After two years in which he was forced to give way to Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will today return to the stage that, among other things, made him burst into international consciousness: the United Nations.
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A short paragraph in Netanyahu's speech will be devoted to Israel's democratic character and to the fact that he is committed to the democratic values that have guided him all his life
The speech will be broadcast in Israel in the afternoon, not long before Shabbat begins – a rather bad timing for Netanyahu, since few people watch the news at that time, especially among his constituents. That's not the only schedule problem he'll have this weekend. Netanyahu will have to leave New York a few minutes after Shabbat begins, which will surely result in the desecration of the Sabbath of his entourage. If he does not do so, he will arrive at Ben Gurion Airport after the airport is closed due to Yom Kippur, which is an embarrassment that should be avoided.
However, beyond this scheduling mishap, which stems from his office's decision to stay abroad for the fourth time in the past year over the weekend, Netanyahu's return to the stage with the famous green wall in the background also marks the return of the red color to his cheeks after long and difficult months. Last week in the United States was successful for him by all accounts.
The protest, which some criticized for crossing red lines and harming Israel abroad, suffered a blow to its image. The prime minister, for his part, returned to lead the agenda and not be dragged behind it. America, English, associating with world leaders, both in technology and in the political arena - this is his home turf.
Global Terrorist Efforts
And so, even in his 12th UN speech, Netanyahu will devote a significant chapter to Iran. He will address the removal of IAEA inspectors from Iran's nuclear facilities last weekend. He is also expected to oppose the quiet agreement between the United States and Iran, under which the Islamic Republic tacitly agreed to enrich uranium to 60%, and also question the flow of billions of dollars, which will be transferred directly to its global terror enterprise.
Prime Minister Netanyahu at the UN in 2016, photo: AFP
The prime minister, for his part, returned to lead the agenda and not be dragged behind it. America, English, associating with world leaders, both in technology and in the political arena - this is his home ground
He will claim that Iran is behind the escalation of violence in Judea and Samaria, and blame it for the wave of terrorist attacks suffered by Israeli citizens in recent months. It will also likely point to Iran's global terrorist efforts to sharpen the message that the problem belongs to the entire world.
In the face of the growing danger from Iran, Netanyahu is expected to emphasize his desire to expand the circle of peace. He will talk about the efforts of the United States to reach an agreement between Riyadh and Saudi Arabia, which could lead to normalization between Riyadh and Jerusalem that will change the face of the Middle East and the direction of history. The prime minister will probably emphasize that there is a long way to go. He will also state his desire for a solution to the Palestinian problem, but most importantly, the speech at the UN will be an opportunity for him to welcome Saudi Arabia's ruler Mohammed bin Salman's remarks on the "approaching every day" agreement between his country and Israel.
A short paragraph in the speech will be devoted to Israel's democratic character and to the fact that Netanyahu is committed to the democratic values that have guided him all his life. The media in Israel devotes long hours to the demonstrations and what surrounds them, but on Netanyahu's agenda they take up little space. Here in New York, accompanied closely by him and his entourage, we could see it up close.
Protesters in the United States, photo: AP
Netanyahu and his people are not bothered by the protest as it currently stands. For them, it's an after-noise you can live with. Those who used the weapon of refusal drilled a hole in the ship that would take years to seal, but the journey of reform will not stop and its direction will not change.
Problems in the country await
With the return to normal, the day after Yom Kippur, Netanyahu was required to pass two measures. The first is the draft law, which will be based on the Attias Framework and the coalition agreement between him and Gantz from 2020. In addition, the ultra-Orthodox agreed to subordinate substantial portions of their already existing volunteering in the sector to the National Civil Service Authority. Those around Netanyahu noted with satisfaction the words of the chairman of Torah Judaism, Yitzhak Goldknopf, who said this week that "the Gedolim of Israel will insist that only those who study Torah really remain in the yeshiva," and that those who do not study should enlist.
The second move concerns the Judicial Selection Committee. There is optimism about agreements with Gantz's people, but even if this does not happen, the last resort is to raise the threshold of support for the appointment of new judges to seven of the nine members of the Judicial Selection Committee. This is a minor change in the law, which certainly does not lead to the government taking over, but drops the veto for the judges.
If he succeeds in passing these two laws, the way will be paved for the government to fill its days, provided that no major event occurs that will shake the country.
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