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The End of Netanyahu

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  hallux  •  4 months ago  •  33 comments

By:   Yair Rosenberg - Deep Shtetl - The Atlantic

The End of Netanyahu
He sold Israelis a story about their safety. It turned out not to be true.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Benjamin Netanyahu has always known what he wants his political epitaph to be. “I would like to be remembered as the protector of Israel,” he   told   the journalist Fareed Zakaria in 2016. “That’s enough for me.” The longest-serving Israeli prime minister has repeated this refrain for more than a decade, in   English   and   Hebrew . It is the core case he has made for himself to the Israeli people, part of a winning electoral argument begrudgingly credited even by some of his critics.   You may not like me and you may not trust me , he would imply,   but only I can keep you safe.

“The ability to spot danger in advance and prepare for it is the test of a body’s functioning,” Netanyahu once   said   on an Israeli talk show. “The Jewish nation has never excelled at foreseeing danger. We were surprised again and again—and the last time was the most awful one. That won’t happen under my leadership.” He concluded to applause: “This is what the state of Israel expects from me, and this is what I’ll do.”

Today, following the worst anti-Jewish violence since the Holocaust, that promise has been irrevocably broken. The myth that Netanyahu assiduously cultivated about his leadership stands exposed as a self-serving fiction, and he will be forever remembered as the security hawk who presided over the greatest security failure in Israeli history. He will never be elected prime minister again.

That’s because the October 7 attack did not just strike at the heart of one politician’s mythos but at the core of his country’s founding ethos. The Hamas massacre has been likened by many to 9/11. But its existential import for Israelis is far worse. When President George W. Bush presided over the response to the worst terrorist attack on American soil, the country rallied behind him. Most voters did not think his administration could plausibly have anticipated such an audacious plot, and gave Bush a pass for not stopping it. But Israel was founded precisely because the Jewish people have long experienced devastating assaults—and the state was meant to prevent them.

In other words, unlike America, Israel exists to stop the next pogrom. But over the past two weeks, its people have been subjected to an endless stream of images that evoke Jewish history’s worst traumas: parents killed in front of their children, kids cowering in closets, families burned alive, terrified young people hiding in piles of leaves while death squads circle around them. “I’m a child of Holocaust survivors,” one Israeli woman  told  reporters. “I grew up hearing stories of the camps. I thought those were the worst stories. These stories are worse. And I think that’s the hardest thing for me. I never thought I would live to see something worse than the stories I grew up with.”

Americans could not imagine a coordinated mass-casualty attack on civilians; Israelis imagined it every day. Netanyahu told them that as long as he was in charge, they would not have to worry. It was a lie.

Israelis do not forgive failures to secure their safety. Golda Meir left politics after the debacle of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which Israel lost nearly 3,000 soldiers following a surprise Egyptian and Syrian attack. Her name is reviled by some in the country to this day. But what happened on October 7, 2023, was worse than what happened on October 6, 1973. Meir lost soldiers—people who had purposely put their lives on the line. Netanyahu lost civilians—the people the state and its soldiers were supposed to protect.

The polls reflect the public’s outrage. In response to Hamas’s slaughter, Israelis have rallied around the flag, but not around Netanyahu. In one  survey  of Jewish Israelis, 86 percent of respondents—including 79 percent of government supporters—said that the catastrophic assault from Gaza was a failure of the country’s leadership. Fifty-six percent said that Netanyahu should resign after the current war ends. Electoral polls are even bleaker for the prime minister. The  latest survey  has the current hard-right coalition shrinking to just 42 seats out of 120, compared with 78 for the opposition—an astonishing collapse. Only 29 percent of voters said that they felt Netanyahu was still fit to be prime minister.

This anger has reverberated in the streets. Victims and survivors have   berated   government ministers during hospital visits to the wounded. The headquarters of Likud, the ruling party, was   defaced   with fake blood and pictures of Israeli hostages. Netanyahu himself   reportedly   aborted a speech to army reservists after some in the crowd heckled him.   Eighty percent   of Israelis want him to publicly take responsibility for the events of October 7, something he has not done.

Israelis have good reason for their disillusionment. Seen in hindsight, the litany of Netanyahu’s failures is long. By his own admission, he purposely   propped up   Hamas as a counterbalance to the more moderate Palestinian Authority in order to keep the Palestinian public divided and prevent a negotiated two-state solution. In partnership with Washington, Netanyahu facilitated the transfer of   hundreds   of millions   of dollars from Qatar into Gaza in an attempt to buy quiet from Hamas. Intelligence officials now   believe   that some of this money was used to fund the group’s terrorism. Netanyahu also increased permits for Gazans to work in Israel; some of the permit holders may have provided   intelligence   used to plan the attacks. In 2011, the prime minister   released   more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners—including convicted mass murderers—in return for one Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas. This decision encouraged further   kidnapping attempts , culminating in the successful abduction of some 200 Israelis this month. One of the prisoners released in 2011 was Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza today.

And the rot runs deeper. Since returning to power in December, Netanyahu has spent months shredding Israel’s social solidarity and projecting weakness to its foes. He provoked unprecedented domestic unrest with his coalition’s   deeply unpopular   attempt to gut Israel’s judiciary, pitting the country’s people   against one another . He   fired   and then   unfired   his defense minister for warning that the plan was causing divisions that were undermining Israel’s security. And when the prime minister wasn’t hobbling his more competent officials over their internal dissent, he was empowering   incompetent ones . He spent years driving out career civil servants and replacing them with ideological cronies. To maintain his tenuous hold on power while on trial for corruption, he personally   facilitated   the entry of a   far-right alliance   into Parliament, then gave its inept and inexperienced members key positions. This is how Israel ended up with Itamar Ben-Gvir, an anti-Arab demagogue who was rejected by the Israeli army because of his radicalism, as national-security minister.

Put another way, the disaster of October 7 was the overdetermined outcome of years of Netanyahu’s poor choices. In the end, the man known as “Mr. Security” failed by his own standard, and he failed to fulfill the fundamental expectation of his fellow citizens.

Whether Barack Obama or Donald Trump, the greatest politicians are great self-mythologizers: They tell a story about themselves and compel others to believe it. For decades, Netanyahu was the pied piper of Israeli politics, and his promises of security were music to Israeli ears. But today, that song is drowned out by air-raid sirens and the cries of murdered Jewish children echoing from the soil.


Red Box Rules

This is neither an anti-Israeli nor an anti-Palestinian article, try not to go there.


 

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Hallux
Masters Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    4 months ago

Perhaps it is time for Bibi to hang up his few remaining untarnished laurels and find a sunset.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Hallux @1    4 months ago

... an autocrat backed by religious extremists trying to hobble the justice system to protect himself from prosecution. deja vu...

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Hallux @1    4 months ago

Never mind "Perhaps" - DO IT, Bibi.  The result of the next election is predictable - it won't be Bibi and his ultra-right wing cronies.

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
1.3  Michael C.  replied to  Hallux @1    4 months ago
Perhaps it is time for Bibi to hang up his few remaining untarnished laurels and find a sunset.

I totally agree. (Actually when I logged on I was going to seed this very article).

His recent actions are one of the main reasons this recent attack on Israel happened. They really should get rid of him. And more and more Israelis have started to realize that.

Unfortunately it may take a while simply because the country is at war and there's a strong tendency (In most countries) to stick with their leader in war time.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
2  Greg Jones    4 months ago

[removed]

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
2.1  cjcold  replied to  Greg Jones @2    4 months ago

[removed]

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
2.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  cjcold @2.1    4 months ago
Ridiculous statement.

Exactly, this year's BP reports of apprehending 151 migrants with positive matches to the terrorism watchlist along our southern border and 98 last year is just government propaganda to make us think that they are busy and not just eating donuts.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  cjcold @2.1    4 months ago

Which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with his comment.

 
 
 
Hallux
Masters Principal
2.1.3  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.2    4 months ago

And Greg's comment has nothing to do with the seed.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  Hallux @2.1.3    4 months ago

And?

 
 
 
Hallux
Masters Principal
2.1.5  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.4    4 months ago

@!@

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
2.1.6  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  cjcold @2.1    4 months ago

"None of the 911 terrorists walked across the border."

Where are you getting that from? I don't see anywhere that he said that.

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
2.1.7  Michael C.  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.4    4 months ago
And?

And Donuts. 

 
 
 
Hallux
Masters Principal
2.2  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Greg Jones @2    4 months ago

This article is not about Biden, it is also not about squirrels. Congrats you are the first recipient of a flag on my part!

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
2.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Greg Jones @2    4 months ago

That's true or I would not have that big open hole in the border wall five miles outside of my home town on the border and huge piles of rusting unused materials on the ground where they have lain since 1 Jan, 2020. Illegals have stolen a fair amount and hauled it back into Mexico in the middle of the nights.

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
2.3.1  Michael C.  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2.3    4 months ago
That's true or I would not have that big open hole in the border wall five miles outside of my home town on the border

Well, at least Trump kept his promises-- he completed the Wall. 

And Mexico finally did pay for it.

(Well-- but maybe not the Donuts-- the Mexicans ate them all before Trump could pay)>

And of course Melania.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     4 months ago

More worthless babble from some commentators above. That aside, Bibi from what I've read and heard is under a hell of a lot of pressure and it's going to get more difficult for him after this mess is over when he has to explain the huge intelligence failure on the part of Israel. 

I was listening to some Israeli earlier today and they were not happy with him and mostly said let's take care of the Hamas problem and they deal with Bibi and in the intel failures when we are finished with Hamas.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
4  Drinker of the Wry    4 months ago

I think that when the Gazan dust settles, Netanyahu and his government will be tossed out.  

Many Israelis held there nose while voting because they thought that Bibi would at least keep them safe.  Between the Hamas catastrophe and splitting the country over his judicial overhaul, Israeli patience will soon end.  His legacy will be one of failure, even Trump could see that so he shit on him,  “He has been hurt very badly because of what’s happened here. "He was not prepared. He was not prepared and Israel was not prepared.”  

“You know, Hezbollah is very smart,” Trump said. “They’re all very smart.”

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4    4 months ago

As I watch on TV the pro-Palestinian protests filling the streets all over the world, and Muslim/Arab nations starting to turn their backs on Israel if not contemplating worse and celebrities I once respected signing anti-Israel statements it makes me think that maybe Hamas knew that would happen and all they had to do was light that fuse. 

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
4.1.1  Michael C.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1    4 months ago
As I watch on TV the pro-Palestinian protests filling the streets all over the world

I wonder if over the next few days or maybe a few weeks the "protestors"start getting even more violent and occasionally seriously beating or even murdering a few Europeans or Americans...maybe then people will start to wake up.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Michael C. @4.1.1    4 months ago

Well, they probably "ain't seen nothin' yet" so when the IDF enters Gaza and there are a lot more casualties we may well see more violence on the part of the protesters, but as for waking people up? ...you have a lot more optimism than I do. 

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
4.1.3  Michael C.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1.2    4 months ago
when the IDF enters Gaza and there are a lot more casualties

Actually i was thinking about a lot more casualties for citizens in places like the U.S. , France, U.K. etc. (As the protests get bigger and louder-- and govt's start losing control, little by little violent attacks will happen against citizens of European and countries....

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
4.1.4  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Michael C. @4.1.3    4 months ago

I meant the protesters world wide would become more violent, not just in Gaza.

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
6  Michael C.    4 months ago

Anyone know how to convert this (from Instagram that people here on NT can view?

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
6.1  Michael C.  replied to  Michael C. @6    4 months ago

This is a different link.

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
7  Michael C.    4 months ago

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
7.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Michael C. @7    4 months ago

I can open that, and in case anyone else can't here is the headline and image:

Named and shamed: Worldwide revulsion as student Marie Andersen pictured with anti-Semitic sign binning Star of David

611226?crop=16_9&width=660&relax=1&format=webp&signature=SNCqlVdSOn3pY4_XebHowh83UCY=

I hope she pays a heavy price for her hateful antisemitism.  

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
7.1.1  Michael C.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7.1    4 months ago
I can open that, and in case anyone else can't here is the headline and image:

Most of the stuff I;ve posted from IGM ("Instagram") are videos-- I think in the form I posted it--you can see one still frame from the video but not the video. 

There's ton's of excellent content on this subject but its on IGM.

(Also on Twitter-- now "X"-- if you know where to look.)

This is from The Guardian a leftist paper which you may know of;

Police officers in France used teargas and water cannon to break up crowds of people who had gathered in central Paris to demonstrate for Palestine despite a ban imposed by French authorities. Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister, said people defying the ban should be arrested as 'they are susceptible to disrupt public order'. The ban on pro-Palestinian protests comes as the French government fears a rise in antisemitism triggered by the Israel-Hamas war. Protesters said the ban threatened freedom of expression

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
7.1.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Michael C. @7.1.1    4 months ago

I can't open the instagrams, I opened your lbc.co.uk post. 

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
7.1.3  Michael C.  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7.1.2    4 months ago

Actually Instagram is one of my least favourite sites. It attracts so many idiots-- and almost all are selling something. Plus mostly very young and don't know much about anything (so naturally they think they know everything).

However its got a tremendous number of users. I have a lot of friends in their thirties they love it.

Youngest cohort (I think its Gen Z? ) hate facebook. their #1 fav site = TicTok. They love it! #2 is IGM  (Instagram)> But they still like YouTube partly because they can make tons of money if they're smart. 

Facebook is mostly for old people. I find it mostly boring but it is great for networking.

BTW Twitter has really gone downhill but i still use it-- therre are a few great people still there, mostly famous I follow. (And a few follow me)>

 
 
 
Michael C.
Freshman Principal
7.1.4  Michael C.  replied to  Michael C. @7.1.3    4 months ago

P.S: One of my younger contacts (she must be 30 ish) just poppped up on IGM-- lives in Israel. Haven't spoken to here in maybe 2 years of so-- left her a message. 

Although lately I've been pretty much a hermit.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
7.1.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Michael C. @7.1.4    4 months ago
"Although lately I've been pretty much a hermit."

Yes, your long-time absence from NT was noticed.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
9  Vic Eldred    4 months ago

Netanyahu will not be judged on being surprised as much as he will be judged on what he does about the surprise attack.

As for Yair Rosenberg: You get the A for writing and the F for logic. Congrats.

 
 

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