Benjamin Netanyahu has always distinguished himself from other Israeli politicians by carefully dressing, mostly in a dark suit, white shirt and tie. This is not usual in Israel, even politicians often walk around with their shirts open, in this respect Netanyahu always seemed very formal, actually like an American.
Jan Fingerland: Bibi’s black shirt
But after the Hamas invasion, the prime minister suddenly started appearing in a black shirt without a tie and black pants. In this outfit, he not only met military units, but also foreign statesmen and his government.
There was an immediate debate about what he meant by this. Maybe he’s showing grief. Or, with a less formal approach, he is said to show that he is now in action, leading his country to war. He can also try to somehow separate himself from his mistakes in the past by changing his style, presenting himself as someone new.
‘Netanyahu’s support was low, but now it is at freezing point.’ He blamed the Hamas attack on the protesters
Read the article
Or, possibly, he offers himself to the public as someone more approachable, someone who is in contact with the company. His all-too-perfect style could come across as something that elevates him above other politicians, but also as a detachment from reality—and that’s what the Israeli public resents. On other occasions he wore a jacket and a white collared shirt, again without a tie, and was therefore significantly more casual than before.
Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that the other two members of the war cabinet, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and former Defense Minister Joav Gallant, also appear in black shirts – and he was the first to appear in front of the cameras in black, Netanyahu copied this style.
But Netanyahu doesn’t just wear black. There was a debate on Israeli Twitter about the fact that he appeared in a light down jacket at two different meetings with two European politicians, even though it was 25 degrees in Israel at the time. It is said that he could have covered up an inappropriately chosen T-shirt or that he was cold in an overly air-conditioned room, but no one knows for sure.
Green or black?
Of course, Netanyahu has not escaped comparisons with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has been wearing a green T-shirt or sweatshirt since the Russian attack, even to formal meetings. The world did remember him, even if not all reactions to Zelensky’s fighting style were positive.
The war in Gaza will not end in success for Israel until it recovers the kidnapped people, warns the analyst
Read the article
Seventy-four-year-old Netanyahu is significantly older than Zelensky, but unlike him, he spent many years in the elite Israeli units in his youth, and theoretically he would have a greater right to wear khaki.
But Netanyahu does not want to act as a soldier, but as a political leader. According to some reactions, on the contrary, they try to distinguish themselves from military commanders.
However, it also differs from them in that, while the representatives of the army and the secret services have already spoken publicly about their part in the insufficient response to the Hamas attack, the prime minister avoids this and, on the contrary, systematically tries to create the impression that the responsibility lies precisely with the security forces.
But a substantial part of the public thinks that the blame lies with him, and they only differ in their opinion on whether the prime minister should resign immediately or only after the end of the war. A leader who focuses on washing away guilt instead of achieving the maximum result is a danger to his country as well. Netanyahu may already be unknowingly wearing a mourning dress before his political funeral.
The author is a commentator on Czech Radio
Share on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Copy the url address
Copy to clipboard