Dr. Aaron Lerner
04 September 09
"In today's complex situation, our prime minister whom we chose, Binyamin Netanyahu, must maintain all our national interests - the settlements that are the apple of our eye, Jerusalem, and also our relations with the United States and avoiding international isolation, because we will not be able to do the things that are close to our hearts if we are isolated...I am hearing a lot of talk, and I ask of the faction members: Support the prime minister. He believes in what we believe in, with only one difference - he sees the entire picture with regards to security and diplomacy,"Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar addressing Likud party gathering in Tel Aviv today.
Minister Gideon Sa'ar supports Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but Sa'ar's remarks weaken rather than strengthen Netanyahu's position as his team negotiates with the Americans and in turn the Palestinians.
The greater the opposition to Israeli concessions, the greater the value placed on the concessions Israel finally agrees to and in turn the greater the consideration Israel can require in return for those concessions.
The harsher the criticism of concessions, the easier it is for Netanyahu to stand his ground against pressure for unacceptable concessions.
This is a policy - not personality - debate.
And what if there is some deep dark secret that somehow justifies a concession that those of us without access to the "entire picture" are not aware of?
Again no problem. Since opposition within the Likud reduces American expectations of what concessions Netanyahu can deliver.
On a personal level, Prime Minister Netanyahu may prefer hearing the blind support of Sa'ar over the sharp warnings of others.
But this isn't personal.