Bibi’s equivalent of an inaugural address — his speech to the Knesset at the ceremony for the swearing in of the new government — just ended. It began with a call for unity – of government (embodied by his new cabinet, which Netanyahu’s opponents call a “right-wing government joined by Labor”) and of purpose.
Further on, he talked at length about the challenges to
As I was listening to his speech, I was amazed that there are people still portraying his message as “extreme” or “radical.” It could be safely characterized as mainstream. Any supporters drawn to a bolder, more revolutionary, Netanyahu might have been disappointed. Netanyahu — political maneuvering and coalition-opposition games aside — was sworn in espousing a message very few Israelis would object to: consensual, pragmatic, and sober.
“What’s the headline,” a TV anchor asked? “No headlines,” the political correspondent said. The new Netanyahu doesn’t want to be headlined. He doesn’t give many interviews, and when he does, he doesn’t try to amaze, or enrage, or shock. Headlines, Netanyahu seems to have learned, can be disruptive.