Netanyahu has political survival in his hands


Israel’s national security minister presented himself before the television cameras to make a statement on Sunday, shortly after leaving a meeting with the country’s prime minister.
Invoking divine support, Itamar Ben-Gvir said he had “warned the prime minister that if God forbids it, Israel will not enter a ceasefire”.
He said Benjamin Netanyahu “promised that Israel would enter Rafah, that the war would not end, and promised that there will be no irresponsible deal”.
The two are widely assessed to hold Netanyahu’s future political survival in their hands.
During the seven months of the war in Gaza, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich have pushed the most hardline positions.
It’s dangerous for the soldiers.” An unnamed Israeli minister quoted by Ynet said Ben-Gvit had not explicitly suggested killing individuals who had surrendered.
What seems increasingly clear, however, is that in bending to the bidding of the far-right fringe, including over Rafah and a ceasefire, Netanyahu is increasingly out of step with the majority of Israelis.
However, he is obeying Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, because that is what is good for Netanyahu for clear [political] reasons – and not for the people of Israel.”


Immediately following his departure from a meeting with the prime minister of Israel, the minister of national security stood in front of the cameras on Sunday to give a statement.

Itamar Ben-Gvir declared that he had “warned the prime minister that if God forbids it, Israel will not enter a ceasefire,” appealing to divine assistance. Benjamin Netanyahu “told that there would be no reckless deal,” he said, and “promised that Israel would enter Rafah and that the war would not end.”.

Israeli forces had taken control of the Rafah border crossing the following Tuesday, raising Israeli flags from the terminal as they had crossed into the Philadelphi corridor on Egypt’s southern border.

How the two events were ordered was instructive. When Netanyahu’s far-right coalition allies, including Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, presented him with a threat once more, the prime minister appeared to falter, highlighting his dependence on them. The politician was an extreme politician who Netanyahu had brought into government.

It’s widely believed that both of them will determine whether Netanyahu stays in politics going forward. Netanyahu faces more serious threats from the Israeli right than from them leaving his coalition over a cease-fire agreement with Hamas or failing to attack Rafah.

Ben-Gvir’s unwavering stance during the war has increased support for his radical style of politics and drawn support from some Likud party members on the right of Netanyahu.

Despite convictions for inciting racism and support of Meir Kahane’s banned Kach party, Ben-Gvir, a lawyer and settler, was allowed to continue in his role as a cabinet minister by Israel’s high court. Along with the now-sanctioned anti-Arab activist Bentzi Gopstein, he was filmed attending a radical settler’s wedding in 2015, just after members of the Palestinian Dawabshe family were killed in an arson attack on a West Bank village.

Video showed attendees singing, waving guns and firebombs, and stabbing a picture of toddler Ali Dawabshe, who died in the attack. After calling the photos “shocking,” Netanyahu would later assign Ben-Gvir a portfolio overseeing Israel’s police.

Due to Ben-Gvir and Smotrich’s influence, the terms of Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank have gotten progressively harsher, which has led to an increasing number of international sanctions being placed on those responsible for settler violence.

Smotrich was detained along with three other individuals in 2005 when the Israeli government evacuated the Gaza settlements. He was taken into custody by the Shin Bet domestic security agency on charges of terrorism, but he was freed without facing any charges three weeks later.

He has declared that Israel’s legal system ought to be founded on Torah law and referred to himself as a “proud homophobe.”.

Ben-Gvir and Smotrich have taken the hardest stances during the seven months of the Gaza War.

Ben-Gvir reportedly asked the Israeli chief of staff, during a briefing last month, “Why are there so many arrests [in Gaza]? “, according to reports in the Hebrew media.

Is it not dangerous for the soldiers if you kill some? Do you want to tell me that they all surrender? What are we to do with so many people detained? “.

Ben-Gvit had not specifically advocated killing people who had turned themselves in, according to an unidentified Israeli minister cited by Ynet.

But it’s becoming more and more obvious that Netanyahu is out of step with most Israelis when it comes to caving in to the demands of the far-right fringe, especially on Rafah and a ceasefire.

Recent surveys, conducted in part for the Israel Democracy Institute, have revealed that 56% of Jews think that a deal to secure the release of hostages should be the government’s top priority, while 33% think that the government should concentrate its efforts on an offensive against Rafah.

Similar doubts are expressed by the Israeli public, according to a survey conducted for Israel’s Channel 13: 52% of respondents think a Rafah operation won’t defeat Hamas, while only 30% think it will. One poll by the right-wing newspaper Israel Hayom, however, is perhaps the most startling. It found that 28% of respondents chose an image that would symbolize the release of the hostages, while 17% selected one that would symbolize Hamas’ destruction.

In a commentary published earlier this week for the Jerusalem Post, Efraim Ganor stated, “Even Netanyahu, despite a thousand differences, knows what most people want: the release of the hostages.”.

He is also aware of what is beneficial and significant for the Israelites. But he is following Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich because it benefits Netanyahu [politically] and not the Israelites. “.

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