I worked as a writer for Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu on his victorious 2009 election, and I have a deep connection to the land, to the people, and to the politics of Israel.
But none of my qualifications are required to recognize the three big lies on this week’s TIME cover: “King Bibi. He’s conquered Israel. But will Netanyahu now make peace—or war?” Three big lies in three lines – on the cover alone.
First; why judge TIME Magazine by its cover? Because it’s the only part of TIME Magazine that most people ever see. Each week 99% of all Americans make the wise decision to not buy, not open, and not read TIME. And only a tiny fraction of Americans have even a passing exposure to the magazine – a quick glance at its cover – usually while buying something they do value, like chewing gum, bottled water, or magazines that don’t consistently get things wrong.
But the TIME cover does have an impact. If you don’t believe that, then why did America just spend a week talking about breast feeding children, instead of talking about the mountains of government debt those children – and their children – will never be able to pay back in their lifetimes. Like it or not, the TIME cover matters.
So, when TIME Magazine tells three big lies about Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu on its cover, those three big lies have an impact.
So I’m calling TIME out on TIME’s cover.
LIE #1: the headline, “King Bibi.” No. Bibi Netanyahu is the democratically-elected Prime Minister of a Parliamentary democracy. Contrary to the distorted view of Netanyahu put forth by Western liberal media, Mr. Netanyahu is almost too democratic. In Israel, Netanyahu is often criticized for behaving too democratically, for trying too hard to reach a middle ground – often with those who oppose his policies, or who oppose the existence of the Jewish State and want to wipe Israel from the map.
Contrast that to the “kingly” behavior of Barack Obama, who rules by fiat with Czars, often in extra-Constitutional ways. When King Barack’s fiats are challenged by the Supreme Court, by American citizens, or even by a Governor of a State like Arizona, he berates them in public, demonizes them, or sues them. “King Bibi?” Hardly.
LIE #2: “He conquered Israel.” No. Prime Minister Netanyahu was democratically elected by the people of Israel. He then reached across the aisle to the politicians and parties he defeated, and formed what could be the longest-lasting coalition government in Israel’s history. This is not the behavior of a conquerer. It is exactly the kind of “reach-across-the-aisle” bipartisanship that the American leftist media always claims it wants.
Here’s an analogy to bring it home to America. Imagine that Barack Obama won the 2008 election, but failed to get enough “seats” in the “legislature” to form government (if America had a Parliamentary democracy). If he behaved like Prime Minister Netanyahu, he would have reached across the aisle to make John McCain his Vice President, Sarah Palin his Secretary of State, and Mitt Romney his “Jobs Czar,” in order to form a working coalition government. Then, for the last three years while almost everyone in his Cabinet was angling to run against him and defeat him in the 2012 election, Obama would have to run all of his major policies by the people he defeated – and who want to defeat him in 2012 – and find some way to make a coalition like that work in order to keep the country safe and prosperous. And, just to bump up the level of difficulty, let’s say Canada wants to wipe America off the map, and is building a bomb to do so.
Bibi Netanyahu did not conquer Israel, as TIME contends on its cover. He reached across the aisle to form a stable coalition with his sometimes hostile political opponents, in the most hostile part of the world, and he found a way to make it work. For example, Prime Minister Netanyahu manages to pass his budgets. King Barack couldn’t even get his own party to vote for his budget – not one Democratic member of the Senate, not one vote, and no budget for America for more than three years.
LIE #3: “will Netanyahu now make peace - or war?” Prime Minister Netanyahu is trying to make peace with those who only want to make war. He has been trying, for years, to make peace with those who openly state that they want to wipe Israel from the map, to kill Jews, and to end the Jewish State forever.
How do you make peace with those who want war? The answer is: you can’t. But still, Prime Minister Netanyahu has tried, and tried, and tried again – to make peace with those who only want war.
So, when TIME Magazine writes “will Netanyahu now make peace – or war?” they are offering a false choice. If Mr. Netanyahu fails to “make peace,” according to the TIME paradigm, it will be Bibi’s fault because he made war.
The truth is: the choice to make war always lies in the hands of the aggressor. If those who want to make war with Israel simply accept Mr. Netanyahu’s repeated offers of peace, there will be peace. Tomorrow. But if they keep pushing for war, there will be war.
Here is a personal analogy. Imagine that someone with murderous intentions is advancing on you and your family. You have the capabilities to stop the murderer, by force if necessary, but you try to make peace as long as you can. But, if all your attempts to make peace with the murderer fail, and if your assailant is now within striking distance of you and your family, you have two choices: sit there and wait to die, or stop the murderer who wants to kill you and your family. If you stop the murderer who wants to kill you and your family, does that mean that you made war? According to TIME Magazine, and many others on the left, the answer is: yes.
Three big lies in three lines, on this week’s Time cover. Don’t buy the lies. Don’t buy TIME.