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Netanyahu, please speak to us

Instead of calming the waters of hatred or explaining the choices we face, the prime minister has kept silent

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,

You are on the road to being the longest serving Prime Minister in Israel’s history – and by all accounts, you have made very few mistakes in this position. You have not involved us in unnecessary wars, you have not made any terrible diplomatic blunders, and in some areas you have achieved true accomplishments. Yes, there are many areas in which I could criticize you. There are many policies of yours with which I may disagree. However, that is not why I am writing to you today.

One of your excellent qualities is your ability to communicate – and certainly in English you have no rival. Not since Abba Eban has there been a leading Israeli with such an excellent command of English. Your Hebrew rhetorical skills are no less impressive. Yet you refuse to truly communicate with the Israeli public. Other than your brief appearances with Defense Minister Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Gantz during  the hunt for the “kidnapped” boys (who you had to know were dead), you have been largely silent. You delivered an excellent eulogy, but then what?

When the ugly words of revenge were heard you have been largely silent. When the body of the Palestinian teen was discovered (who was most likely killed in revenge), we in Israel learned you were appalled through the Americans. When Arabs in East Jerusalem and in the Galilee began rioting you left it to others to level threats, rather than speaking out to calm the waters.

Mr. Prime Minister, the South is being attacked again by rockets. So far you have shown restraint, though that restraint may be wearing out. We, your public do not know what you are thinking. Instead of going on TV and explaining what our choices are, and that if we attack Hamas we must be ready for a ground assault on Gaza (something we may be reluctantly forced to do), you still remain silent.

The world around us has been changing radically over the course of the past few months. To our great disappointment, our Prime Minister – a Prime Minister who is one of the best communicators in our history – appears mute. It has been over 700 days since you took questions from the Israeli press at a press conference. Mr. Prime Minister, you lead a strong nation. But your population is confused and worried.

I did not vote for you Mr. Prime Minister, however, you are the only Prime Minister I have. So, please lead. Please speak. Please use your words to calm the waters of hatred. Please use your words to explain our geo-strategic position, and Mr. Prime Minister, please use your words to prepare the Israeli public for a potential military confrontation with Hamas.

As we say to our children, use your words Mr. Prime Minister. And only then be ready to use the other powers that are at your disposal.

About the Author
Marc Schulman is the editor of -- the largest history web site. He is the author a series of Multimedia History Apps as well as a recent biography of JFK. He holds a BA and MA from Columbia University, and currently lives in Tel Aviv. He is also a regular contributor to Newsweek authoring the Tel Aviv Diary. He is the publisher of an economic news App about Israel called DigitOne and has a weekly newsletter on substack called Israel Update
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