Monday, June 22, 2009

Prime minister’s current views could apparently change by tomorrow

Netanyahu’s inner truth?

Hagai Segal
21 June 09

Moses, David Ben-Gurion, and Menachem Begin did not employee a pollster. They acted based on what they believed in, and the people adapted themselves accordingly. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the other hand, does nothing without such advisor. His name is Yisrael Bachar.

Last week, Bachar was interviewed on radio, on the occasion of the successful Bar-Ilan function, and said that the prime minister arrived at the university filled with desire to “face the public and utter his inner truth.”

To be honest, it isn’t quite clear what “inner truth” means. The nature of things is that any person can have one truth at most. If the prime minister simultaneously maintains a complex system of two truths, an outer and an inner one, he would do well to avoid a polygraph test. Someone may ask him for his view on the establishment of a Palestinian state, and he may be confused between his own views and the views of the pollsters and advisors.

Indeed, interviewer Yaron Dekel suspected something. He asked Bachar: Since when does the endorsement of a Palestinian state reflect Netanyahu’s inner truth? Bachar responded with one very decisive word: “Today!”

That is, this is the inner truth as of today. Tomorrow, Netanyahu will have a new inner truth, and so on and so forth. For example, he will renounce the demand to demilitarize Palestine, and possibly even the notion of the united Jerusalem, and again he will draw praise.

Fluid principles
The shapers of public opinion around here admire leaders with fluid principles; especially when it comes to rightist leaders. The moment they pledge allegiance to the Knesset, they face heavy pressure to deny past promises, violate pledges, and make u-turns.

If we use an Iranian analogy, what we are dealing with here is election fraud, no less. Had Netanyahu delivered the Bar-Ilan speech on the eve of elections, his party would not have won 27 Knesset seats.
Back then, he invested immense efforts in order to draw votes from other rightist parties, and at the last moment he managed to get two or three extra Knesset seats that way to bring him to power.

“It’s either me or Livni,” he warned undecided rightist voters in winter, but he did not tell them that within three months he will adopt Livni’s views. Livni ran a campaign based on the idea of two states for two peoples, and suddenly Netanyahu is doing the same. The notion of rotation between them suddenly appears more moral than ever. After all, they are so similar.

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