Netanyahu appeared late Monday afternoon to deliver an authoritative message amid the chaos that threatens to knock out Israel over its controversial judicial reform, missile exchanges with armed groups in southern Lebanon, Syria and Hamas. in the Gaza Strip or the recent Palestinian attacks in Tel Aviv and the West Bank. The veteran prime minister has before him a panorama that threatens to dissolve his image as guarantor of securitya perception that has been his main political asset for years.
Bibi chose the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Tel Aviv to deliver a speech more focused on fighting her internal adversaries than her external enemies. In just under half an hour, he blamed the opposition for the tensions with Hezbollah and Hamas, criticized the previous government for sealing a historic agreement with Lebanon to delimit its borders in the eastern Mediterranean and revoked the dismissal of his defense minister, Yoav Galantwho actually never left the cabinet.
Netanyahu also assured that the country is “under terrorist attack” following the latest air offensives launched from Syria, the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon on Israel, in response to the invasion of the Israeli Police in the Al Aqsa Mosque and the subsequent eviction of dozens of faithful who were praying in the inside of the temple. The IDF was quick to return the missiles. But Netanyahu attributed the attacks to the outbreak of an unprecedented political and social crisis as a result of mass protests against his judicial reform.
Specifically, Netanyahu singled out opposition leader and former prime minister Yair Lapid. “When you declare that Israel is collapsing, how do you think our enemies perceive it?’ They hear, they see and they write… They think they can face us, with the combined terror of Lebanon, Syria and Gaza”, he said in reference to the statements of the leader of the liberal Yesh Atid (Hay Futuro, in Spanish), who leads the latest polls .
In contrast to Lapid, the current prime minister pulled muscle. “We are taking action on all fronts. We have attacked places belonging to the Iranian and Syrian regimes in Syria, we have attacked the infrastructure of Hezbollah in Lebanon and we have deployed 50 tons of bombs in Gaza”, stressed a Netanyahu who tried to reassure his own: “We will restore deterrence and we will repair the damage that we inherited.”
Bibi was forced to oppose the opposition. The recent poll by the Hebrew television channel Channel 12 places his party, the conservative Likud, behind the liberal Yesh Atid and the centrist National Unity, led by former Defense Minister Benny Gantz. In case there were elections, would lose 12 seats and the current parliamentary majority that your government supports since last November 1, the most tilted to the right in the history of Israel. The situation is critical for his interests, which is why he decided to go on the attack in the political arena as well.
But he was forced to admit an own goal. Towards the end of his speech, Netanyahu announced Yoav Galant’s revival in charge of the Defense portfolio. The minister had alerted him weeks before of the growing division within the Armed Forces in relation to his controversial judicial reform. A large majority of the high command of the Army perceived that the plans of the coalition government undermined the independence of the judiciary. Galant simply conveyed his doubts to his superior. First, in private. And, when he saw that Netanyahu kept the bet, in public.
In response, half of the reservists refused to go to the Army’s call in case of need. That’s why, Galant distanced himself from the deadlines set by the prime minister. “Our enemies interpreted the calls to refuse (to serve) as a weakness in our national strength,” Netanyahu denounced in his appearance. Although he later confirmed that Galant “will remain defense minister” despite a series of disagreements that he said he had “put behind him.” Gallant, with extensive military experience behind him, returned the wink in a tweet: “We continue together in full force, for the safety of Israel.”
“National protest is the only reason Netanyahu decided to keep Galant. In this sense, it is clear that Netanyahu is not fit to be prime minister, he is completely disconnected from reality, ”Josh Drill, international spokesman for the Umbrella protest movement, responds to this medium. “When Netanyahu tries to pass the judicial coup again, Galant will have to stomp again, even if it is at the cost of being fired”. Drill is especially critical of the methods of Netanyahu, who “constantly uses external threats to try to quell internal pressure.” “Whatever happens, the national protests will continue,” says the activist.