Time Magazine, itself a declining entity when it comes to influence, selected Benjamin Netanyahu as one of 100 most influential people in the world, among 30 Leaders that also included U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Francis, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Raul Castro and French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen.
Time asked former prime minister Ehud Barak to write the article about Netanyahu, under the headline “Israel’s survivor.”
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Barak wrote that he knew “Bibi” decades ago, when the latter was under the former’s command in the IDF. “Chickenshit he is not, ” wrote Barak, referring to the Atlantic article in which a U.S. official described Netanyahu as a coward.
On the other hand, Barak wrote that Netanyahu had over time become “pessimistic, passive and anxious.”
“I think he is more complex and nuanced, ” Barak wrote, referring to the common perception that Netanyahu’s lack of initiative is all about staying in power.
Netanyahu, Barak agrees, is “basically right” about Iran and the region, but “he can fail to seize opportunities, and on the Palestinian question he grossly ignores the slippery slope awaiting Israel in the form of a one-state solution.”
About the strained relationship with the White House, Barak notes, “Netanyahu must swiftly heal wounds opened by his campaign, mend the working relationship with President Obama, fight hard – mainly behind closed doors – for a tougher policy, and even, if needed, an attack against Iran and boldly engage the region’s moderates against terror, radicalism and Iranian hegemony. Daring actions are needed. Not just words.”
Barak criticizes the prime minister: “Over time, while thoughtful and an avid reader of history, he developed a mind-set at once pessimistic, passive and anxious. Benjamin Netanyahu seems to avoid any initiative.”