Netanyahu and Dempsey – is It Like The Cohens & The Kellys When They Meet?
The Cohens and the Kellys is the name of a series of films from the 1930’s which tell the story of a Jewish and Irish family who live as neighbours in New York. They fall out – and make up continuously. So what’s the atmosphere like when Irish American, and top US General, Martin Dempsey meets Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?
General Martin Dempsey is an Irish American New Yorker who has risen to the top of the US military and is now Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Benjamin Netanyahu has risen up the Israeli political system and governs the country as Prime Minister.
In the films the Irish and Jewish families have many differences but usually find a common bond. Both need each other, they are from immigrant communities struggling to the make their way in the new home. They have a common enemy, an establishment that wants to keep outsiders – on the outside. Will they fight each other – or collaborate?
That was back in the 30’s. In 2012 both communities have made their way. Martin Dempsey is where his Irish grandmother stressed to him he could be, at the very top table. Benjamin Netanyahu is Prime Minister in Israel but able to exercise great influence on US policies, both domestic and foreign.
There’s no disguising the fact that these are two different tribes, from Ireland and Israel, divided by religion and cultures. They meet in the melting pot of the US and have to get on with it. By and large they usually do but there are many fights along the way.
In their recent first meetings in Israel, Netanyahu and Dempsey discussed Iran. It is their common problem but there is also no disguising they have different agendas. Netanyahu wants bolder, swifter action against Iran. There are fears he may go it alone, and leave the Kellys behind. Dempsey sees that as a danger and the Kellys want to hold the Cohens back.
Dempsey says “the more we can continue to engage with each other the better off we’ll all be.” Netanyahu will nod to that but continue to push the Kellys for more action, less talk.
The Kellys say, hold on. We need to bring other groups along with us. The John Bulls of the UK, the Hamburgers of Germany, possibly our friends from Chinatown. Will that satisfy the Cohens?
No way. But with any luck the Kellys will make another move towards the Cohens and they’ll meet in the middle. Just like they usually do.
Will it help that like many an Irishman Dempsey can sing a bit? Click the vidoe and see for yourself