The last dance of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Michael Jordan – opinion

Like Mike in his final season with the Bulls, an expiration date was placed on Netanyahu’s fifth term, upon its commencement.

Likud MKs applaud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his first trial hearing on Sunday (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Likud MKs applaud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his first trial hearing on Sunday

(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

One of the least noticeable but nevertheless heartrending COVID-19 crisis casualties has been competitive sports and the sorrow its dealt to millions who avidly take part or follow them.

Athletes who trained a lifetime with the hope of participating in the Olympic Games or professional playoffs have been crushed by cancellations. Fans who fantasize about their beloved teams and athletes have been barred from their favorite pastime.

The hiatus has, however, found some relief with the recent release of the greatest sports documentary in memory. A 10-episode nail-biter has millions of viewers on the edge of their seats with eyes glued to the screens as it captures the great Michael Jordan’s sixth NBA championship in his final season as a Chicago Bull and the key milestones that led to that fairytale finish.

The Last Dance, as the season (and documentary) were coined, will go down in history as a season of unrivaled heroic sportsmanship. The six NBA titles, five MVP awards and unique style of play, warranted Jordan’s crowning as the greatest of all time, or the “GOAT.”

Jordan’s impact went well beyond sports and it was only natural that he received America’s highest civilian honor – the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Barack Obama paid tribute to Jordan’s distinctiveness by proclaiming “there is a reason you call someone ‘the Michael Jordan of [something]’ – the ‘Michael Jordan of neurosurgery,’ or the ‘Michael Jordan of rabbis’ or the ‘Michael Jordan of outrigger canoeing’ – and they know what you’re talking about. Because Michael Jordan is the Michael Jordan of greatness. He is the definition of somebody so good at what they do that everybody recognizes them.”

Who could have imagined that a kid from Wilmington, North Carolina, who was cut from his high school basketball team would win six NBA titles in eight years and have the impact he has had on the world?

Similarly, a year ago – as an indictment draft was made public on the eve of elections, who would have envisioned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could form an unprecedented fifth government last week? The legal establishment did everything in its power to prevent Netanyahu’s reelection. To its detriment most voters determined differently. Time and again.

Like Mike in his final season with the Bulls, an expiration date was placed on Netanyahu’s fifth term, upon its commencement. On November 17, 2021, Netanyahu is scheduled to step down, making this term in office like no other. It makes Netanyahu more susceptible to potential political successors, but more importantly, it may mean it is his last opportunity to achieve the key items on his political bucket list.

Those items include:

• Putting an end to Iran’s nuclear threat on Israel and the free world – a campaign Netanyahu has led since his first term in 1996 and which now seems more feasible than ever.

• Officially recognize settlements, the Jordan Valley and designated barren land in Judea and Samaria under Israeli jurisprudence – a feat that will secure him a lasting place in the long history of the Jewish people.

• Fortify the economy with high employment and growth rates that can facilitate lasting security and a durable peace.

To check the list, Netanyahu will need to stand strong by ideals that have guided him all his life but will also have to cooperate and compromise at times with friends and foes. He will need to officially adopt and advance US President Donald Trump’s peace plan and “like Mike” will need to internalize that there is no “I” in “Team” (even if there is one in “win”).

Jordan was notorious for trash-talking opponents and teammates alike. He didn’t appreciate Scottie Pippen’s early season walkout or Dennis Rodman skipping a playoff practice to pay Vegas a visit, but ultimately, he knew how to pull his teammates together. Netanyahu will also need to accommodate the people who helped bring him to the last dance. Forming a Grand Old Party (GOP) in Israel, could be one way of doing that.

Like Mike, who hit heroic last second shots over Georgetown, Cleveland and Utah on his way to glory – Netanyahu will need to make crucial do-or-die decisions on final borders and possibly a nuclear plant strike. But inevitably, like Mike, who had to gut it out in the flu game, Netanyahu will need to overcome the plagues of prosecution to reach the Promised Land.

Sports fans may consider it sacrilegious to compare a politician to Michael Jordan, but if Netanyahu manages to inculcate settlements and barren land into Israel proper, neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat, and restore the economy to pre-COVID-19 levels and beyond – he will surely go down in history as the “Michael Jordan of statesmanship” and the GOAT of Israeli prime ministers. Alternatively, he will run for a sixth title.

The writer is the author of Targeted Killing, Law and Counter-Terrorism Effectiveness, founder of Acumen Risk Ltd. and a former power forward for Beitar Bnei Bavli.

Join Geezgo for free. Use Geezgo\’s end-to-end encrypted Chat with your Closenets (friends, relatives, colleague etc) in personalized ways.>>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *