Netanyahu has destroyed goodwill vital to Israel

Monday, February 26th, 2024 10:00 | By
Netanyahu has destroyed goodwill vital to Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Gaza Strip, during a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel, in this handout obtained by Reuters on November 26, 2023. PHOTO/Reuters

In October 2023, Hamas attacked Israel by unleashing a barrage of rockets and then invading its territory from Gaza. The assailants killed 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals and captured 253 hostages.

The whole world unanimously condemned this attack. And it was only right that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make a strong response.

But what was initially seen as the Israeli response has turned into one of the most horrific episodes of systematic state violence against a population ever seen. Israel proceeded to bomb Gaza to the ground. Over 30,000 Palestinians, including 12,000 children and 8,000 women are dead. Another 7,000 Palestinians are missing in the rubble.

This is so disproportionate. Netanyahu has bombed Gaza back to the stone age, and is now proceeding apace in the West Bank. Yet, the goal of eliminating Hamas is no nearer fruition than when the indiscriminate bombing begun five months ago. A more apt description of genocide is harder to find!

The world is quiet. It is a crying shame that the West, the global enforcer of morality and self proclaimed international conscience, has pulled all stops to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in another security related conflict, and completely ignored this.

In comparison, after two years, at least 10,000 Ukranians, including 600 children, have been killed in the Ukraine war.

For five months, the West has looked on in complicity as Israel pounds an entire community out of existence.  Where’s the world’s outrage. Surely, Palestinians cannot be children of a lesser god!

Even more astounding is the rush by US President Joe Biden to appropriate billions of dollars for Israel’s “war effort.” In other words, aid Israel’s vastly superior military machine to wage war against a puny militia that has zero chance of making any noticeable impact against it. US military support will just be used to kill more civilians.

Hamas is not an army in the conventional sense. What is required really is a militarized police operation to degrade Hamas and destroy their capacity for harm. A lot of this operation is covert.

A terrible injustice has been visited upon the Palestinian people. They are as much hostages of Hamas as the innocent Israelis killed as well as kidnapped. And now they are being doubly punished. To whom do they turn?

A huge consequence that will come back to bite Israel in the behind is that Netanyahu has destroyed the general global goodwill Israel has enjoyed over the years due to the tortured history of the Jews, and their struggle for self-determination.

One has to ask, what are the undercurrents at play in this “war,” where Netanyahu is not willing to brook any voices trying to moderate Israeli response? One may need to go back to January 2020, when Netanyahu was indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust after four years of investigation.

In May of that year, he won the elections and became prime minister. One of the first key tasks he undertook was to undermine the Judiciary by proposing an overhaul of the courts.

This effort generated massive protests for months across Israel. He tried to disrupt and delay his prosecution. All to no avail. His trial started and has been going on. Netanyahu has reason to be worried. The Israeli judiciary is no joke. They have already convicted a prime minister, Ehud Olmert, for breach of trust and bribery and jailed him for seven years, and President Moshe Katsav, for rape. He received a six year sentence.

Indeed, the astonishing security lapse can be attributed to a distracted Netanyahu more concerned with fighting off prison. That type of attack would never have happened under the old Netanyahu.

It is also clearly evident that Netanyahu has a huge incentive in prolonging this conflict. Already the courts have slowed down the pace of the trial due to security concerns.

For Palestinians, every day might be their last as long as Israel continues its indiscriminate bombardment. Yet, the world looks on unconcerned. Who will pick up the gauntlet?

[email protected]

More on Opinion