Bibi has left Israel safer than before he took office

JC Leader, 17 June 2021


Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a press conference at the Prime Ministers office in Jerusalem on March 12, 2020. Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL ***POOL PICTURE, EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES, PLEASE CREDIT THE PHOTOGRAPHER AS WRITTEN - ALEX KOLOMOISKY/POOL***

June 17, 2021 11:18

For the first time since 2009, Israel has a new prime minister and a government without Likud. But whatever its complexion, the challenges it faces remain much the same as would face any government. Above all, of course, is the issue of security, specifically the threat posed by terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah and that from the region’s terrorist state, Iran. Anyone who thinks that the change of government somehow lessens this threat is deluded. Benjamin Netanyahu grasped what many other world leaders did not: that the nuclear deal with Iran was a disaster. His strategic genius was to use that as a way of furthering Israel’s relations with other Middle East countries which shared Israel’s view of Iran.

Just as the immediate threats to Israel’s security remain, so too the bien pensant view of Israel will not change just because it has a new leader. The antisemites who dress their bigotry in the clothes of anti-Zionism may have focused much of their bile on Mr Netanyahu, but that was because he had been leader for so long. Haters gonna hate, as they say — and their hatred of the Jewish state will remain, because it is a Jewish state. Such people are of more concern to the diaspora than to Israel itself. The BDS campaign is laughably impotent; so impotent, in fact, that one of the new government’s first moves was to abolish the department set up to focus on it. As for Mr Netanyahu: Israel is safer and more prosperous than when he first became prime minister. That is a proper legacy.

June 17, 2021 11:18

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