By David Remnick
New Yorker Blogs, September 12, 2012: It is hard to overestimate the risks that Benjamin Netanyahu poses to the future of his own country. As Prime Minister, he has done more than any other political figure to embolden and elevate the reactionary forces in Israel, to eliminate the dwindling possibility of a just settlement with the Palestinians, and to isolate his country on the world diplomatic stage. Now Netanyahu seems determined, more than ever, to alienate the President of the United States and, as an ally of Mitt Romney’s campaign, to make himself a factor in the 2012 election—one no less pivotal than the most super Super PAC. “Who are you trying to replace?” the opposition leader, Shaul Mofaz, asked of Netanyahu in the Knesset on Wednesday. “The Administration in Washington or that in Tehran?”
Mofaz, a former Defense Minister, who participated in the fabled raid on Entebbe, in 1976, along with the Prime Minister’s brother, was reacting to Netanyahu’s outburst against the Obama Administration, at a news conference in Jerusalem. “The world tells Israel ‘Wait, there’s still time,’ ” Netanyahu told reporters in English. “And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”
No one had any illusions that Netanyahu was addressing anyone but Obama, with whom he has a tortured relationship, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had earlier said, “We are not setting deadlines,” but, rather, pushing forward on economic sanctions and diplomacy. Articles in the Guardian and elsewhere have set out the sorry recent episodes in this chaotic relationship. On a trip I took to Israel a few weeks ago for The New Yorker, the political philosopher Avishai Margalit told me that Netanyahu was a kind of “mythomaniac,” a politician utterly absorbed and guided by his sense of heroic mission, and dismissive of the opinions and analyses of even his closest advisers. This goes for his innate distrust of any and all Palestinians, as well as for the vast range of military and intelligence experts, both inside and outside the Israeli government, who are constantly telling him that a unilateral attack on Iranian nuclear facilities will end in political, diplomatic, and military disaster. Netanyahu’s opponents include the current leaders of the Israeli military and the major intelligence branches and their most recent predecessors, to say nothing of a decisive majority of the Israeli population. They fear consequences as dire as regional war and an Iranian regime unified and strengthened by a sense of common purpose. ...
See Also: White Man's Burden, How a small group of 25 or 30 neoconservatives, almost all of them Jewish launched the Iraq War