Netanyahu faces this quandary. The problem is that he is scared to rock to boat. He is scared to rock it when Avigdor Lieberman causes colossal damages to Israel’s status in the world; he is scared to rock it when Eli Yishai undermines our ties with the US Administration; he is scared to rock it when the haredim prefer the peace of the dead over the health of the living.
“They are scared,” Netanyahu once said, on the eve of one of his election defeats. Yet the truth is that he is scared.
Fear is a bad advisor. For months now, Netanyahu’s representative attorney Yitzhak Molcho, has been engaged in quiet negotiations on the Jerusalem issue with Senator George Mitchell, President Obama’s envoy. Netanyahu was scared to anger the Right. Hence, Molcho told Mitchell that the PM would not be able to declare a construction freeze in east Jerusalem.
However, Netanyahu was also scared of angering the Americans. Hence, Molcho promised Mitchell there will be no announcements of new construction in east Jerusalem. The result exploded in the face of Vice President Joe Biden last week.
As result of his struggle not to quarrel with or anger others, Netanyahu angers everyone: The Americans, the Right, the Left, and eventually the haredim too. Everyone smells his fear. There is nothing more dangerous for a prime minister than this smell; the smell of fear.