November 19, 2019

What IDF Chiefs Won't Say Out Loud

“At the weekly government meeting on Oct. 27, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared the lesson he had learned from “The Proud Tower” by historian Barbara Tuchman, which was a birthday present from his former army buddies, whom he dubbed “my soldiers from Team Bibi.” One of the essays in the compilation about the world prior to World War I focuses on the impressive 1897 London parade marking Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Horse riders from dozens of countries across the British Empire, which extended over one-fourth of the globe, displayed their prowess on the streets of London. Several decades later, the empire crashed and lost its colonies, including Palestine, now the Land of Israel. The main reason for the decline, Netanyahu explained to the ministers, was failure to arm itself properly vis-a-vis its enemies.

Fast forward to the present and to Netanyahu himself, of course. In light of the turmoil around us in the Middle East, Netanyahu said, “We know that the force that has served us up until now must continue to strengthen. … We must make tough decisions that require a government with broad shoulders.” From there he skipped lightly to the plan he has devised for extricating himself from the political-legal quagmire in which he is sunk up to his neck. “The importance of forming a broad national unity government … is not a political question, but a national and security question of the highest order. I hope that we can advance this goal in the coming days.”

The ministers, as usual, hung on to his every word, without a hint of dissent. That is also what they are selling the public: Iran wants to destroy us, and therefore the defense budget needs billions of additional shekels. In Israel, the approval of the annual budget requires a proper government, not the transitional government now in power. And so, the only option, according to Netanyahu’s acolytes, is a unity government under the leadership of who else but suspected criminal Benjamin Netanyahu. And who stands in his way to save the people of Israel from disaster? Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, the co-chairs of the opposition Blue and White party who only care about one thing — the premiership.”

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