As Independence Day celebrations were winding down Tuesday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a guest appearance on Channel 2's left-wing satire show Eretz Nehederet. One of the final questions that the show's host Eyal Kitzis asked the premier was how he would like to be remembered after he leaves office.
Netanyahu thought a moment and said, "I'd like to be remembered as the leader who preserved Israel's security."
On the face of it, Netanyahu's stated aspiration might seem dull. In a year he'll be the longest-serving prime minister in the state's history, and all he wants is to preserve our national security? Why is he aiming so low? And yet, the studio audience reacted to Netanyahu's modest goal with a thunderclap of applause.
After pausing to gather his thoughts, a clearly befuddled Kitzis mumbled something along the lines of, "Well, if you manage to make peace as well, we wouldn't object."
The audience was silent.
The disparity between the audience's exultation and Kitzis's shocked disappointment at Netanyahu's answer exposed - yet again - the yawning gap between the mainstream Israeli view of the world, and that shared by members of our elite class.
The Israeli public gave our elites the opportunity to try out their peace fantasies in the 1990s. We gave their peace a chance and got repaid with massive terror and international isolation.
We are not interested in repeating the experience.
We will be nice to leftists, if they are polite. We might even watch their shows, if there's nothing else on or they are mildly entertaining. But we won't listen to them anymore.
This is why US President Barack Obama's visit last month had no impact on public opinion or government policy.
Obama came, hugged Netanyahu and showered us with love just like Bill Clinton did back in the roaring '90s. He praised us to high heaven and told us he has our back. And then he told us we should force our leaders to give Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to our sworn enemies even as they teach their children to aspire to kill our children.
And we smiled and wished him a pleasant flight home.
Obama had no idea what he was getting into when he came here. Like Kitzis and his colleagues on Channel 2, Obama surrounds himself with people who, like him, prefer fantasy to reality. In Obama's world, Islamic jihad is about the West, not about jihadists. In Obama's world, the most pressing issue on the international agenda is apartments for Jews in Jerusalem and Efrat. And in Obama's world, what Israelis need more than anything else is for leftist Europeans to love us.
Talk about retro.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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