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New Yorker Editor Laces into Netanyahu

In an op-ed piece on the magazine's web site. Remnick laces into Netanyahu as a “dangerous neocon”
By David Lev
First Publish: 9/13/2012, 2:02 PM

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

"High-handed,” “arrogant,” “dangerous” - these are just a few of the personality traits of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, if the editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick, is to be believed. In an op-ed piece on the magazine's web site. Remnick laces into Netanyahu as a “dangerous neocon” whose aim is “to embolden and elevate the reactionary forces in Israel, to eliminate the dwindling possibility of a just settlement with the Palestinians, and to isolate his country on the world diplomatic stage.”

Not satisfied with all that, Remnick wrote, “Netanyahu seems determined, more than ever, to alienate the President of the United States,” as well as insert himself into the U.S. presidential election by allying himself with Mitt Romney against President Barack H. Obama.

The core of Remnick's criticism is how Netanyahu is trying to bully Obama into attacking Iran. Despite the sage advice of dozens of advisors, as well as the majority of the Israeli public who are opposed to attacking Iran, Netanyahu is determine to start a regional war, and drag the U.S. along with him. Calling Netanyahu's handling of his relationship with the President of the United States “outrageous,” Remnick says that Netanyahu hasn't changed his “high-handed” and “arrogant” ways, which he used against Bill Clinton, leaving that president “bewildered and bemused, wondering who, in their relationship, was the leader of a superpower.” In the same way, an arrogant Netanyahu, “in the guise of Churchillian prescience,” is cleverly trying to manipulate the Iran issue for the benefit of his old friend, Romney, against Obama.

This is certainly not Remnick's first rant against Netanyahu, whom the New Yorker editor has castigated for years. Last March, for example, he wrote that on his last visit to the U.S., Netanyahu showed “imperious disdain” for Obama. Because of Netanyahu, he wrote, Israel was turning anti-democratic, fanatic, xenophobic, racist, and warlike.

Commenting on the article, one activist in Judea and Samaria said that while Remnick and others like him are entitled to their opinion, they are doing their own cause a disservice by ranting against Netanyahu. “Many Israelis on the right don't like Netanyahu and his policies – after all, he was responsible for the building freeze in Judea and Samaria that Ehud Olmert never dared implement. But Israelis tend to see Netanyahu as a 'victim' of bad press, and there is a 'circle the wagons' mentality when it comes to stories like this. We may not like Netanyahu, but we are determined to defend him from leftist screeds like this. I would suggest that if people like Remnick are really interested in prompting Israelis to turn out Netanyahu, they stop portraying him as a monster, because they are just going to strengthen his position at home.”