Bibi’s Scare Tactics

As polls show him falling further behind in the final days before elections for the 20th Knesset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's strategy is one of increasing desperation.  His theme " if you can't convince em, scare em" was strikingly clear in an interview in Friday's Jerusalem Post.

Electing the center-left Zionist Union ticket let by Labor's Isaac Herzog and Hatnuah's Tzipi Livni, he told political correspondent Gil Hoffman,  "will endanger the security of Israel."

He even went so far as to charge that the Labor Party of David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres (who endorsed Herzog this week) isn't really Zionist because "anti-Zionists have permeated" it.

He charged the Zionist Union will have "the backing of the Arab parties" and that "will cause such a monumental shift in policy that it will endanger the security of Israel."

Obama boasted of his battles with the Obama administration and said only he would be willing to stand up to the Americans, the Arabs and the Iranians.  His opponents, he warned, won't be as tough on Iran as he would be, and "they have said we should bow our heads to the US." 

"They can't stand up (to Obama) for a second. A millisecond," he said.  "They think that the way to secure our existence is by giving in to Arab demands."

Bibi has also scared his Likud colleagues.  Meanwhile are privately telling reporters that if they lose on Tuesday it is Netanyahu's fault. 

Even if Likud does form the next government, one official told Haaretz, "this campaign was a colossal failure" and "Netanyahu is primarily responsible." They blame "his excessive focus" on himself.  Another called him "a very weak card in this election. He decided to put himself at the front."

We should find out in a few days whether Bibi was able to scare up enough votes to keep him in office.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.