Netanyahu is running scared...
The Mr Boumbastick of Israeli far right politics, Windbag Numero uno, the man who wins elections almost purely on strongman talk and empty promises, is at it again: watering down his own Manifesto. I think we can relax folks, there will be no bombing of Iran any time soon. And the peace process may be dead in the water but Netancescu is unlikely to completely torpedo and sink it. It seems to be more or less Bibi's MO past and present. And this time perhaps the cooling winds of change blowing from the Obama camp are dampening Mr Right's appetite for extremism...
Netanyahu, put your money where your mouth is By Gideon Levy
Why isn't Benjamin Netanyahu setting up a right-wing government? Why isn't he carrying out the voters' will to position the right wing in power? Why isn't he taking the opportunity that fell into his hands to form a government in tune with his doctrine?
Why is he talking about a broad coalition, knowing it would force him to compromise his principles? Because he is afraid. Now, at the moment of truth, when he has the ability to implement his ideology, he has gotten cold feet and wants to dilute his government with components that are alien to his doctrine.
Together with Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas, United Torah Judaism, Habayit Hayehudi and National Union - a majority of 65 Knesset members who are all distinctly far right - Netanyahu could carry out his political ideas. After all, the right wing always has answers for everything, a solution to every problem. So go for it, Netanyahu, go for it.
First, go for the economic peace. Let's see you obtain funding - from the Arab world and perhaps from Israel, too, especially in these economic times - to carry out the projects you promised. Persuade the Palestinians and Americans that this is enough. Let's see what happens after the first suicide attack in the industrial zone built on the outskirts of Nablus or behind Hebron.
Been there, done that. We've had industrial zones - so-called "peace parks" - in Erez, Tul Karm and Atarot. They stand abandoned, in ruins.
Why? Because they weren't enough for the Palestinians. Because the Palestinians understood the deception behind the approach that we give them work and they remain quiet. After all, Palestinians, like other nations, need not only bread but also freedom and self-definition. A weird sort of notion that Netanyahu's fathers also dreamed of.
So go for the economic peace, Netanyahu, the right-wing government will applaud you. A broad coalition may, however, demand more.
Bomb Iran, Netanyahu, because sanctions aren't enough for you, you don't believe in diplomatic negotiations with Iran and you pledged that you, Mr. Iran, would prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear arms at any cost. Let's see you get Barack Obama's permission for the most dangerous escapade of all. Bombard and let's see what happens.
A broad government could stop your quirks, so why go there? This is the most crucial issue on your agenda. Topple Hamas' rule in Gaza, as you promised. Release Gilad Shalit without freeing murderers, as you wrote in your book about terror. Go forth on your way.
In your speech at the last session of the 17th Knesset you outlined this way: Any territory released from the IDF's control would be occupied by Hamas, so don't evacuate a single dunam, you said. Explain that to Obama and Mahmoud Abbas. Tell them you won't ever negotiate over Jerusalem. That the Jordan Valley and Judean Desert will remain in our hands for eternity. Ya'akov Katz (National Union) will cheer you on, Moshe Ya'alon will salute you. A broad coalition, however, could demand something else.
Offer the Syrians peace for peace. After all, you wouldn't uproot the tender sapling you planted in the Golan just last week, on Tu Bishvat. You wouldn't renege on your statement, "Gamla will not fall again."
Build more and more settlements - there is plenty of "state-owned land" and private land to usurp. Then annex the territories. There is no reason not to apply Israeli law to territories that will remain forever in our hands. Annex and annex, from Jenin to Hebron, distribute Israeli identity cards to the residents and, hey, on to the next Knesset elections with two million new voters.
Perhaps America will finally tell you, annex or evacuate, and you will have to decide. Try selling Obama this political merchandise, and we'll see how he reacts. And let's see how you react if he says no. Why not ask his administration for more and more weapons, more economic aid, more diplomatic support and still stand on your principles. Let's watch you in action, Netanyahu.
But the truth is, Netanyahu knows that this would be a horrific sight. He wants Kadima and Labor in his government to hold him back, to prevent him from carrying out his doctrine. This is exactly why they must not join his coalition. Render unto Netanyahu the things that are Netanyahu's. Let's see how it ends up working out for him. And for us.