Max Blumenthal writes about the political liability to Israel of Osama bin Laden's death. His full post is here.
But even before he had announced his upcoming trip to Washington, Netanyahu offered evidence that he would prefer for Bin Laden to be alive and kicking. In the immediate wake of 9-11, the New York Times’ James Bennett asked Netanyahu what the attacks would mean for Israel’s relations with the United States. “It’s very good,” Bibi replied before quickly correcting himself. ”Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” Netanyahu said the attack would ‘’strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.”
Before an audience at Bar Ilan University in 2008, Netanyahu restated his belief that 9-11 was, as he said, “very good.” “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Netanyahu said during a conference about re-dividing Jerusalem in the event of a peace treaty with the Palestinians.
Bibi’s logic was clear: as long as Americans could be duped into believing Israel was fighting its battle, the United States would support Israeli expansionism and intransigence. Bin Laden was useful indeed.
With Bin Laden gone, Netanyahu will likely try to sell Americans on new folk devils, from Hamas in Gaza to the nuclearized “new Hitler” in Iran. But these evildoers have expressed little, if any, interest in attacking the United States. And judging from Netanyahu’s past statements, he does not view this fact as “very good.”