Bibi: Dumb it Down

Mr. Netanyahu, the last press conference was not good.  And because it was given in English, it made it all the more unsettling, since more people throughout the world could view it and unfortunately come to the conclusion that you were not completely able to articulate what you wanted to say.

Give another Press Conference.  In English.

Wait for an opportune moment to do so, since appearing as someone who merely “reacts” to world opinion does not show one’s strength. Find a juncture, a punctuation point, in this war within the next few days to use as a springboard.

The world needs to see more of you, and more of your clarity.  It needs to see that you feel entitled to take up more of our time in explaining things.  Don’t take 90 seconds.  Take five minutes.  Take ten or twenty minutes. We need things explained, otherwise we will continue to react to the most superficial, sensational, or gory media bites today’s journalistic efforts have to offer (and forget about your ministers too; we need to know what your direction is right now).

Please clarify:

The difference between resolving the Israeli/Palestinian problems of long standing versus the current war with Hamas.

You tried to do it at your last Press Conference, but it didn’t come across clearly or forcefully.  We need to know that you acknowledge long standing problems with the Palestinians, but that this war with Hamas is a horse of a different color.  It was master strategy, perhaps with unintended consequences, on the part of Hamas to turn their offensive into a world-wide call for Palestinian liberation.  It needs further clarification (for starters, what has there been in Hamas’ demands that could directly benefit the West Bank?). We need to know these are not nice people, and would only make things worse for the entire region, were they to be capitulated to.

ISIS, Al-Qeda, and other terror groups, are similar to Hamas in tactics and gangster-style control and extortion of territory, but they are clearly not of “one mind,”  How are they the same and how might they be different? 

When you grouped them all together at your Press Conference in one or two phrases that lasted for seconds only, it revealed your anxiety about terror groups, but not your understanding, which we know you have in depth.  Take the time to differentiate them from Hamas, if they can be, with emphasis on how Hamas poses its special threat to Israel.  We must not hear “the sky is falling” from Israel’s Commander in Chief.

Assure the world that you will be dedicated to alleviating the problems between Palestinians and Israelis–differentiate this from the war with Hamas–the world needs to know you are concerned about civil rights, while Hamas is not.

Do some soul searching.  Do you really want to co-exist with Palestinians? If so, make sure you believe Palestinians deserve better. It will have a strong effect.  Be masterful, be clear, and take your time.

About the Author
Victor Salkowitz is a retired Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years experience in prisons, child welfare, and adult mental health agencies. He received his B.A. in Psychology from UC Davis and an MSW from UC Berkeley, becoming licensed in 1991.