Growing Public Opposition to Israel's Netanyahu
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
For weeks, thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets.
They're protesting against criminally indicted Netanyahu, demanding he step down.
The more he denounces them as "anarchists" and other pejoratives, the larger crowds become.
Even his base is eroding, public anger growing for a host of reasons.
Besides major charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, Israelis are furious over his mishandling of COVID-19 outbreaks, mass unemployment, growing poverty, and an arrogant PM whose indifferent toward public health and welfare — while he enjoys a luxury lifestyle.
On Sunday during a cabinet meeting, he falsely accused Israeli media of "inflaming" protests, defying reality.
He turned truth on its head, claiming thousands in the streets against him are "trampl(ing) on democracy (sic)."
Apartheid Israel's version is pure fantasy like in the US and other Western states.
For weeks, thousands of Israelis protested outside Netanyahu's official Jerusalem residence, smaller gatherings outside his luxury Caesarea villa, others taking to the streets in Tel Aviv and elsewhere.
According to IDF General Amiram Levin, it's likely that demonstrators will be killed in the weeks ahead. It's "just a matter of time," he believes.
If happens, greater violence will likely follow, how all police states operate.
In Israel, it's usually directed against Occupied Palestinians, to a lesser extent against Arab citizens, seldom against Jews — except at times like now when mobilized in the streets against intolerable rule.
Netanyahu falsely claimed that his family is endangered, that he's threatened by a "coup" attempt.
Over the weekend, Israeli media estimated at least 10,000 protested outside his official residence, the largest number so far.
Twice-weekly turnouts are the largest anti-government protests since public anger in 2011 over high prices, unaffordable housing, unemployment, a widening wealth disparity, and growing poverty.
Inequality for Jews in Israel is more extreme now than then because of extended neoliberal harshness, the scourge plaguing ordinary people in the country, throughout the West and elsewhere.
Coalition partner Benny Gantz sided with protesters. Condemning violence against them, he said:
"As a government, we have a responsibility to allow the demonstrations to take place and to protect the demonstrators, who were unfortunately attacked yesterday" by police and pro-Netanyahu hooligans.
On Sunday, Blue and White party science and technology minister Izhjar Shay called for Netanyahu to "take responsibility and calm things down," adding:
"I do not know where this is going, but it is clear that the public is showing its heart."
"We've insisted on the ability of the Israeli public to demonstrate" as a basic right…Some are against us, and we respect that."
Will Netanyahu call for new elections in the weeks ahead?
According to his coalition deal with Gantz, if the Knesset doesn't pass a budget by August 25, they'll be new elections in November.
In May, Netanyahu and Gantz agreed on establishing a two-year budget.
Reportedly, Netanyahu now wants a one-year budget. Does he also want new elections this year in hopes of winning more public support, enabling him to form a new coalition without Gantz or with him in a more junior role?
As of now, after 18 months as PM, Gantz is scheduled to replace him.
Netanyahu considers relinquishing power abhorrent. It would also leave him more vulnerable to conviction and imprisonment.
His slow-motion trial will likely drag on well into next year.
According to analyst Naim Mousa, perhaps Netanyahu will try diffusing political trouble by "his old trick (of) start(ing) a war."
Would he escalate terror-bombing of Syria or perhaps attack Lebanon's Hezbollah?
According to Israeli military intelligence-connected DEBKAfile disinformation, IDF forces are readying for a "Hezbollah attempt(ed) strike (on an Israeli) military target" this week.
Does Netanyahu have a false flag incident in mind to wrongfully blame on Hezbollah — a way to divert attention from his corruption trial and growing protest calls for him to resign?
According to Mousa, a stunt like this "could not…come at a better time."
Netanyahu is likely to try doing whatever it takes to remain in power, avoid conviction and imprisonment, aiming to achieve "unopposed" coalition control "to pass legislation granting him(self) immunity — a notion Gantz refuses to endorse."
He and Gantz disagree on many issues. If public anger against him keeps growing, his aim for unchallenged control will slip away.
After Hezbollah fighters embarrassed the IDF in 2006, would Netanyahu risk another preemptive Israeli war on Lebanon against a much more formidable Hezbollah now?
Or would he manipulate Hamas into another easy to win Gaza war?
He has lots of options to choose from. It's clear that he won't leave office without doing all he can to retain power.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
"How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War"
"Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity"