Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, have labored for greater than a quarter-century to tarnish his picture within the U.S. and all over the world.
In 1996, when Israelis first elected him to place a brake on a harmful Oslo course of, Mr. Netanyahu was depicted as an enemy of peace. For 3 years, his opponents insisted that if solely Israel had been rid of Mr. Netanyahu, it might make peace with
They had been unsuitable.
defeated Mr. Netanyahu in 1999 and supplied Arafat sweeping concessions at Camp David a yr later. As a substitute of peace, Israel acquired scores of suicide bombings and the worst wave of Palestinian terrorism in its historical past—the so-called second intifada during which greater than 1,000 Israelis had been murdered.
That was adopted by Prime Minister
2005 resolution to withdraw from Gaza. Simply as Mr. Netanyahu predicted, Israel’s unilateral concession led solely to additional aggression. Hamas, a genocidal terror group dedicated to Israel’s destruction, took over Gaza and turned it right into a base from which 1000’s of missiles have been fired at Israeli cities.
Mr. Netanyahu returned to the premiership in 2009. The previous bloody decade ought to have made it apparent to all that Palestinian leaders didn’t need peace. However Mr. Netanyahu was scapegoated once more. Now
was solid as a peacemaker as an alternative of Arafat, who died in 2004. Whereas few Israelis believed such nonsense any longer, many international coverage makers did, together with key officers within the Obama White Home.
This time, one other factor was added to the demonization of Mr. Netanyahu: American partisan politics. Not solely was he solid as an enemy of peace; he was accused of being a Republican. His critics portrayed his reputable opposition to a Democratic president’s harmful Center East insurance policies as an illegitimate effort to intervene in American politics.
They solid each disagreement with President Obama as proof. When Republican presidential nominee
visited Israel in 2012, the prime minister hosted him precisely as his predecessor,
hosted Candidate Obama in 2008. Nonetheless, Israel’s chief was accused of taking sides within the U.S. election. I used to be subjected to the identical libel and falsely labeled a “former Republican operative.”
In 2015, Mr. Netanyahu spoke to Congress towards Mr. Obama’s proposed take care of Iran. The person chargeable for the safety of the world’s solely Jewish state spoke towards a disastrous deal that paved a path to nuclear weapons for a regime that vows and works to destroy Israel. His petty defamers shamefully solid it as a partisan assault on Mr. Obama.
It didn’t matter to them that Mr. Netanyahu had taken on Republican presidents when he believed their insurance policies endangered Israel. That was true in 1990, when Mr. Netanyahu was deputy international minister and Secretary of State
banned him from the State Division for his fierce criticism of
George H.W. Bush’s
Center East coverage. It was true in 2002, when Mr. Netanyahu forcefully opposed
George W. Bush’s
demand that Israel instantly withdraw its navy forces from Palestinian areas within the West Financial institution days after it had launched an operation to dismantle the Palestinians’ terror infrastructure.
In the course of the Trump administration, as America turned much more polarized, the demonization of Mr. Netanyahu intensified. When he recommended President Trump for withdrawing from the Iran deal, transferring the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the critics asserted that he was serving to a fellow Republican. By no means thoughts that Mr. Trump’s choices had been well-liked throughout Israel’s political spectrum.
Most just lately, Mr. Netanyahu’s defamers have claimed that his criticism of a small right-wing Israeli get together that broke an election-eve promise by uniting with the left-wing bloc to kind a brand new authorities is tantamount to what Mr. Trump did within the runup to the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
But Mr. Netanyahu by no means mentioned that the Israeli election in March was carried out fraudulently. He mentioned that sure Israeli politicians made fraudulent guarantees to voters. Extra vital, he made it clear that “there isn’t any query concerning the peaceable switch of energy.”
The demonization of Mr. Netanyahu says extra about his critics than about him. He was by no means an enemy of peace; he understood that his critics had been dangerously naive. By rejecting their concepts and following a path of peace by power, his insurance policies not solely introduced Israel the most secure decade in its historical past; in addition they introduced peace agreements and normalization with 4 Arab states.
Mr. Netanyahu is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He’s an Israeli patriot who has opposed the insurance policies of even our best pals when he thought these insurance policies endangered Israel.
I’ve little question that within the years forward, Benjamin Netanyahu will proceed to be demonized. However I’m equally sure, and immensely grateful, that he’ll proceed to defend Israel and use his prodigious skills, as he all the time has, to allow our outstanding nation to attain safety, prosperity and peace.
Mr. Dermer served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., 2013-21.
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