In comments reminiscent of Benjamin Netanyahu’s own on 11 September 2001, a senior advisor of the Israeli prime minister has expressed confidence that Israel will benefit from the 15 April Boston Marathon bombing.
Speaking to US Jewish leaders, the advisor, Ron Dermer, praised Netanyahu’s leadership before stating:
I’m pretty bullish about the prospects for strengthening cooperation with the United States. Support for Israel – you all can tell me yourselves – I see polls that show that its almost at record highs… The American people stand firmly with Israel. I think they identify with Israel. I think if you look historically, there’s a big change after 9/11. I’m sure that after the bombing, the tragic bombing in Boston, I believe that people will identify more with Israel’s struggle against terror and I think we can maintain that support.
I think there’s strong bipartisan support in the United States for Israel. I think it’s a critical asset for Israel that that support remain bipartisan and I think there’s very important things this president [Obama] has done for Israel these last four years….
Dermer can be heard making the comments in a two and a half-minute video tweeted by Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid.
Netanyahu on 9/11: “It’s very good”
Dermer’s comments are remarkably similar to ones his boss, then Israeli opposition leader, made on 11 September 2001 as the world watched in horror as the Twin Towers came down in New York. As The New York Times reported:
Asked tonight what the attack meant for relations between the United States and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, replied, “It’s very good.” Then he edited himself: “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” He predicted that 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.”
It is unclear if Dermer’s comments were intended for public consumption, given that they reveal a fairly cynical and calculated Israeli government assessment of how to exploit an American tragedy for nakedly political purposes.