Iraq war, still gives the shivers over a war which ended in 10 years of wallowing in Iraq with thousands of dead soldiers and tens of thousands of injured ones. There are no happy wars.


Netanyahu, if I may guess, was looking for his victory photo in light of the miserable failure which will be associated with his name in the struggle to recruit the world against Iran's nukes – and the IDF provided him with the public photo he so wanted to have his name on.


A former senior defense establishment official, who watched the Eilat production scornfully on Monday, said the images of Netanyahu reminded him of a famous remark Winston Churchill made about Clement Atlee, who replaced him as Britain's prime minister: "An empty car pulled up in front of 10 Downing Street this morning, and Clement Atlee got out."


פרסום ראשון: 03.11.14, 19:08
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