Taking care of last minute details. Responding to emails. Packing. Such has been my day. Early Friday morning I leave to Chicago and from there on to Israel and Palestine.
PBS Frontline offered something of a gift for my pre-trip viewing in the form of a documentary on Benjamin Netanyahu, the current prime minister of Israel whose terms of office have crossed over with the presidencies of Clinton, Bush and Obama (with an absence from office caused by one of many scandals).
For those that want to see peace between Israel and Palestine, Netanyahu is the great villain. He has, without questioned, undermined peace efforts undertaken not just by Clinton and Obama but also by George W. Bush. Unfortunately, during his tenure, the Palestinian government has remained weak (in part because of Israeli policies but also because of a lack of strong leadership within the Palestinian Authority that could take on Hamas, the Iranian-backed terrorist group).
His efforts to derail the Iran Deal between the Iranian government and the world community - keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon - crossed many lines. Along with other U.S. religious leaders, I was briefed by the White House on that deal and believe firmly that it provides a path away from direct war with Iran and a period of extended safety for Israel and Iran's other neighbors.
Netanyahu thought otherwise and whereas support for Israel had always been bi-partisan, Netanyahu used his ties with the GOP in America to make Israel a partisan issue. That is unhealthy for both our nations and the Palestinian people.
You can now watch the entire Frontline episode - Netanyahu At War - online for free.
It will be of great interest to me to hear directly from Israeli citizens their views on Netanyahu today, months after a highly contested and ugly election.