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6 Hosting tips for Bibi: don’t urge people to move in if you think your neighborhood is extremely dangerous

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Only one of the following statements can be true:

1. In less than a year, Israel could be attacked by the government of Iran, which is irrational, ISIS-like and Nazi-like, and determined to wipe out Israel.

2. European Jews should move to Israel, where they would be safe and sound.

So, which one is Bibi lying about?

During his campaign speech to the U.S. Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the U.S. to stop the current deal being negotiated with Iran, a deal in which, “the foremost sponsor of global terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and this with full international legitimacy.” Under the current negotiation, Netanyahu claimed, “Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning…. Because Iran’s nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran’s break-out time would be very short — about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel’s.” 

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Iran is also, according to Bibi, a total irrational actor, comparable to the Nazis and ISIS, and bent on Israel’s destruction. So, it’s not really clear how any deal would work.

But the even larger inconsistency (to speak charitably) is that Israel is somehow a safe haven for Jews. Following the deadly shooting near a Copenhagen synagogue, and the killing of four Jews in a Kosher market in Paris, Netanyahu said,  “This wave of attacks is expected to continue, as well as murderous anti-Semitic attacks. Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home.” (The opportunism and insensitivity were not lost on Jews and Jewish leaders.)

The anti-semitic attacks in Europe are disturbing of course. But, statistically speaking, isn’t moving from a country with a small number of killings to a country which faces not only rockets but nuclear attack not the best idea?

Maybe Bibi is confused. Maybe this is all a question of planning and hosting. See, Bibi, I think that sometimes, in your zeal to be the perfect host to Jews and create for them the perfect home, break certain rules of etiquette, otherwise known as international law. In your mission to create an inviting home for your Jewish brothers and sisters, you displace people, demolish their houses, construct new buildings. You are really quite the balabusta!

But I would be remiss if I didn’t offer you some tips for better housekeeping.

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1. Timing is everything. As any successful host knows, timing is everything. You need to ask yourself, is this a good time to invite friends, or European Jewry, to move into your home or country? What’s your schedule like? Are there any events on the horizon that will take you away from planning and helping with the move?

2. Be honest with yourself. Make sure you ask yourself why you are so eager to host. Do you actually care about your guests? Do you actually want to host them? Or is this about something else, like peer pressure, popularity, or geo-political strategy?

3. Be honest with your guests. Can you really deliver on your promises? For instance, when you urge people to move into your neighborhood because it is safer, make sure your neighborhood is safer. Don’t tell people to leave a neighborhood where there are occasional shootings if your neighborhood is plagued by violence and insecurity. Because that’s just rude.

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4. Never invite people to a place whose annihilation could be imminent. When inviting someone to move in, you should be able to guarantee that the home will be there for a while. Moving is a big transition and it may not be worth it if there’s a chance that their new home won’t exist anymore because of imminent domain, real estate negotiations or alleged nuclear bombs. These are all things to think about.

5. Never publicize how dangerous the neighborhood is. Let’s say it’s too late. Your neighborhood isn’t quite as safe as you’ve let on. But you’ve already sent out the invites. I know I said above that honesty is important, but so is keeping a good game face and helping your guests feel comfortable, at ease and at home. You’ll want to avoid, for example, talking excessively about how everyone wants to kill you and your neighbors. You’ll definitely want to refrain from doing this in a speech from the floor of the U.S. Congress, which will be seen by people around the world.

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6. Don’t break etiquette or diplomatic protocol. Just as you would never make loud noises at the dinner table or reach for the salt, you should never accept an invitation from the Speaker of the House, bypassing the President of the United States. That’s just gauche.


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