Saturday, January 31, 2015

Netanyahu's Folly

The New York Times had a nice round-up piece describing the recent massive break down in American-Israeli relations. Simply put American relations with Israel are probably at there lowest point since, well ever, largely due to Netanyahu's stance of having nothing but utter contempt for Barack Obama and trying to make an end run around the president by giving a speech to congress calling for war with Iran and himself being relected disagreeing with the president over ongoing negotiations with Iran about it's nuclear program.

Basically everyone but John Boehner and former GOP congressional staffer turned Likud spokesman Ron  Dermer, who has seemed to have engineered this whole fiasco, thinks this speech is a terrible idea. None other than Jeffrey Goldberg, very much a beltway hawk's hawk, who normally backs the Israeli line to the hilt thinks the whole speech thing is a terrible idea.

Like most things in life Benjamin Netanyahu's disastrous political leadership is best understood through the works of George R.R. Martin. Tyrion's put it this way when he expressed his views about his sister:
She never forgets a slight, real or imagined. She takes caution for cowardice and dissent for defiance. And she is greedy. Greedy for power, for honor, for love. Tommen's rule is bolstered by all the alliances that my lord father built so carefully, but soon enough she will destroy them, every one.
That's remarkably close to Netanyahu's record. He really does seem to take dissent from say the Israeli military as defiance and really has been destroying Israel's alliances that his predecessors built so carefully over the decades. Or if you want another cultural reference the whole "let's invade Cambodia" scene from Oliver Stone's great movie Nixon strikes me as being close to what the decision process behind last summer's horror show in Gaza was like. Or if you'd like a final comparisons try this: if the worst sin in American public life is the celebration of ignorance, the worst sin in Israeli public life is probably the celebration of brainless chest-thumping machismo.

Anyway, Benjamen Netanyahu: probably the worst prime minister in his country's history.