With Truce, Netanyahu Shows Cautious Side

Despite Gung-Ho Image, Israeli Leader Very Conscious of Risk

getty images

By Reuters

Published November 22, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

“This was deliberate. Netanyahu knew this would not end in the crushing defeat of Hamas because that wasn’t ever the goal. He wanted to pose as the responsible adult at the top of the pyramid,” said Washington Institute analyst Yaari.

INTERNATIONAL TIES

This stance is likely to have helped ease relations with the leaders of both the United States and Egypt.

The Arab Spring that brought an Islamist government to power in Cairo has raised concerns in Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979.

Netanyahu has had famously testy ties with U.S. President Barack Obama and he was accused by some Democrats of trying to undermine Obama’s re-election bid.

Dire predictions in the media that Netanyahu would suffer payback did not materialise during the conflict, with Obama fully endorsing what he called Israel’s right to self-defence.

When Obama later said it was “preferable” to avoid an escalation, Netanyahu swiftly adopted the same language to show there was no daylight between the two leaders.

Likewise, his decision to rule out an invasion prevented a potentially disastrous diplomatic showdown with Cairo. Instead, he has got Egyptian backing as a guarantor of Hamas’s ceasefire.

“There was no decisive victory here, said Giora Eiland, a former National Security Adviser. “But the situation was managed in the right way and it was clear that Israel enjoyed certain international support.”

His lowkey handling of the conflict, peppered by regular meetings with key ministers, showed how Netanyahu has developed into a more consensual leader than in his first term in office from 1996 to 1999, when he lurched from one crisis to another.

“He is a policy wonk. He isn’t a natural politician,” said one of his close advisers, who declined to be named. “But he has come to realise that you need to listen to people and not just pretend. He has become a much more inclusive leader.”

If, as expected, he secures a third term in January at the head of another rightist coalition, Netanyahu will once more push Iran to the top of the international agenda, with Gaza returning to its old position as an annoying irritant.

“If the Iranian threat is not neutralised in some way, then that will determine his legacy more than anything else,” said the senior adviser.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Yeshiva University's lawyer wanted to know why the dozens of former schoolboys now suing over a sexual abuse cover-up didn't sue decades ago. Read the judge's striking response here.
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.