normally jealous of others. Large homes, shiny cars, expensive vacations or being treated by the best doctors in the world never were my thing. But I must confess that over the past few days, watching and listening to the debate on the Israel/Palestine issue, I’m green with envy.
And just what is the focus of my jealousy? It’s that I cannot refer to Benjamin Netanyahu, the democratically elected leader of a nation with a population that equals just 75 percent of that of New York City, as my president. I’m embarrassed that my country, the USA, the greatest nation in the world, is led by a common community organizer who has shown no evidence of any leadership capabilities during his two-plus years in office. Whatever the stance of any viewer of the recent “debates,” one must come away acknowledging that Obama and Bibi are in totally different intellectual and moral universes.
Netanyahu, over the past few days, viewed together with Obama in the White House, at the AIPAC Conference and, most recently addressing a joint session of Congress, stood out like a giant. Perhaps his training as a combat leader reinforced his determination to press his points for his beleaguered nation. He was eloquent, outspoken, honest and forthright, powerful and compelling in his arguments for peace with his country’s sworn enemies. He didn’t beg, plead nor make exaggerated promises. His appeal, translated into a few words was, “Palestinians, if you want peace, let’s sit down and talk.” Not a hint of anger or mention of any threat. He was totally in command, diplomatic and secure. His words could not have been written by a bevy of harassed, sweaty speech writers. They were obviously his own. That is why he was so believable, warm and his concepts clear and to the point.
However, this country is not his birthplace, nor does he call it home. He is a proud, patriotic and loyal Israeli. His brother, Jonathan, sacrificed his life during the Entebbe raid in 1976 to save the now-nameless Jews who would have been murdered by the same folks with whom Bibi is offering peace for the future.
So why can’t Barack Obama at least stand on his tippy-toes to strive to reach the stature of Benjamin Netanyahu? I don’t know, but I’m as envious as hell.
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