Bibi and Lapid: Rise of the metrosexuals

Netanyahu used to be in a class by himself as a vainly handsome Israeli political leader obsessed with his appearance. Now he’s got company, and competition. 

Binyamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid (Photo: IsraeliinUSA/CC BY 2.0,
Binyamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid (Photo: IsraeliinUSA/CC BY 2.0,

Oh God — Netanyahu and Lapid in the same cabinet meetings. I don’t know if so much preening, posing and mugging can be contained in one room without the walls starting to buckle. One thing I advise Lapid — don’t wear a tie. Nobody, but nobody can knot a tie like the Beebs. Check out that knot — it’s so symmetrical, so solid and tightly-packed — and you rarely see even a sliver of white shirt between it and the collar. So Lapid, buddy, stick with the black T-shirts and blazers. If you really want to throw down on Bibi, wear the leather jacket. Do you have a motorcycle? If not, buy one.

It used to be that Bibi Netanyahu was in a class by himself as a vainly handsome Israeli political leader obsessed with his appearance, one who had a strange love affair going with the camera, who always seemed to be looking in the mirror. Ariel Sharon’s nickname for him was “ha’doogman” — the fashion model. The more up-to-date term is metrosexual. Not only does Netanyahu comb his hair over to hide the baldness, but he’s been dyeing his white hair gray for over a decade. You see him on TV and he doesn’t have a hair or a thread close to being out of place. He even keeps his facial expressions to a minimum, like he doesn’t want to spoil the look. He’s taken on the aspect of a wax figure, or a manikin in a Brooks Brothers store. He looks perfect — not particularly human, but perfect.

And now there are going to be two raging metrosexuals at the top of Israeli government. I don’t think I have to make the case that Yair Lapid is head over heels in love with his face, his hair, his body, his comforts. He’s given up the gel, and reportedly the cigars, too, but not all the million different little tilts of the head and grins and eyelash-battings, not the pouting stares. “We’ve come to make a change,” he says with that plaintive look. This guy is a Coke commercial, a doogman. Bibi’s going to have company, and competition; it’ll be interesting to see how their political rivalry plays out in the arenas of fashion, accessories and grooming.

Evidently, Israelis aren’t looking for a leader anymore, they’re looking for a star — a prime minister they can dream of being, or of having. And stars do have to look after their appearance.

Just one more piece of advice to these fellows: Don’t start a war. At least not a war that could drag on, that could mean a lot of suffering on the home front, because at a time like that, people don’t want a self-adoring narcissist telling them about blood, sweat and tears. And the only thing worse than a metrosexual war leader would be two of them.