Netanyahu is failing in his choices

Published February 6th, 2023 - 04:07 GMT
Glim moment for Netanyahu (R)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) walks near Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir (L) at the site of a reported attack in a settler neighbourhood of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, on January 27, 2023. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

ALBAWABA - The establishment of a new Jewish settlement adjacent to the Gaza Strip will only add fuel to the fire.

Hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out on the new settlement to be called Hanun, which will stand like a sour thumb together with the rest of the other Jewish enclaves surrounding the coastal strip and reminding Gazans of their helpless situation. 

Netanyahu is saying a Jewish settlement, more like another colony as the French would argue, will bolster the Jewish population and increase the security of Israel.

But is this true?

Last month eight Israelis were killed at the Nabi Yaqoub settlement to the north of occupied Jerusalem. They were shot dead in broad daylight after leaving a synagogue. This is not to mention the injured. On the same day, a 13-year-old Palestinian shot and wounded two Israelis in Silwan, also in occupied Jerusalem.

Palestinians are no longer afraid of the high-handed, iron-fisted approach Israel has adopted since 1967, when it occupied the West Bank, Gaza strip, and the Golan Heights in the six-day Middle East War.

Indeed, the recent bloody attacks show the continual failure of Netanyhu's security approach to quell a restive Palestinian population who long sought determination from Israeli occupation and rule.

But the daring attacks were also in response to what the Israeli army had been doing in Jenin and the rest of the occupied territories. It was in response to the cold-bloodied murders of Palestinians. The attack on the synagogue was on Jan. 27. Yet during that month - 30 days alone - a total of at least 30 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces with no compunction. 

Additionally, the attacks in East Jerusalem came two days after fully-armed Israeli soldiers raided Jenin refugee camp, killing 10 Palestinians and injuring 20 others.

Israel has been ignoring and brushing aside what the United Nations had been saying about 2022 being the most bloody and destructive year in the Palestinian territories. Israeli politicians, and definitely not their trigger-happy soldiers and generals, are not listening. 

The high-handed security approach Netanyahu and his extremist ministers have promised failed to protect their most ardent of supporters and save their lives, a bloody mess that could have been avoided.

But would they listen? New National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a member of the Likud-led government, which took office Dec. 29, promised an even tougher stand to break the Palestinians. 

But would Ban-Gvir really be right in light of what has been going on. His extremist vitriol just goes on, promising the electric chair for Palestinians and vowing to pass a death penalty bill against anyone who would harm Israelis.

Similarly, Netanyahu wants to arm thousands of his Jewish compatriots. He wants to make it easier for them to carry arms in the streets by making the license process of getting a gun much quicker, regardless of what critics have been saying about an already militarized Israeli society.

Is this really the best way of protecting Israelis? Wouldn't a revival of the peace process be a better approach? Just negotiate with the Palestinians along the long-stalemated Madrid peace conference of 1991 and Oslo process that followed.

It has long been in the doldrums and, judging from the present Israeli government, it will continue to be so for the near future, despite the urge to move forward by world leaders, including American politicians, like the recent visit of the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to the region. 

Netanyahu wants peace, according to his belief and thinking. Having the Palestinian Authority saddled in Ramallah is only good, if it continues to be limited and parochial in perspective and looks to the Israelis for orientation and help. Already he is trying to sideline it by seeking to normalize with more Arab countries, if he can. That would be game, set and match because for him it would mean putting Palestinians forevermore on the political fringes.

But would that be feasible? 

Netanyahu is already facing thousands of protestors across Israel who demonstrate weekly against his policies. He is already dealing with a fractious society. Does he want to continue to alienate these sections while at the same time needling the Palestinians?

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