Caught on tape: what the Israelis really think of us
In 2001, Bibi Netanyahu paid a condolence call on a group of Israeli settlers in the village of Ofra, widows whose husbands had been killed in the Intifada: the videotaped conversation has just been leaked, and broadcast by Israel's Channel 10, and it is a blockbuster. At one point, Bibi is telling the widows that the Palestinians "think they will break us," but don't worry, ladies, Bibi has a plan:
"To hit them. Not just one blow, but blows that are so painful that the price will be too heavy to be borne. The price is not too heavy to be borne, now. A broad attack on the Palestinian Authority. To bring them to the point of being afraid that everything is collapsing
"Woman: Wait a moment, but then the world will say 'how come you're conquering again?'
"Netanyahu: The world won't say a thing. The world will say we're defending.
"Woman: Aren't you afraid of the world, Bibi?
"Netanyahu: Especially today, with America. I know what America is. America is something that can easily be moved. Moved to the right direction."
A child speaks up, and, surprisingly articulate, avers: "They say they're for us, but, it's like "
Yes, even the children are little ideologues. Today that boy is a teenager on the verge of adulthood, and likely a fervent supporter of Israel's ultra-rightist government, led by Bibi, who, back then, quickly assured him: "They won't get in our way." The child, hardliner that he was and no doubt still is, seemed doubtful: "On the other hand," the kid ventured, "if we do some something, then they "
That's when Bibi really let his hair down:
"So let's say they say something. So they said it! They said it! 80% of the Americans support us. It's absurd. We have that kind of support . Look. That administration [Clinton] was extremely pro-Palestinian. I wasn't afraid to maneuver there. I was not afraid to clash with Clinton."
Of course he wasn't, because he knew he'd win, what with the Republicans in Congress passing resolutions unconditionally supporting the Israelis and AIPAC and the rest of the Lobby going all out to mobilize their fifth column against Oslo and the very idea of a rapprochement. Oslo was a dagger placed against the throat of the hard-line Likud movement, which explicitly embraces the rather nutty idea of a "Greater Israel," and there was no way Netanyahu or his party could accept it without betraying who and what they were and are.