In case you non-Jews haven’t noticed, we Jews bicker a lot. Some of us even have bad things to say about Albert Einstein. A fair number of us have bad things to say about Karl Marx. Or about Milton Friedman — to go the other way. (Yes, I think Friedman was a lot smarter than Marx.)
So it should be no surprise that Benjamin Netanyahu is only intermittently popular in his home country. At the height of the recent Gaza war, he was a hero on the level of King Solomon, but then, after things quieted down with a relatively indeterminate conclusion, he was, well, just another pol.
But he’s not.
This man, whatever his failings, is better able to articulate the global situation than any political leader currently in a position of power in any country by yards. In fact, virtually no one else is even attempting to do it. (Tony Blair did for a while before he turned, but he’s not in Bibi’s league.) Netanyahu may not be Churchill when it comes to courage, but he is Churchill, or close, when it comes to a precise mastery of the English language, ironic since he is the prime minister of a Hebrew-speaking nation. He is able to tell the truth about the important issues, when all others, including, notably, our president and secretary of State, are prevaricating or spinning, trying desperately not to offend the reprehensible, and he did it again the other day at the United Nations. (Full text here.) He told the truth about radical Islam to a half-empty house whose Moslem delegates had left and whose remaining attendees sat there terrified of agreeing publicly with the Israeli prime minister lest some imam or dopey liberal NGO accuse of them of Islamophobia. He made that speech at an institution that has institutionalized anti-Semitism, not world peace or even basic common sense, as its modus operandi, as its very raison d’être.