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Netanyahu Is Gone. Netanyahu-ism Still Reigns.

1 5 1
01.09.2021

There was a time in the mid-to-late 1980s when Benjamin Netanyahu was a ubiquitous presence on American television. At the time, he served as Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, but he seemed less interested in the world body than wooing Americans, which he was particularly good at. Netanyahu presented Israel’s case to the American people like no one before and no one since. It helped that he spoke impeccable English, had excellent cultural awareness from the time he spent in the Philadelphia area and then Massachusetts earning his degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the brother of the only Israeli killed during the famed 1976 Israeli raid on the airport at Entebbe, and was a good-looking guy.

He may have remained popular among supporters of Israel, but in time Netanyahu would overstep his bounds and undermine the goodwill he had in Washington. During George H.W. Bush’s presidency, Netanyahu—then Israel’s deputy foreign minister—claimed that the administration’s Israel policy was based on a “foundation of distortion and lies.” For that, Secretary of State James Baker banished him from the State Department. When he was elected prime minister in 1996, Netanyahu did much to offend President Bill Clinton, whether it was ostentatiously meeting with Clinton’s opponents, referring to the president as “Bill” in public (a protocol breach), or undermining the Oslo Accords.

There was a time in the mid-to-late 1980s when Benjamin Netanyahu was a ubiquitous presence on American television. At the time, he served as Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, but he seemed less interested in the world body than wooing Americans, which he was particularly good at. Netanyahu presented Israel’s case to the American people like no one before and no one since. It helped that he spoke impeccable English, had excellent cultural awareness from the time he spent in the Philadelphia area and then Massachusetts earning his degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the brother of the only Israeli killed during the famed 1976 Israeli........

© Foreign Policy


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