INTO THE FRAY Because of Biden…Bibi

Publication Date05 April 2021
AuthorDr. Martin Sherman
...take, for example, the vaccinations. Today he [Netanyahu] holds a press conference and declares there are vaccines. 27 countries, in Europe alone, signed with Pfizer, and there are other countries like Australia—we are in 35th place [but] he holds a press conference and deceives the public. He [Netanyahu] claims that they will arrive in January. Maybe a box of 5 vaccines, at most, will arrive—the rest will arrive after all the other countries receive them…This is how to lose public trust by lying to the public on matters of life and death—Yair Lapid in How Yair Lapid become the Best PR for the Likud (Hebrew), Channel 12, November 13, 2020.

I should like to direct a question to Prime Minister Netanyahu: "Mr. Netanyahu I would like an answer to one question: "Why don't you tell the truth about the vaccines". We are mature grown-ups. Even if the truth is unpleasant, we will be able to deal with it. We can deal with disappointments, with difficulties- as long as we are told the truth. We understand that it is hard to obtain vaccines. There is no reason to lie! When you say something the citizens of Israel want to believe you. So they will wait for the vaccines in January…and they will not't arrive—Yair Lapid in Yair Lapid was right; the vaccines did not arrive in January (2021), they arrived in December (2020), Facebook December 9, 2020.

Israeli voters have just gone to the polls for the fourth time in two years.

As in the previous three rounds—these elections were conducted less over substantive ideological differences on domestic or foreign policy, and more over the political fate of incumbent Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

As the pre-election polls predicted, the electorate proved to be almost equally divided between two irreconcilably inimical factions--virulent "anyone-but-Bibi" opponents of Netanyahu on the one hand, and ardent "only-Bibi" proponents, on the other.

An impressive—if not unblemished—record

There, of course, are several substantive reasons for calling for the replacement of Netanyahu—as there might well be for any democratically elected leader, in office for an unbroken spell of over a decade. None of them, however, have any compelling merit with regard the formation of the next government!

This is not to say that Netanyahu's premiership has been devoid of blemishes. He has—to his own detriment—shied away from robustly implementing a much-needed reform of Israel's justice systems; he avoided effectively addressing the thorny problem of the rampant lawlessness of the Bedouin gangs in the South; he allotted hopelessly inadequate resources for Israel's diplomatic battle in the international theater and was far from sufficiently resolute in pushing the expansion of Jewish presence in Judea/Samaria (aka the "West Bank").

However, despite any criticism that can be leveled at him, it is undeniable that in many ways, Netanyahu has been a truly transformative leader.

Under his stewardship, Israel has become one of the best performing economies in the world  with GDP per capita breaching the $40,000 mark for the first time ever in 2017, up sharply by almost 45 percent since 2009, when he was first re-elected after losing power in 1999.

Significant success at home & abroad

He has drastically reduced Palestinian Arab terror from the horrific levels he "inherited" from the Rabin-Peres era — and, despite occasional flare-ups, he has largely managed to contain it to barely perceptible proportions — certainly, nowhere near the grisly scale that prevailed under his predecessors.

In terms of foreign policy, he has produced remarkable success. He managed to wait out the inclement incumbency of Barack Obama, emerging largely unscathed—despite the undisguised antipathy between the two men.

His views on Iran and its menacing nuclear ambitions were embraced by the Trump administration, whose renewed sanctions brought the Iranian economy to the brink of disaster. He has managed to initiate far-reaching changes in Middle East politics, with increasingly amicable relations with important Arab states, culminating in the widely feted Abraham Accords with the UAE, as well treaties with Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco—something inconceivable several years ago—while sidelining —...

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