Will Benjamin Netanyahu Politics Survive 2023?
After a weeklong ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas, and exchange of hostages and Palestinian prisoners, Benjamin Netanyahu is keen to resume the war in Gaza. He has been facing heavily criticism from Israelis and families of hostages in preventing the October 7 attack. Calls are also getting louder, demanding him to step down as prime minister.
However, Netanyahu is adamant in steering the country and its people. It’s a matter of his political survival. As the countdown for the 2023 clock to wind down nears, the 74-year-old wants to play his cards right. Playing with the sentiments of Israelis, Netanyahu said the release of dozens of hostages during the truce over the past week was a great achievement. “After this phase of returning our abductees is exhausted, Israel will unequivocally return to the fight.”
The Prime Minister said there is no way Israel is not going back to fighting until the end. “This is my policy, the entire cabinet stands behind it, the entire government stands behind it, the soldiers stand behind it, and the people stand behind it. This is exactly what we will do.”
Benjamin Netanyahu International Pressure
The international community is pressing the US and Israel to extend the ceasefire and allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza. The world is now coming with terms to the carnage and devastation unleashed by Israel on Gaza and its population. But Israel stands by its right to self-defense.
Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi said Israel is an occupying power in Palestine and does not have the right of self-defense under international law. He highlighted that Israel is waging a flagrant aggression against the Palestinians under the false pretext of self-defense. Jordan rebuked the US and the United Nations Security Council for staying silent on this and encouraging Israel to continue its crimes against Palestinians.
However, Netanyahu is playing the victim card. He wants to eradicate Hamas but has no strategy in sight. Israel’s leadership hopes the US, its biggest ally, will make things right for the country and continue to stand by it whether it’s right or wrong.
And there’s no doubt that US sympathy and partnership has helped Israel garner European support. But Israel is still in hot water in its own region – the Middle East.
Benjamin Netanyahu Invincible
The US and European countries failing to question or hold Israel accountable for the killings of thousands in Gaza in the name of self-defense has made Benjamin Netanyahu invincible. The war in Gaza, with the ceasefire deal ending soon, delays the prime minister’s 3.5-year-old corruption trial. It also puts off a state inquiry into the October 7 attack and domestic protests over the judicial overhaul.
But Netanyahu’s reputation has taken a hit. Anshel Pfeffer, his biographer, believes no matter how long Netanyahu manages to hold on to power, he will not be able to salvage his image. “He is now tainted irretrievably by the failure to prevent the October 7 massacre, by his own strategy of allowing Hamas to remain in control, with its military arsenal, in Gaza and by the utterly inept civil relief efforts of his government.”
Pfeffer said the failure of October 7 is Benjamin Netanyahu’s legacy – whatever success Israel will have in the aftermath will not be ascribed to him.