Sometimes you just have to be there to understand how much we do not understand. Sometimes to open your eyes, you need to look from the outside, in. Sometimes you need distance to discover simple truths.
I stayed for a week in Washington D.C., next to leaders of public opinion and senior members of the US Congress. I spoke to many of them. Some of them even visited the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conference. Some attended Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's address to the US Congress. Others were not present, but I listened to them anyway. Mostly, I just listened.
They like Netanyahu. They believe him. They see him as the ultimate leader of the Jewish people. They believe that headlines coming out of Israel about Netanyahu's speech are blown out of proportion.
One of them even said the following statement: "I read the headlines in Israel in disbelief. They have just gone crazy. These are petty politics to bring down Netanyahu's campaign and the price is escalating tensions between Jerusalem and the White House to monstrous proportions."
The Israeli media describes the situation as an inevitable rift between the US and Israel, describing recent exchanges as an all-time diplomatic low. Some very specific media outlets take the Prime Minister of Israel during the time most critical to the security of the state - at the peak of talks between the United States and other world powers and Iran - and make him an irresponsible person in the public's eyes. Further, they have planted anti-Netanyahu sentiments into the mouths of leftist leaders, who excel in parrotry.
Do not let anyone tell you stories. I was there. The Israeli media is simply lying; I have no other way to say it. In terms of most of the public in the United States, Binyamin Netanyahu was - and remains - the ultimate leader of the Jewish state. Any other definition of him is fudging the truth.
Netanyahu blames news mogul Noni Mozes for undermining his efforts to achieve stability. This could be correct; I have no idea who is pulling the strings or what his motivation could be.
But there is one truth, and that is in the United States. In Israel, there is a differently reality - for now. Maybe, in two weeks, when Netanyahu wins again, the Israeli media's tone will return to sanity.
One final comment, to [Labor leader] Yitzhak Herzog. Yitzhak, you hurried after Netanyahu's speech to give your own speech in a Western Negev community, bringing the media with you. But unlike Netanyahu's speech, this was a simple and "classic" pre-elections speech. It was pure propaganda.
Instead of helping you, your address may have hurt you. Israel has a popular saying: "you don't speak after Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau or sing after Dudu Fisher." Those who understand [the comparison], understand my point .