Bibi­plans‘come­back book’on­theecon­omy

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY AN­SHEL PF­EF­FER

LIKUD LEADER Binyamin Ne­tanyahu is pre­par­ing to bring out an au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal book on his term as Is­rael’s Fi­nance Min­is­ter as part of his plan to re­ha­bil­i­tate his im­age and sweep back to power in the next elec­tions.

The new book, ex­pected to come out to­wards the end of sum­mer, deals with the rea­sons that Is­rael’s econ­omy is boom­ing, de­spite a lack of nat­u­ral re­sources and de­vot­ing a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of its GDP to se­cu­rity costs.

But es­sen­tially, it is about the twoand-a-half years Mr Ne­tanyahu was in charge of the coun­try’s trea­sury. The book, which will be ti­tled The Is­raeli Tiger, will ap­pear in He­brew, English and Rus­sian and com­pares Is­rael to Far East coun­tries such as Ja­pan, Sin­ga­pore and South Korea, whose economies leapt for­ward in the sec­ond half of the 20th cen­tury. Mr Ne­tanyahu praises Is­rael’s re­source­ful­ness and cre­ativ­ity, al­though he takes a large part of the credit for the coun­try’s re­cent fi­nan­cial suc­cess for him­self.

In the last elec­tions, two years ago, Mr Ne­tanyahu lead Likud to its worst elec­toral re­sult in 50 years. The for­mer rul­ing party was re­duced to 12 Knes­set seats. One of the main rea­sons that Likud per­formed badly with its tra­di­tional work­ing-class con­stituency was that its leader was held re­spon­si­ble by many for cut­ting their Na­tional Se­cu­rity ben­e­fits and pen­sions and for the rise in poverty lev­els.

Mr Ne­tanyahu hopes to use his book to ex­plain how the cuts were part of a larger plan to rev­o­lu­tionise the Is­raeli econ­omy and helped to pre­pare it for the global sub-prime cri­sis. De­spite his lead over the last year and a half in the polls, Mr Ne­tanyahu re­alises that the ri­val par­ties will seek to re­mind vot­ers of the down­side of his eco­nomic record.

“Our main worry now,” one of Mr Ne­tanyahu’s aides told the JC, “is that with the Olmert scan­dal, the elec­tions will be brought for­ward and the book won’t be out on time, to have a pub­lic ef­fect.”

Mr Ne­tanyahu’s ri­vals have pounced on ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to por­tray him as a “fan­ta­sist” and he is not about to give them more am­mu­ni­tion. Ac­cord­ing to a source close to him, the proofs of the new book are be­ing edited closely to en­sure that no em­bar­rass­ing mis­takes on Mr Ne­tanyahu’s record get printed.

PHOTO: AP

Linked ob­ject #1: Cap­tion

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