It was Benjamin Netanyahu’s ninth speech Sept. 29 as Israeli prime minister before the General Assembly of the United Nations. The veteran Israeli leader never misses this chance. Every year he insists anew on being the one standing at the podium, while Israel is put on public trial before the international community, so that he can be our ultimate Alan Dershowitz. Netanyahu knows why he is doing this too. Without these speeches, and without his appearances in Washington before both houses of Congress and the participants at the AIPAC conference, he would not be prime minister. It’s what Netanyahu knows how to do best: deliver speeches.
He writes his own speeches himself, diligently, punctiliously. He writes and erases. He corrects and edits drafts. He has what it takes. His predecessors, including Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, let their advisers write their speeches for them, and then provided feedback and made corrections when necessary. Then again, his predecessors, including Rabin, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, also did things physically, in the field. They changed the face of history. Netanyahu just gives speeches, which is why he doesn’t leave the work of writing to anybody else. That’s his job.