As he prepared to leave today for Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left his government with some very tough orders: Be quiet.
No surprises from Eli Yishai and his interior ministry, with their penchant for announcing new settlement construction at the most inopportune times.
No publicity stunts on the Temple Mount or religious flashpoints on the West Bank.
No bombastic pronouncements from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
No threats of attacks on assorted enemies by former generals with high government posts.
No denunciations of Palestinian leaders.
No surprises, no announcements, no embarrassments, the PM told them.
Every government minister presides over his or her own fiefdom and thinks his or her voice should be heard throughout the land and beyond, and knows he or she really should be the prime minister, each one has his or her own policy and is not bashful about announcing it, regardless of the consequences.
Netanyahu ordered a freeze on settlement construction and silence on Iran.
After weeks of saber rattling at the highest echelons, Netanyahu has sheathed his sword, packed it on Air Force Aleph and headed to Washington to rally his American troops to lean harder on Obama. He doesn’t want anyone upstaging or embarrassing him.
If he can pull that off it will be a major achievement for a dysfunctional government. We wish him much success.