How is internal pressure on Netanyahu increasing?


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become besieged by internal pressures from all directions, as the war in the Gaza Strip becomes more complicated and negotiations to reach a truce that would allow the release of a new number of prisoners held by Hamas have faltered.

Speaking to Sky News Arabia, Israeli analysts and observers believe that Netanyahu is influenced by his right-wing government, and is striving to meet the ambitions of its extremist elements to retain his government coalition and hold on to his seat. They believe that he will succeed in overcoming the internal challenges as long as the war in Gaza continues, which receives internal and international attention.

An investigation…and a deadline

The latest of these pressures on Netanyahu’s shoulders is what the minister in the Israeli war government, Benny Gantz, called for on Sunday to form a government investigation committee into the events of October 7 and the “Iron Swords” war that broke out as a result.

According to the Israeli newspaper “Maariv”, the proposal submitted by Gantz to the government secretariat included an investigation into all the events that preceded the war, decision-making at the political and military levels, as well as behavior during the war itself.

Gantz’s call came a few days after he set a deadline of June 8 for the Netanyahu government to determine a clear strategy for the war.

A member of the Israeli war cabinet, Gadi Eisenkot, also criticized Netanyahu more than once, considering that he “does not tell the truth.”

Regarding the extent of the success of Gantz and Eisenkot in pressuring Netanyahu, American political analyst Mehdi Afifi said, in statements to the “Sky News Arabia” website, that “the Israeli prime minister will continue his approach because the extremists are the ones who control the government,” explaining that Gantz cannot alone Overthrow the government.

Pressure from the families of prisoners

The demonstrations by the families of Israeli prisoners come as additional pressure on Netanyahu, especially after their demand to work to reach a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, in addition to their call for early elections.

As every Saturday, two demonstrations are organized in Tel Aviv, the first at the Kaplan Junction, and the other opposite the Ministry of Defense headquarters, while skirmishes occur from time to time, between the demonstrators on one side and police officers on the other side.

The families held a press conference in Tel Aviv shortly after Hamas broadcast a video showing images of hostages killed in bombings inside Gaza, where they read a statement that stressed that “the only way to return the hostages is to end the war.”

According to recent polls, most Israelis support stopping the war “immediately.”

Meanwhile, before the war council was held on Sunday, Netanyahu confirmed his opposition to a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip.

Opposition pressures… and “rebellion”

Also, opposition leaders are another link to pressure around Netanyahu, especially the statements issued by Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, who made it clear that what matters to the prime minister and those close to him is political survival and causing chaos in Israel.

Lapid pointed out that “Israel will not win the war with Netanyahu, and he must leave immediately.”

These statements coincide with the uproar caused by the “rebellion video” that an Israeli soldier posted on social media, calling for opposition to the Israeli Army Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defense, while it was later said that he was identified and arrested.

Also, in his article in the Haaretz newspaper, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert renewed his criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and his war in the Gaza Strip, stressing that the path to the safe return of Israeli prisoners passes through “an immediate cessation of the war.”

Has he become a “prisoner” in the coalition?

In the opinion of Israeli political analyst Shlomo Ganor, “Netanyahu’s actions since he formed the extreme right-wing government a year and a half ago and before the Hamas attack are different from his political actions at the internal and external levels than they were in his past five governments.”

In an interview with Sky News Arabia, Ganor attributed the reason for the transformation of Netanyahu’s policies to “the nature of the partners in the coalition in terms of extremism and dependence on them to the point of turning him captive at their hands and whims, and the lack of a personality or political force in his party or outside it that can confront them.” .

He explained that these factors make him behave in an “unusual manner,” and this explains the increasing public calls for early elections.

But this desire clashes with the pillars of the government coalition, which refuse to reduce their term in power by half, according to Ganor, who explained that the coalition members are aware of the dissatisfaction and anxiety about the possibility of not returning again to “the situation they are experiencing under Netanyahu’s presidency.”

The war…and his political future

In this vein, American political analyst Mehdi Afifi went on to say that “the pressures being exerted on Netanyahu will not prevent him and his government from continuing the war.”

Afifi attributed this to the fact that the end of the Gaza war means the end of Netanyahu’s political future, and he will be more vulnerable to trial for all failures, whether military, intelligence or security, in addition to his personal crises and corruption issues raised against him.

Regarding the impact of these pressures on pushing him to accept the negotiation, Afifi said: “I do not think he will change his mind, but rather he will prolong the prisoner exchange talks because the hostages do not make a difference to him, as his primary goal is to completely destroy Hamas, but what he did was destroy Gaza and displace its people.” “.

In conclusion, Afifi explains that “Netanyahu’s political future is at stake, and he believes that the longer the war lasts, the longer he will remain in office.”

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