As runs of luck go Bibi Netanyahu’s is extremely impressive…… and when he rolls the dice its never for a few dollars. When Bibi bets its big time, he always bets the house …..The House of Israel.
Its now more than three years since since he took to the tables, in this case in the joint Houses of Congress, and challenged the Lion , President Barack Obama , in his own den. The Israeli Prime Minister walked away a hero with some and a villain for others. But this was just the start of his gambling fever. He didn’t cash in his chips. No he was determined to roll the dice again on the next available opportunity. This setting was just as dangerous. It was a gamble on the choice of American president. No in and out best and the contest stretches out for many months. The longer a “game” lasts the greater the chances of failure.
Though never crying out vote for Trump it was clear where the sympathy and enthusiasm of the Netanyahu led Likud coalition lay, and it was not with Hilary Clinton. Unlike Obama if she won she could be tolerated but not greeted with the open arms which awaited Trump. This was a truly a long odds bet. As CNN put it “firewalls” lay in the Republican’s path in the shape of the Democrat voting rust belt States.
But Bibi continued unbothered and seemingly unflustered. As for me I always remember my late father telling me he stopped gambling when he realised he had never met a poor Bookmaker. When you land the big one you either call it a day or exhibit a taste for even greater gambles.
Bibi who could have stopped there pressed on. After all he was gambling with no less than a nation , the House of Israel pure and simple, and while I never want to see an Israeli leader act like a simpering wall flower I am not sure whether at the same time I want to see them on the wrong side of an American President and those who govern with him. The world would be an awful lonely place outside the comforting wing of America.
This is not to denigrate Israel and its achievements which are entirely out of proportion for a state of its size and population. Now its friends and its enemies, who hype up Israel’s position in the world for their own ends, see Israel as a military and economic power just a rung or two below the super powers.Israel now struts the United Nations with the USA, a very big brother.
With Trump safely ensconced in the White House making it clear his support was first and foremost with Israel in her dispute with the Palestinians another permanent member of the security council said it was looking to support the Jewish State.
Great Britain, under Prime Minister Theresa May, made it clear , with the exception of two red lines,Jerusalem and settlements , that her Government’s fall back position was to support Israel. Abstentions would become votes for Israel and votes against would become abstentions. When the so called peaceful demonstrations in Gaza started with 64 Palestinians being killed on day one America officially opened its Jerusalem embassy. Prime Minister May made it clear that Israel had a right to protect its self and while all deaths should be investigated there should be no rush to condemn Israel.
The Gaza march seemingly heralded the end of Netanyahu’s run of luck. . It coincided with the moving of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Yet only two days earlier it all seemed so different with Israel winning the Eurovision song contest . Watched by tens of millions it more likely resonated with the average man and women in the street in Europe than the shootings did. But the timing was awful. The downward spiral had begun.
Just a few months later the special prosecutor in Washington appeared to be closing in on Trump’s staff and Trump himself. At the same time British politics was in melt down over its attempts to leave the European Union. Most commentators agreed that sooner rather than later Prime Minister May will be pushed aside by the Men in Suits.
To add insult to injury Paraguay, which moved its embassy to Jerusalem amid much fanfare moved it back to Tel Aviv four months later. The master gambler lost his cool and immediately closed the Israeli embassy in Paraguay .This was an instinctive act which might have been correct but was certainly not an act one can associate with a cool head. Then of course there was the new law proclaiming Israel officially a Jewish State. As if the world needed to be told.
So there stands Bibi Netanyahu chips in shaking hands with all cards played and all his dice rolled in this real game of national survival. Now he eagerly watches his last bet. It is on Trump surviving and bully and cajoling President Abbass to accept the ” deal of the century.”
I certainly would not put any money on it but I would never bet against Bibi. Too many has-beens who were once pretenders to the highest office in the land have done so and you know it is now becoming increasingly difficult to remember their names.