Ex-Israeli PM: Netanyahu must go
- Sulaiman Umar
- 20 Oct, 2023
The October 7 attack by the Palestinian resistance groups against Israeli military sites has pushed the deeply polarized political class of Israel to close ranks around their detested leader Benjamin “King” Netanyahu, whom Israeli current and former officials quietly scorched for his resounding failure in protecting the apartheid regime of Israel. Yet, this unity is tactical and won’t last given the poisonous nature of Israeli politics. When the dust of war settles, Israelis will return to their lacerating politics, which could bring the Israeli regime to collapse.
Ever since the October 7 attack, Israeli officials have been ranting about a ground invasion of Gaza, with Israeli President Isaac Herzog labelling the “entire nation” of Gaza as legitimate military targets. And in recent days, Israeli war minister Yoav Gallant, who is using genocidal language against the civilians of Gaza, implied that the ground invasion of Gaza might be in the air. “You see Gaza now from a distance. You will soon see it from inside. The command will come,” Gallant told Israeli troops stationed on the outskirts of the besieged Gaza Strip.
Resistance officials in Gaza responded fiercely to Israeli bluster, saying that they would bring hell on earth to invading Israeli troops. And given the bravery and devotedness they showed in humiliating Israeli troops on October 7, no one has questioned their steely determination to defend their oppressed nation. This is a major problem for the armed-to-the-teeth Israeli regime.
In fact, a strange equation has emerged after October 7, where a formidably armed, yet dispirited, regime is facing a defenseless nation eager to give their lives in the cause of freedom. This put the Israeli army in a clear disadvantage despite the fact that it has state-of-the-art weaponry and immoral Western support. Observers predict that if Israeli troops Gaza, they will face a major crisis in terms of morale and combat readiness.
Netanyahu, however, seems indifferent to the losses his army would incur in Gaza. Pundits say Netanyahu is preoccupied with his own political life and finds a long war in Gaza the best way to save himself politically, no matter how many casualties the Israeli troops would sustain. In a sense, Netanyahu now faces two bad options: a long Gaza war with considerable Israeli casualties and a possible regional conflagration, or a political death and possible jail term. He is pushing for the former, believing that war with Gaza would salvage him. But, who knows, the stream of military coffins from Gaza could well result in a longer prison term.
This impasse is now generating much private debates in Israel, with former officials pushing for Netanyahu resignation. In a recent secret meeting, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who happens to have bad memories of ground invasion of Gaza, said if Israel were a democracy, Netanyahu would have to resign.
The Tehran Times has exclusively obtained a recording of that secret meeting.
“There is no way to kind of hide it, but it’s a clearly a major failure. By trying to hide it, it won’t disappear. [It] is a major failure of our intelligence system. It’s a major failure of our operational system. It caused a huge tragedy and we suffered in the major most devastating blood human [in] the life of Israel,” Barak inarticulately said of the October 7 attack.
He added, “The blood is boiling and every one calls for revenge but these are not good guidance for strategic decisions. It won’t be easy for Netanyahu to win this. He basically takes all the responsibility for it and he lost the trust of the public of the warriors. So, I don’t want to go beyond it. I think in a normal country, he would resign. But in Israel, he is still there and we have to follow.”
Barak’s assessment of the situation is yet another indication of the deep fissures among the Israeli political class. Privately, Barak and other influential figures in Israel voiced anger and frustration over Netanyahu’s dysfunction. But Bibi’s hubris led them to publicly warn of the planed invasion of Gaza. Barak told NBC News that the Israeli army will have a difficult and bloody campaign in Gaza. If the conflict spreads it could spark a wider war involving “more time, toil, sweat, tears and blood,” he told NBC News.
Barak’s remarks about Israel’s self-proclaim image of being a democracy is also remarkable. Israel has long portrayed itself as a the “only” democracy of the Middle East. But its constant savagery and brutality against Palestinian civilians tell a different story. Many around the world describe it as an apartheid regime due to the huger suffering it imposed, and continue to inflict- on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza.
One piece of evidence for Israel being apartheid regime is the lack of any sympathy for the Palestinians among Israeli regime officials. They act like a cult to protect their group’s interests at the expense of those of the Palestinians. Arbitrary incarceration, land grab, brutal crackdown, continued settlement activity, disregard for peace initiatives and violations of human rights are all evidence that Israel is a prime example of being apartheid. The one sad thing about Israel’s apartheid nature is that it enjoys blind support of the West, unlike the apartheid regime of South Africa which succumbed to global pressure, including from key Western nations.
Yet, the good news is that the Israeli apartheid regime is increasingly called out by freedom-loving voices around the world, including in the West. Deep political divisions, military incompetency, corruption, strategic defeats, and lack of inclusive democracy in Israel all herald a positive change in the Middle East. At the end of the day, oppression is doomed. The October 7 attack laid bare Israeli barbarism, which has long been veneered with sublime concepts such as democracy.
By Sadegh Fereydounabadi
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