Bibi, Gone Rogue
From David Remnick in the New Yorker:
It is hard to overestimate the risks that Benjamin Netanyahu poses to the future of his own country. As Prime Minister, he has done more than any other political figure to embolden and elevate the reactionary forces in Israel, to eliminate the dwindling possibility of a just settlement with the Palestinians, and to isolate his country on the world diplomatic stage. Now Netanyahu seems determined, more than ever, to alienate the President of the United States and, as an ally of Mitt Romney’s campaign, to make himself a factor in the 2012 election—one no less pivotal than the most super Super PAC. “Who are you trying to replace?” the opposition leader, Shaul Mofaz, asked of Netanyahu in the Knesset on Wednesday. “The Administration in Washington or that in Tehran?”
Last month, Mofaz also accused Netanyahu of waging “an extensive and relentless PR campaign with the sole objective of preparing the ground for a premature military adventure.”
“Mr. prime minister,” he continued, “you’re creating panic. You are trying to frighten us and terrify us. And in truth – we are scared: scared by your lack of judgment, scared that you both lead and don’t lead, scare that you are executing a dangerous and irresponsible policy.”
At this point, Netanyahu seems to have gone rogue, with even his loyal Defense Minister Ehud Barak dialing back the war rhetoric considerably. If Bibi has allies left inside Israel, they are fewer and fewer by the day.
What’s most troubling is that Netanyahu’s clear attempts to fiddle with the US election, using Israeli sway to push the election of a more submissive and hawkish Republican in place of Obama, does not seem to be bothering many Americans. Deference to Israel is so embedded in our politics at the superficial level, that nobody even notices.