The Problem With Netanyahu

Nissan 25, 5777

April 21, 2017

The News on the Israel Street Today

Palestinian terror never stops . . .

Another day, another 40 Palestinian attacks on Israeli men, women, and children. Another 40 attacks unreported in the mainstream Israeli media and unreported in the international media.

On Thursday, Israelis were attacked in cars and on buses with “rocks” and Molotovs in such places as Turmusayya, Auja, the Tapuach Junction, Migdalot, Karnei Shomron, Beit Anun, Azariya, Route 465 near Umm Safa, Psagot, Road 60 north of Ofra, Psagot Gila, and Tekoa.

Soldiers, border guards, and police were assaulted with “rocks” and Molotovs at Gush Etzion, Issawiya (policeman was wounded), Hevron, Za’tara, Rachel’s Tomb, Deir Abu Mashal, Ofer, and Abu Dis.

Israelstreet reportage of terror events is based on reports on the ground found at and


The Problem With Netanyahu

Let’s play an imaginary game today with PM Netanyahu.

Let’s ask him: please rank the following problems involving Israel in order of their importance with 1 being the most important and 10 being the least important: the situation in Syria, the situation on the Gaza border, terror in Judea and Samaria, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Iran, terror in the Sinai, BDS outside of Israel, and “other problems.”

Your humble servant believes Netanyahu’s list would look like this:

1. Iran

2. Iran

3. Iran

4. Iran

5. Iran

6. Iran

7. Iran

8. Iran

9. Iran

10.  the situation in Syria, terror in the Sinai, the situation on the Gaza border, BDS outside of Israel

(11.)  terror in Judea and Samaria, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,  and “other problems”

The problem with Netanyahu is that he is wholly consumed with Iran.

For example, Judea and Samaria–whether we are talking about terror, construction, or annexation–is merely a distraction, important only inasmuch as it affects his hold on power.

And the Temple Mount? Netanyahu could care less; all he is concerned about is maintaining the status quo.

Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem? It doesn’t even make the above list.

All of which brings your humble servant to a headline this morning on the Israeli news site Arutz Sheva.

“Trump White House has brought a welcome change to US policy”

The title is in reference to remarks that Netanyahu made yesterday before a meeting with visiting US Secretary of Defense James Mattis:

“We sense a great change in the direction of American policy. We know that the very clear and forthright words, Mr. Secretary, that you had to say about Iran, this follows very strong and forthright words on the part of President Trump . . .”

Iran. Iran. Iran.

To which your humble servant says “all fine and good . . . but”.  After the last eight years in which the Obama Administration tried to turn Iran into a regional superpower, any change on Iran is for the better.

And yet, even that praise should be tempered because what have we heard out of Washington in the last few days? The astonishing claim that is Iran is living up to its end of the nuclear weapons appeasement agreement. 

Astonishing because this flies in the face of other reports in the last week that the work being done in the Iranian nuclear program cannot possibly have a civilian use.

And as far as a change in U.S. policy on the ground in Israel is concerned, what are we to say?

1. The repeatedly promised move of the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been “walked back.” No move is taking place any time soon, if ever.

2. Trump has surrounded himself with people who have spent the last few years criticizing Israel and demanding concessions from us: Mattis, McMaster, Lempert, etc.

3. The Trump Administration, as evidenced by a meeting yesterday between Israeli, PLO, and American officials, is now pushing for Palestinian economic development in Area C of Judea and Samaria.

4. The Trump Administration has been playing a game with both Palestinians and Israelis: harshly criticizing the Palestinians (and the U.N.) within the U.N., yet cozying up to the PLO on the ground here and elsewhere. Witness the upcoming trip of Mahmoud Abbas to the White House.

“Trump White House has brought a welcome change to US policy”? Yes, on Iran, but on Israel . . . the issue remains very much in doubt.

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