New Delhi, Nov 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) If any nationwide political consensus now exists in Israel, it is that by the time the war is over, the premiership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should end, according to Yossi Mekelberg, Associate Fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House.
“There is a very powerful argument that he should have been ousted immediately after his government’s colossal failure to prevent the Hamas attack. Besides an immeasurable cost in terms of lives lost, the attacks damaged the country’s deterrence and its complex relations with other countries in the region. It has also caused a profound trauma to Israeli society, delivered a huge hit to the economy, and undermined faith in the security services”, Mekelberg said.
Netanyahu was the godfather of the misperception that the risk from Hamas in Gaza had subsided. It was his wishful thinking that some limited improvement in Gaza’s economic conditions would pacify Hamas, or satisfy the territory’s 2.3 million residents, most of them refugees living in the world’s biggest open-air prison, he added in the article.
“While the offensive against Hamas is being pressed, Netanyahu’s position is unlikely to be challenged. But once Israel believes the threat has been neutralized, he stands little chance of surviving calls for his removal."
The weeks that have elapsed since October 7 now feel like an eternity, making it easy to forget: since the sixth Netanyahu government was formed, Israel has been deeply divided by the Prime Minister’s assault on the judiciary’s independence – an assault motivated by his personal legal interests, he said.
For months, thousands of Israeli reservists in key military positions had been telling the government in no uncertain terms that they would refuse any call to duty as long as the Netanyahu government continued to take the country down the path to authoritarianism.
But instead of entering into a nation-wide dialogue on judicial reform and heeding these warnings, Netanyahu and his allies activated what became known as the ‘Poison Machine’, accusing these reservists, not to mention their political rivals, of treason, the article said.
Netanyahu’s coalition is therefore sidelined and his personal power diminished. Change is unlikely while the war is in its most pressing stages, but beyond that his position looks fatally undermined.
Evidently, most Israelis are hurting from what has happened and worrying about the future. They also see the current government, and Netanyahu personally, as responsible for this debacle – and incapable of leading Israel beyond the immediate conflict, the article said.
Israelis see a government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that unconscionably and catastrophically underestimated Hamas before October 7, and has failed to govern ever since, David Horowitz wrote in Times of Israel.
“It mainly sees a collection of self-interested nobodies most of whom refused to honestly acknowledge how badly they misjudged the terrorist threat; have sought to minimize contact with the bereaved, eschewing funerals and shiva calls; and have failed to swiftly allocate the financial resources to provide for our refugees and their broken communities, their agriculture and industry,” the article said.
Dozens of ministers who failed to so much as help the nation mourn at memorial events on Tuesday that marked a month since the catastrophe, leaving even that obligation to the spontaneous organization of our abandoned citizenry. A government that isn’t there, in an Israel fighting back despite its elected leadership”, it said.
“For one thing, this Hamas terror group that our politicians and our security chiefs allowed to flourish across the useless border fence turns out to be an army,” Horowitz wrote.
Retired general Yisrael Ziv puts the number of trained Hamas gunmen at 30,000; others cite a higher figure.
Every day, the IDF Spokesman relays details of weapon warehouses destroyed, tunnel infrastructure smashed, and “battalion” commanders eliminated. Relief at the destruction of such substantive enemy resources, and the killing of such dangerous terror-army chiefs, is offset by the mounting bafflement that they were allowed to take root in the first place, the article said.
Netanyahu’s most recent address on Tuesday, a month into the war, stood out not for emotive language, powerful imagery, or strong metaphor, but rather for a heavy use of the first-person pronoun, writes Herb Keinon in Jerusalem Post.
In a speech of 684 words, Netanyahu used “I” some 26 times. The repeated use of “I” in this type of wartime speech can convey any number of messages.
First, it could be a way of signaling leadership to the population, to show the nation that Netanyahu is actively involved in prosecuting this war, and not – as some of his fiercest critics maintain – largely sitting on the sidelines as the defense minister and top military brass direct all the operations, the article said.
The constant emphasis on what he is doing or has done is a way of signaling leadership and decision-making capabilities, casting him in the role of a resolute and active leader.
Second, the frequent use of “I” could be a way of conveying a sense of responsibility, and of taking ownership of various actions, statements, and decisions.
This would be somewhat ironic, however, since Netanyahu has come under a barrage of criticism for not owning up to his responsibility for the October 7 catastrophe, as some fellow politicians and the top military brass have done, the article said.
In Netanyahu’s press conference last month, when he was asked about taking responsibility, he said that after the war, everyone will have to “give answers about the debacle, including me.”
“I am responsible for securing the future of the country.”
The future, not necessarily the past. The frequent use of ‘I’ on Tuesday signals he is taking responsibility going forward, but not when looking back, the article said.
These explanations might work well for those who hold a favorable view of the prime minister.
“However, those with a less charitable perspective may argue that his constant use of “I” – “I did this”, “I directed that”, “I convened here”, “I went there” – reflects a lack of teamwork and a desire to take center stage, even when many others are involved in the effort.
"An even less charitable explanation might see the excessive use of 'I' as a sign of egocentricity, making it appear that what concerns Netanyahu most of all is Netanyahu – that even in a time of war, for Netanyahu, it’s all about Netanyahu," the article said.
(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.email@example.com)