Thursday, December 25, 2014

Netanyahu reaches out to his Christian base

In a sly bit of electioneering, Israeli PM Netanyahu has reached out to his American Christian base with a feel-good Christmas message.

Netanyahu has always been more popular in the US than in Israel. They see him as one of them, which compared to someone like Lieberman he clearly is. His perfect east coast English and knowledge of American culture give him a veneer of innocuous familiarity in American eyes.

Netanyahu has used that to his advantage throughout his political career, which is based on endless fear-mongering at home combined with selling himself as the man most likely to keep America's unquestioning military support.

Alas, there have been signs that the schtick is growing tired. The ill-advised call for new elections with two years remaining on the meter, the courts trying to prevent him from running again, and the unexpected rise of a Labour party long ago left for dead, have all conspired together to create the perfect storm. The wily fox may have out-foxed even himself!

Count on Netanyahu to double down on the only strategy he's ever known. He will shamelessly ramp up the fear-mongering at home and boost his profile on America's TV screens between now and March.

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