By Stephen Bryen
The re-election of Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu is of great import, more than just significant to Israel that will finally have a stable government. The real reason Netanyahu’s victory is significant is for world peace.
That may seem to some to be an odd claim. After all, wasn’t it Bernie Sanders who called Israel’s government racist and bigoted? And wasn’t it Joe Biden, speaking to AIPAC this Sunday, saying that Israel’s policies were a “problem.”
As savvy people around Washington know, Biden is a fake. He pretends to like Israel, but he wants to screw the Likud leadership at any and every opportunity.
Bernie Sanders, of course is of no importance. A recidivist Marxist of the 1930’s kind, he would have worked for Stalin if only he was born at the right time.
But it may be asked, disregarding these two Presidential candidates, why is it that Trump loves Bibi, and so does Putin? Isn’t that contradictory and strange?
One can go further –how come Saudi Arabia and the UAE want Bibi and Israel on their side?
The reason is easy to see. Bibi is reliable as a partner, despite the constant CIA-inspired drumbeat to say he is unreliable and a piker. This myth is being used against Bibi and Israel, and frankly it is just a particular form of antisemitism, plain and simple. I am not reading today’s intelligence that is being pumped out about Israel: I stopped reading intelligence reports in 1988. But nothing really has changed, except maybe it is worse than ever.
Disregard the CIA and all the other dysfunctional voices.
You don’t earn respect by being duplicitous. You earn it by saying what you will do, then doing it. On this score, Israel is not ambiguous, and Bibi is the least ambiguous world leader there is right now.
But the important point is that Israel can play a creative role bridging differences between the U.S. and Russia.
If you were raised on political realism (the successor political theory to realpolitik), it is in the U.S. interest to divide Russia from China. China is a growing danger. It is rising and growing more powerful.
Russia is not. It is in somewhat better shape than when Yeltsin was running the place, but not much. Russia has fractured social problems, distribution issues, and has made poor choices for friends. That Turkey can rather easily dominate Syria, with the Russians sitting there, is a case in point. The choice of Iran was especially noxious, because Iran is an ugly Islamic-type dictatorship that has geopolitical ambitions that in the end don’t benefit Russia. Meanwhile Russian tanks are smoldering in ruins in Syria, and Russian-made helicopters and Su-24 aircraft have been shot down with little effort by the Turks –knocked out by drones and older F-16’s.
That doesn’t say much to promote Russian arms sales.
Outside of oil and gas, the only important Russian export is weapons. And crashing and burning in Syria is not good marketing.
From America’s perspective, Syria is just Putin’s albatross. The U.S. needs a deal on Ukraine that is fair, and the U.S. needs a deal on the Middle East that cuts the Iranians out of the picture. That is hard to get, but a worthy goal, but Israel’s help is needed.
And the U.S. needs to tell Putin that supporting China is a bad idea that will end up in Russian humiliation. Better be careful.
Netanyahu is a genius at negotiating and working deals that make sense for everyone and overcome ideological obstacles thought non-negotiable in the past.
It is a good thing Netanyahu won the election.