Due to all of the mad hats and the cuckoo birds, in Bibi Netanyahu’s coalition government — for a change of a pace — it would appear that Benjamin Netanyahu is emerging, as an adult in the room. In fact, a boyhood friend of his even wrote him a letter recently, saying, “I know and remember well the liberal values that you were brought up on, in your house on Haportzim Street and during your youth in the United States. I refuse to believe that your opinions and worldviews identify with the destructive steps that are splitting the nation, harming freedom of expression … threatening our existence as a free country and tremendously damaging our image in the enlightened world.”

One would have to wonder if Netanyahu is thinking “with friends like these!!?”, but in actuality due to folks, like the former Maldovan bouncer and current Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, trying to exercise their boneheaded and their benightedness; missives — like the aforementioned one — are probably precisely what Benjamin Netanyahu needs. And even though the illegal occupation and the showering of the Palestinians with inferior and inhuman stature, are, undoubtedly, the primary drivers for international derision and disreputation for the most noted pariah state, can increasing the ironhandedness and the authoritarianism at home, actually bring about anything constructive, decent, or even somewhat benign?

Surprisingly, our fair Netanyahu appears to be pursuing some actions — that would suggest — that he won’t wholeheartedly support all of the changes. Although Gideon Levy, the exceptional columnist for Haaretz, likens Netanyahu’s efforts to the thwarting of a galloping tiger. According to Levy, the battered and bloodied Netanyahu (nor Israel), will ever be the same. Perhaps it’s an article of faith for those us who believe in such principles, but I think that a society with a vigorous and open civil society (and debate culture), is clearly one better prepared and capable of dealing with an issue, like the Middle Eastern peace process; than one where the organs of the press and the non-governmental organizations are cowed and intimidated — and live in perpetual fear of being cracked down upon — by the hand of the regime.

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