Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bibi Pulls the Trigger

Well, Netanyahu resigned today. I have to say, I'm surprised. Not so much by the resignation as by the timing. I'm not sure what he hopes to gain by this. He can't stop the disengagement at this point; so he seems to be setting himself up to challenge Sharon in early elections. At least, that's what the Israeli media is generally saying. The consensus seems to be that Bibi's motivations are entirely political. This is much in keeping with Netanyahu's previous career moves. I've always felt him to be a very intelligent and articulate guy plagued by personal ambition and ego. This many be due to his family history; his father was Jabotinsky's secretery and the author of several important books (including a groundbreaking history of the marranos) and his brother was killed leading the Entebbe Raid. Standing up to that kind of competition can't be easy. The Netanyahus are as close as Israel gets to a Kennedy family, and share some of the same vices. Personally, I would have preferred Bibi to wait until Sharon retires; he is, after all, the only realistic successor to the old man. It seems he feels the need to hurry the thing along. Unfortunate. The last thing this country needs right now is a political crisis.