Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had often boasted about the readiness of his army to deal with and eliminate all threats to Israel’s ‘security.’ The Israeli military, too, has contributed to the Israeli hasbara that Tel Aviv would be able to face several threats at all fronts, from Gaza to the West Bank, to Lebanon, and Syria. But the Hamas attack at numerous Israeli targets on Saturday, October 5, at precisely 6:00 a.m. Palestine time proved him utterly and humiliatingly wrong. Neither Netanyahu nor his army were, in fact, able to face a single Palestinian group operating alone and under siege.
From its very onset, Israel has constructed a brand for itself, a powerful gimmick that was predicated on two main pillars: democracy and stability. The main target audience for this brand has been powerful Western states that wielded disproportionate political, economic and military powers. These Western governments, along with their influential mainstream corporate media, did their part, by polishing Israel’s image – as most democratic and most stable – while tarnishing that of their Arab and Palestinian enemies – or anyone else who dared criticize Israel. It mattered little whether Israel was truly a beacon of democracy and stability, because these terms are often conjured up and used to conveniently fit the interest of those in power.
All Israeli wars on the Palestinians throughout the years have been promoted and justified by Tel Aviv in the name of ‘security’ and ‘fighting terrorism.’ Israel’s biggest challenge throughout many of these wars was hardly the Palestinian Resistance, however steadfast and resilient. The challenge has always been Tel Aviv’s ability to kill many Palestinians, including civilians, without tarnishing its image internationally as an oasis of democracy and civilization. Israel has been losing the public relations battle rapidly so, and now, it is losing a different kind of battle as well.
Joe Biden took the “unbelievable” step of telling Benjamin Netanyahu he’s not welcome in Washington last week because Netanyahu had accused Biden of paying for the demonstrations that have rocked Israel, according to two Israeli analysts, in comments to pro-Israel organizations. “[The Americans] are thinking somebody has lost his mind out there,” one said. Briefings by pro-Israel groups in the last tumultuous week provided other insights from Israeli Jews: Israel is out of control to a degree that befits Hassan Nasrallah’s prediction that Israel will fall apart like a spider’s web.
A few observations on things surrounding the issue of Israel. For reasons that are hard to understand at this point, the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia has had very little mention in the Israeli press. Considering its importance and potential impact on the region, it is difficult to see how Israel is hardly moved by this development. There was an expectation that Saudi Arabia would normalize relations with Israel. However, now the kingdom not only has not done so, but they are also building bridges with Iran, Israel’s biggest nemesis. It is a slap in the face of the U.S. and Israel and may soon be seen as diplomatic and intelligence failures of epic proportions.
There is a political crisis in Israel—particularly for Palestinians, minorities and anyone who believes in secular democracy. But US press coverage has had trouble recognizing that the new government of Benjamin Netanyahu is anything other than business as usual. The recent Israeli elections thrust Netanyahu back into power and the prime ministry (Reuters, 12/28/22), prompting major protests that called his new government a “coup d’etat” and urged a “preventative strike against dictatorship” (Jerusalem Post, 1/7/23; i24, 1/8/23). Middle East observers are alarmed, not just at Netanyahu’s own military hawkishness, but the fact that his ruling coalition includes religious and nationalist fringe elements, including followers of the late Meir Kahane, who advocated for the expulsion of Arabs from Israel (New York Times, 11/6/90). While Israeli politics have been on a rightward trajectory for two decades, the most recent election has put the country into a dark zone of outright illiberalism that almost seems irreversible.
One of the most egregious acts was to enforce a ban on carrying Palestinian flags in public, through a directive issued by Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. The Palestinian flag has long been recognized as a symbol of resistance to the Israeli occupation. Now people arrested for carrying the flag under the ban can be sentenced to up to a year in prison. Ben-Gvir has ordered police to tear down Palestinian flags wherever they are found in public. Over 20,000 activists joined forces in a “Together against fascism and apartheid” protest in Tel Aviv Jan. 7. A week later on Jan. 14, over 100,000 protesters turned out in Tel Aviv and two other cities, again defying the ban on flags and denouncing Netanyahu’s government as “criminal.” Protesters challenged “reforms” proposed by the ultraright-wing government; these are meant to make it easier for parliament to annul Israeli Supreme Court rulings, including those curtailing West Bank Zionist settlement expansion.
Benjamin Netanyahu has been sworn in for his sixth term as prime minister of Israel. While his prior tenures resulted in the commission of war crimes against the Palestinian people, Netanyahu’s new regime promises to be the most right-wing and religiously conservative in Israel’s history. Netanyahu won reelection despite facing criminal charges for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. In order to secure a sixth term, Netanyahu made a devil’s bargain with the extreme right-wing religious elements in Israel. Aside from Netanyahu’s largely secular Likud Party, all other parties in his new coalition are religious, with two of them representing ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israelis, or Haredim.
After a brief hiatus in the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the November 1 election and are now in talks with the other right-wing parties to form a coalition government. Netanyahu, considered center-right in Israeli politics, has a history of working with far-right politicians, including those openly calling for genocide. However, his sixth government is shaping up to be the most racist, extremist government in Isdraeli history, in large part due to his inclusion of Itamar Ben-Gvir, a notorious legal defender of far-right terrorists. Until 2020, Ben-Gvir hung a photo of Baruch Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians in a Hebron mosque in 1994, in his living room. Ben-Gvir leads the Otzma Yehudit party, the ideological descendants of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.After a brief hiatus in the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the November 1 election and are now in talks with the other right-wing parties to form a coalition government. Netanyahu, considered center-right in Israeli politics, has a history of working with far-right politicians, including those openly calling for genocide. However, his sixth government is shaping up to be the most racist, extremist government in Isdraeli history, in large part due to his inclusion of Itamar Ben-Gvir, a notorious legal defender of far-right terrorists. Until 2020, Ben-Gvir hung a photo of Baruch Goldstein, who massacred 29 Palestinians in a Hebron mosque in 1994, in his living room. Ben-Gvir leads the Otzma Yehudit party, the ideological descendants of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Netanyahu’s own words, videotaped two decades ago, show his disdain for the malleability of former U.S. presidents. As it turns out, Netanyahu had good reason to hold them in contempt as he “maneuvered” around them to ensure unstinting American support for status-quo Israeli domination of the Palestinians.
Embattled Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been facing pressure at home and abroad amid his government’s continued bombing of the Gaza strip. With protests in both Jerusalem and the UK, Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has continued. And the Israeli PM is refusing to back down on all fronts. The PA news agency reported that on Saturday 22 August, thousands of protesters marched on Netanyahu’s residence in central Jerusalem. They were protesting over his continued tenure as prime minister. The demonstrations came amid a backdrop of a summer of protests, centered around Netanyahu’s government’s handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. But people are also angry about him continuing to hold office while on trial over corruption charges. Israel is facing the prospect of a fourth round of elections in the space of just over a year. This is because its ruling coalition government, so far, has been deadlocked about its forthcoming budget. The Israeli bombing campaign is compounding an already fragile situation in Gaza.
For most Israelis, the general election on Tuesday was about one thing and one thing only. Not the economy, nor the occupation, nor even corruption scandals. It was about Benjamin Netanyahu. Should he head yet another far-right government, or should his 10-year divisive rule come to an end? Barring a last-minute upset as the final ballot papers are counted, Israelis have made their verdict clear: Netanyahu’s time is up. In April’s inconclusive election, which led to this re-run, Netanyahu’s Likud party tied with its main opponent in the Blue and White party, led by retired general Benny Gantz. This time Gantz appears to have nudged ahead, with 32 seats to Netanyahu’s 31 in the 120-member parliament. Both parties fared worse than they did in April, when they each secured 35 seats.
By Eli Safran and Ibrahim Bushnak. Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine - Robi Damelin, an Israeli bereaved mother whose son – an IDF officer - was killed by a Palestinian sniper during the Second Intifada, gave to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) a watch bearing the flags of Israel and Palestine, and the word "Peace" in Hebrew, Arabic and English. That was at the climax of a meeting which President Abbas held with more than a hundred Israeli activists who came to the Presidential Compound in Ramallah. Robi Damelin and the other Israeli activists expressed appreciation for what Abbas said to them: "I do not believe in violence and terror. Despite all the difficulties that we face under occupation, we will not turn to other, improper means. We oppose such means and struggle against them. We are against violence and terror, anywhere in the world."
By Staff for Popular Resistance. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington, DC to seek an increase in military aid from President Obama and the Congress, as well as to speak at the Center for American Progress his visit sparked protest. Even before his arrival, the Washignton Post reported: Eighteen organizations and 117 individuals — largely from academia and non-governmental organizations — don’t think so, and they have signed an open letter circulated by the group Jewish Voice for Peace and the Arab American Institute saying they are “dismayed that CAP will sponsor an address by Netanyahu” during the prime minister’s visit to Washington this week. There were multiple protests in Washington, DC in various locations. Outside the White House groups protested Israeli occupation in Palestinian territory as well as U.S. foreign aid to Israel as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Obama.
By Staff for Protest Against Netanyahu in Washington, DC. Join us protesting Iraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he comes to Washington, DC. An unprecedented coalition of 29 faith-based Palestine solidarity groups as well as peace and justice organizations are planning a rally and protest from 5-8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 outside the National Building Museum, where the American Enterprise Institute will be honoring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The groups will be forwarding one main message: “No US tax dollars to Israel,” as a way to protest American financial, political and diplomatic support for Israel despite its continual violations of international and American laws. The coalition calls for an end to US military aid to Israel until it complies with international law and end its occupation of Palestinian lands.