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Where is the Leader?
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Where is the Leader?

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

Of all recent Israeli Government, this Netanyahu Government must really take the cake for foot in mouth disease. Ministers as well as the Prime Minister himself just do not know how to keep quiet and when not to say anything. Much is and will continue to be written about Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s ill-advised remarks concerning the U.S. relationship with Israel, etc.: as well his apology or non-apology.  The remarks can be debated and should be discussed but not in a defiant public domain.  The conduct and behavior of the Defense Minister should require him to resign.

Ya’alon is not the first Israeli Minister to have insulted the only true friend Israel has in the world; but he may well be the first Defense Minister who actually annoyed the Pentagon by his insulting arrogance. Only internal party politics within Likud; weakness of the coalition; an absence of a genuine opposition to his control; plus the weakness of Bibi’s leadership, have made it possible for Ya’alon to have survived this long. Regardless of whether Netanyahu agreed or disagreed with Ya’alon’s remarks on Monday at Tel Aviv University they were totally irresponsible and the PM absolutely bears ultimate responsibility for what Members of his Cabinet say.

Bibi’s weakness or his cynicism is evident.  The fact that he cannot properly ameliorate the situation with the U.S. and force Ya’alon to make a sufficient mea culpa to avoid exacerbating the situation any further is a grossly embarrassing; suggesting tacit approval; contributing to a very destructive approach to the U.S.-Israel relationship. It explains how Netanyahu is simply unwilling to separate inside discussions and negotiations and differences from outside politics.

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