The main headline in Tuesday’s Yedioth Ahronoth blared in white on red that “Netanyahu is leading us to disaster.”
Quoting an unnamed “very senior diplomatic source,” the full story inside, under a headline most politely translated as “Netanyahu is thumbing his nose at the whole world,” listed a series of the prime minister’s ostensibly disastrous actions and inactions paving the dismal route to national catastrophe.
The prime minister’s stated crimes: Only caring about Iran. Placing impossible conditions on a return to talks with the Palestinians, when Mahmoud Abbas — who has kept the West Bank quiet, admirably supports an accord based on the pre-’67 lines, and has made plain that he seeks no personal refugee’s “right of return” — is Israel’s last realistic hope of a Palestinian partner. Infuriating the entire international community with his settlement building plans, and leaving a fuming US untenably isolated as Israel’s key strategic ally. Legitimizing Hamas by indirectly negotiating with it after last month’s Operation Pillar of Defense, weakening Abbas in the process. And refusing to apologize to Turkey despite the imperative for reconciliation given the savage instability in Syria.
Take that dire list of purported failures, add in the legal difficulties besetting his political No. 2, Avigdor Liberman, and the gradual decline in support for their joint Likud-Beytenu list as ex-right-hand-man Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home list rises, and you might think there’d be a crisis atmosphere in the Prime Minister’s Office with elections less than a month away.