Netanyahu calls Saban and Adelson

Big money to the rescue…

Israeli''s Prime Minister Netanyahu
Dozens of Democrats have threatened to boycott Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress, writes Bishara [AP]

As dozens of Democrats threaten to boycott Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech amid mounting calls for its cancellation or postponement, the Israeli prime minister turns to two of his mega financial backers among the powerful Zionist 1 percent in the United States. Marwan Bishara could only imagine his exchange with Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban.

Bibi: Shalom H’aivreh, hello friends.

Sheldon: Shalom, shalom. 

Haim: Ahlan Bibi, MaHainyaneem – How’s it going?

Bibi: Shega’on – Craziness.

Haim: That’s what I love about our country; it’s a political mess… 

Sheldon: It’s because you’re a troublemaker, Haim. You thrive on controversy. 

Bibi: I won’t get between you two, but seriously, I need your help in dealing with that snotty president of yours.

I am not calling you to intervene with Obama; I am calling to see how we could mitigate the crisis which the White House manufactured; how to secure the support of the Democratic Party leadership, and strengthen the Republican resolve. Obama's campaign to undermine me and discredit my - our - positions on Iran has gone unanswered even as it's gathering steam.


Sheldon: He’s not my president!

Haim: OK, I am the Democrat here, but you all know I’ve supported Hillary; she’s my girl. I paraded her around Brookings the other day along with your Avigdor [Lieberman], what a sight. It was fun.

Bibi: Guys, I am not calling you to intervene with Obama; I am calling to see how we could mitigate the crisis which the White House manufactured; how to secure the support of the Democratic Party leadership, and strengthen the Republican resolve. Obama’s campaign to undermine me and discredit my – our – positions on Iran has gone unanswered even as it’s gathering steam.

Sheldon: I agree – when the weasel at the Times, Friedman, takes Obama’s side, I worry because he’s an opportunist who senses which direction the wind is blowing.

Haim: We should’ve done it, Sheldon; we should’ve bought the New York Times.

Sheldon: Yeah, and the Washington Post, but we missed our chance. You know, with the exception of the Wall Street Journal and FOX, much of the media outlets are biased; they speak of Israeli occupation and Palestinian rights as if either exists.

Bibi: But even Chris Wallace who works for our friend – Rupert’s FOX, says the way we went about being invited was ‘wicked’. And also our friend Bloomberg is not helping either.

Haim: You know, it’s not only the issue of media where we have certain influence; it’s the economy. Obama is on the up and up, with unemployment low and the economy growing again.

Sheldon: Spoken like a Democrat! What growth!  What rise! He’s just lost an election for cryin’ out loud. Look at the debt he compounded. It’s the Republican governors that are pulling the country up.

Haim: Sheldon and I may disagree on Democrat-Republican lines, but we are in total agreement on Israel and on providing you with total and unconditional support.

Sheldon: Yes sir.

Bibi: And that’s why I am calling you; we need to deter the Democrats from continuing to undermine my visit and speech. This needs to stop. We need to refocus the attention on Iran.

Haim: We need to make the case for Obama’s weakness; how he’s been handling Iran with too many carrots but few sticks. And, as I said in the past, ‘I would bomb the living daylights out of the sons of bitches,’ if other means fail.

Sheldon: You turn people off when you speak like that, Haim. Let’s try to be cool but resolute.

Bibi: How do you suppose we do that? Are you guys at the Israel American Council coordinating your activity with AIPAC? Because, you know these guys at AIPAC can be paranoid if they feel that you’re competing with them.

Haim: Well, I can start with my close circle of friends and the network of contacts that I have as the chair of the international Advisory Board of the Saban Center at Brookings.

Bibi: And your friends on the West Coast?

Haim: You mean the big guns who attended my ‘Friends of the Israel Defense Forces’ fundraiser last summer? Oh, what a night – despite the anti-Israel bias during the Gaza war, we collected $34m for FIDF. I insisted that there be no unanimous contributions; I wanted them all to be proud of supporting Israeli Forces.

Sheldon: I was there – and we could certainly recruit the hundreds who attended the fundraiser to exert pressure on the Democrats.

Haim: It’s such a pleasure to squeeze these high society Americans for the cause of Israel. But my people at Brookings tell me that their polls show it’s mostly the older and more religious Americans who support us. The younger, more diverse and open-minded Americans seem to side with Obama and J Street. I also hear we are losing support at universities and trade unions. We need to stop the bleeding.

Sheldon: AIPAC leaders need not be afraid of IAC; rather, they should fear those liberals at J Street lobby who coordinate their support for Obama directly with the White House. They’re the ones undermining AIPAC. At IAC, we are mainly focused on organising the hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in America.

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Bibi: Ok, so we agree to mount a new offensive in order to remind members of Congress of their commitments to Israel. I spoke to Chuck Schumer earlier this week and I must say he sounded sort of wobbly; Obama is intimidating everyone.

Sheldon: It’s easier on the Republican side, but we’ll work on both sides of the isle to extract greater commitment towards Israel.

Haim: We’re already seen as the ‘Koch Brothers for Israel’, but it’s Sheldon that commands the big bucks. We will remind everyone that money, lots of it, will go to those who are loyal, or against those who betray us. 

Sheldon: I am certain that between Haim, me and a few others, we’ll stand out during the presidential campaigns and we’ll eventually become kingmakers come next elections.

Bibi: Kol Hacavode? Respect… But I want to remain focused on the next several weeks. Because I can’t afford to be humiliated by Obama, or by poor attendance in Congress. It seems even Biden won’t show up. And I certainly cannot afford to be embarrassed on the eve of the Israeli elections.

Sheldon: You know my Israeli newspaper Hayom supports your candidacy. And by the way, I like your TV ads; pretty clever to portray the liberal opposition as childish; literally kindergarten childish. But yes, you can’t afford humiliation.

Haim: Should we think of fallback positions, or ways to save face? Obama has no more elections to win, but you do, Bibi. Perhaps Hillary can help. Maybe she can be the mediator?

Bibi: Barack told me last week that there are no compromises possible; that only by withdrawing my acceptance to speak would a greater crisis in relations be aborted. But if Hillary and Bill could help, I welcome it.

Sheldon: How dare he be so condescending!

Haim: He’s resurging in the polls.

Sheldon: He’s delusional and he doesn’t care for Israel; not one iota. I would like to erase that annoying smug look off his face every time he speaks about Israel.

Bibi: It’s like when Jay Leno joked the other day in Jerusalem, Obama keeps on saying that the US-Israel relationship is unbreakable because he’s been trying to break it for the last six years.

Haim: I hate to be the positive guy here, but come on, Obama did stand by Israel many times, regardless of whether he was motivated by duty or desire. He’s not the enemy.

Sheldon: With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Bibi: Obama’s attempt at silencing me and sidelining Israel in the debate over Iran’s nuclear programme is as rude as it is dangerous.

Sheldon: You are the best public speaker for Israel, Bibi, and we need to see and hear more from you on US TV networks, on the main networks and on CNN with the likes of Wolf Blitzer.

Bibi: You know, Wolf was the correspondent for the Jerusalem Post before CNN, and he used to write for Jewish Week under the Hebrew name [translated] Ze’ev Barak?

Sheldon: Nope, didn’t know that. It’s good to know our people are everywhere.

Haim: We shouldn’t hide or mask our support for Israel and its right to defend itself against nuclear Ayatollahs. If it’s ok for the Koch brothers and the ‘one percent’ to get what they want from politicians, it’s kosher for us too. We should rally and lobby for Israel openly and proudly.

Sheldon: The problem is that lots of our compatriots, especially among the rich Jews, continue to support Obama’s liberal agenda. We need to alert them to the danger of Obama’s policies and Iran.

Bibi: That’s what I’m talking about. We need a nationwide campaign to get everyone in line with our agenda. Can’t let the president get away with dictating US policy on his own.

Sheldon: Spoken like a true American…

Haim: You’re an Israeli chutzpah. 

Bibi: Yep. That’s yours truly…

Haim: Baruch Hashem, God Bless…

Marwan Bishara is the senior political analyst at Al Jazeera.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.