Home Kobe shoes When Bennett steps onto Netanyahu’s stage at the United Nations – analysis

When Bennett steps onto Netanyahu’s stage at the United Nations – analysis


No one remembers that Michael Jordan was replaced by Pete Myers and Brent Barry, and LeBron James was replaced by Jamario Moon, Omri Casspi, and Cedi Osman.

These shoes were impossible to fill.

Naftali Bennett walked straight into the prime minister’s office without any on-the-job training or even a proper meeting with his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, which had its pros and cons.

When it comes to international diplomacy, being Netanyahu’s successor mostly helped Bennett, as the world leaders he met – starting with Jordanian King Abdullah – were so happy that Netanyahu was finally gone. The headline at the bottom of the screen when Bennett met US President Joe Biden was “President meets Israeli leader who is not Netanyahu”.

But when Bennett delivers the annual address to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, he will come at a disadvantage, as it was Netanyahu’s biggest stage to show off his talent. This is where Netanyahu was at his best to present Israel’s cause to the world.

This is where Netanyahu actually used his props of maps of Tehran and Beirut, a bomb with a red line, and the architectural plans of Auschwitz. Bennett’s advisers stressed that he wouldn’t bring any props.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks to the press ahead of his visit to UNGA in New York (Credit: Lahav Harkov)

They failed to recognize, however, that props were never the title but the means to get the world’s attention to the title. Last year, Netanyahu used the speech to reveal Hezbollah’s secret weapons depot in Beirut, near the site of the port explosion that left 200 people dead. In 2018, he told the international community about a secret atomic warehouse in Tehran. He told the world four years ago that he would make peace with the Arab countries, and no one believed him, but they listened.

CNN and Fox broadcast Netanyahu’s speeches live because they knew there would be dramas and headlines. At a conference where the headline so far has come from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson mocking Kermit the Frog, it will be difficult for Bennett to grab the world’s attention if his only thing isn’t Netanyahu.
Despite these difficult circumstances, it will be the best opportunity for Bennett to introduce himself to the international community and tell his fellow world leaders who he is, not just who he is not. He will have ample time to explain what he believes in and what he is trying to accomplish during his tenure as Prime Minister.

Again, perhaps like other world leaders, his target audience will not be the international community but his own constituents at home. It would be legitimate, but if it is, it is at a disadvantage with this goal as well.

Netanyahu always found a way to speak in prime time on a weekday evening. Bennett will speak at 4 p.m. local time, two hours before the start of a holiday and two days before the public receives a newspaper.

Very few Israelis will watch, and Netanyahu’s associates have emphatically said he would not be among them. That won’t stop Netanyahu from reacting, of course, and putting Bennett down.

Netanyahu attempted to insult Bennett after meeting Biden, but ended up only hurting himself when a clip of him mocking the president and falsely accusing him of falling asleep during the her encounter with Bennett went viral.

If he had swallowed his pride and offered Bennett his help with the speech, it might have helped Netanyahu regain the political sense voters want to see. Instead, Netanyahu only offered Bennett his mercy and tweeted that he should study his past speeches at the UN and learn from them.

“Even the great Michael Jordan, when he passed the torch to Kobe Bryant, did so with respect because he considered him his pupil,” said a former Netanyahu collaborator. “The situation here is different. Bennett has followed in Bibi’s footsteps and learned from him, but Bibi is not the type to kiss her students. In his mind, among the many strengths he brought was his international reputation and ability to speak to the American public and the international community, and the UN speech was his annual opportunity to do so.

“We will feel the fall, not having our best speaker, having someone much less qualified. This is why it is important to try to make it not an anti-Bibi speech but a speech of Naftali.