Sunday, November 27, 2016

Netanyahu vs. Ben-Gurion: The Good, the Bad and the Remarkable - by Martin Sherman

...Netanyahu is a man of tremendous talent and serious shortcomings. He should be judged on a judicious assessment of the balance between the two – not on some distorted, demonized image created by his obsessive opponents. Until this can be factored into the equation, no really meaningful comparison can be drawn between these two towering figures, who dominated the politics of Israel for decades.

Martin Sherman..
25 November '16..

“When you compare his [Netanyahu’s] lack of actual achievements compared to Ben-Gurion, whose record he’s eclipsed, it’s embarrassing.”

— Jeff Barak, “Reality Check: An empty record,” The Jerusalem Post, November 20, 2016.

Small-minded and spiteful

Last Tuesday, Benjamin Netanyahu chalked up an unbroken stint of 2,793 days (seven years and 236 days) as prime minister of Israel, thereby surpassing David Ben-Gurion’s record for the longest consecutive term in office.

By any criterion, this would be a remarkable feat for anyone, under any circumstances. But for Netanyahu, it is even more remarkable, given the truly formidable obstacles and almost pathological animosity he had to overcome to achieve it.

This could, perhaps should, have been an auspicious occasion, in which his political rivals, his ideological adversaries and his detractors in the media might have — ever so briefly — put away their animosity and expressed some congratulatory sentiment, however reluctant and insincere, even if only as a formal appearance of feigned courtesy.

However, in the merciless and mean-spirited milieu of Israeli politics, any hint of such largesse was not forthcoming.

Quite the opposite.

Flummoxed and infuriated by their inability to dislodge him from power, his political opponents and their media cronies seized on any pretext, however flimsy and far-fetched, to besmirch and berate him.

A typical illustration of the mindless drivel and spiteful sniping that passes for journalism when it comes to excoriating Netanyahu was provided this week by former editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, Jeff Barak, in his regular column, perversely dubbed “Reality Check.” Indeed, after only a few lines, it became apparent just how wildly inappropriate the column’s tagline is and just how tenuous the connection between the article and reality.

(Continue to Full Article)

Martin Sherman ( is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (

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