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Occasionally Israeli political and military leadership fail to survive Israeli wars. PM Golda Meir and her Chief Of Staff (David “Dado” Elazar) were sent home after the 1973 blunder (Yom Kippur war). PM Menachem Begin lost his sanity after the first Lebanon war (1982). Defense Minister Amir Peretz and his Chief Of Staff’ Dan Halutz’ were treated harshly by the Israeli media following the 2006 defeat in Lebanon. PM Benjamin Netanyahu is now paying a price for the recent Israeli disaster in Gaza and the Palestinian uprising that followed.
Strong nations tend to unite behind their leaders in times of crisis. The Israelis are spoiled. They prefer to turn against their leaders in times of conflict and not because they crave peace. Quite the opposite, they want to see a conclusive victory; buckets of Arab blood. Bibi didn’t provide the goods and in the eyes of many Israeli patriots he was a softy.
Israel’s didn’t perform well in the last round of violence. The IDF didn’t achieve a single military objective. After a few days, its forces withdrew, humiliated and exhausted. The Israeli military admitted that it lacked an answer to Palestinian ballistics, tunnels and fierceness. In addition, the conflict in Gaza spilled over to the West Bank and to Israeli cities. Throughout, Netanyahu’s cabinet reacted slowly. It seemed confused by events. Soon Israelis were openly admitting that the future of the Jewish State was gloomier than ever.
The Israeli political establishment was quick to follow – with a total radicalization. The hawks wanted the state to admit that it is a ‘Jewish home’ instead of a ‘Jewish democracy’ (a term that in itself, provides a contradiction). The centrists and the Israeli Left insisted that Israel sustain the ‘democratic’ lie. It sounds good and the Goyim buy it they argued.
Earlier today, PM Netanyahu announced new elections after firing two key ministers in his government – Yesh Atid leader Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Hatnua leader Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
Livni and Lapid opposed Israel’s National Bill and provided Netanyahu a golden opportunity to reinstate his status as a devoted Jewish patriotic and a nationalist voice. I guess that Netanyahu will survive this political round.
But here is a small yet significant piece of the story. Seven month ago it was Netanyahu who mounted pressure on the PA, the Hamas and the Palestinian population in an effort to break up the Palestinian unity government. After six month of violence, a war in Gaza and a 3rd Intifada in the making, the Palestinians seem more united than ever, and Netanyahu’s Government is breaking apart.
Gilad Atzmon’s latest book is: The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics