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Netanyahu – Israel’s indispensable statesman

Israelis are once again going to the polls on Tuesday. The choice could not be clearer. PM Netanyahu is the greatest Prime Minister Israel has ever had, and he is one of the great world leaders of the last 100 years. Right up there with Trump, Reagan, Churchill, and Thatcher. Now that the Left has taken power in America, Netanyahu’s leadership has never been more vital. The people of Israel must elect PM Netanyahu so that he can lead a strong Right-wing government. PM Netanyahu’s opponent Yair Lapid would be a disaster for Israel and the Middle East.

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Netanyahu – Israel’s indispensable statesman

By Israelly Hayom, March 22, 2021

Over the past decade, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu transformed Israel’s international position. When faced with unrelenting pressure from the most hostile US administration in the history of Israel-US ties, Netanyahu refused to kowtow to Barack Obama. Instead, he leveraged his decision to defy hostile US policies in relation to Iran and the Palestinians to develop strategic ties with Arab states that like Israel were betrayed by Obama’s support for Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

More broadly, whereas Israel’s foreign policy had long been based on the notion that Israel’s ties with foreign nations was based on ideological affinity, Netanyahu recognized that shared interests were just as important if not more important than ideology in the international arena. Netanyahu initiated and implemented a wildly successful, peripatetic diplomatic offensive to develop and deepen Israel’s bilateral ties with dozens of nations worldwide on the basis of shared economic and strategic interests. In short order, Israel’s per capita GDP surpassed Japan’s as Israel’s global trade expanded worldwide.

In 2013, Obama’s pro-Iranian bent rendered the US paralyzed to act as Iran’s Syrian proxy Bashar Assad began massacring the Syrian people. Recognizing the opportunity created by the vacuum in US leadership, Russian President Vladimir Putin deployed Russian forces to Syria for the first time since 1982 to protect Assad’s regime. Russia’s arrival presented Israel with the prospect of losing its air supremacy for the first time in 31 years.

Responding to the danger, Netanyahu flew to Russia for a lightning meeting with Putin. Over the course of the next several months, and several summits, Netanyahu was able to reach an agreement with Putin that enabled Israel to continue its missions in Syria against Iranian targets and missile shipments to Hezbollah.

Netanyahu’s actions were a diplomatic triumph of epic proportions. Not only has Israel been able to achieve its tactical and strategic goals in Syria, but it has also been able to operate in Syria for nearly a decade without being pulled into the civil war there. Moreover, the agreements Netanyahu reached with Putin set the course of cooperative ties between Moscow and Jerusalem on a host of issues, including the return of the remains and personal effects of IDF soldier Zechariah Baumel that had been held in Syria since 1982.

Due to these diplomatic efforts, when Donald Trump entered office in 2017, he and his advisors were greeted by a Middle East where Israel was a regional power that worked closely with several key Arab states to contain Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Netanyahu quickly developed an intimate relationship built on trust and mutual support with the new US leader.

Those ties enabled Israel to maximize the benefits of having a friend in the White House. Those benefits – including the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, Trump’s decision to transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, U.S recognition of the legality of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and of Israel’s rights to sovereignty in Judea and Samaria fortified Israel’s position as a regional power and an attractive ally and partner for states worldwide. Israel’s reinforced position also paved the way to the formalization of Israel’s ties with several Arab states through the Abraham Accords.

 

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