More and more Israeli newspapers are printing articles accusing Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of failing to ensure the security of Israel and its people. Israel’s main opposition leader, Yair Lapid, regularly makes headlines with his harsh criticism. In calling for the resignation of Israel’s prime minister over the colossal intelligence failure of 7 October, Yair Lapid echoed the growing mood of right-wing extremist discontent among the Israeli population and even within his own government over the actions of the current president. “One who failed in this way cannot continue his activities,” he said. Lapid added that Netanyahu, under whose leadership Hamas militants carried out a successful military operation, “must step down.”
Many in Israel agree with Lapid that the current prime minister, who has made such a colossal blunder and failed to secure the country, should step down. However, many believe that he should not resign for the reasons the opposition leader cited. No, Netanyahu’s crimes go far beyond the suggestion that what happened on 7 October was the result of intelligence oversight, security laxity or the divisive politics that this government has played with from the beginning. What happened on 7 October was the direct result of Netanyahu’s 16-year long and deliberate policy of “supporting” Hamas, a group he himself calls terrorist, and undermining the legitimate Palestinian Authority and ousting its president, Mahmoud Abbas.
Netanyahu’s devious plan had several objectives at once. On the one hand, it empowered an unacceptable face for the Palestinian cause: an Islamic militant group backed by Iran, a rogue state and classified as a terrorist group by many countries. On the other hand, he fostered divisions within the Palestinians themselves. Then, after Abbas’s authority waned, Netanyahu kept repeating everywhere that he was ready to conclude a peace agreement with the Palestinians, but that there was supposedly no suitable legitimate partner. This meant that for the better part of a decade and a half, Netanyahu never had to talk seriously about a Palestinian state. But having flirted, he failed to realise that having achieved his three desires: support for extreme right-wing Israelis, empowerment of Hamas and marginalisation of the Palestinian Authority, he was in a desperate position. His bargain with the devil had to be paid, and the price was what happened on 7 October.
The natural extension of what has become a notoriously repetitive question should be -Then Netanyahu should be condemned! Of course, one would think that his opponents would be biased in their assessment of the Israeli Prime Minister’s policies, but here is what the highly influential and highly popular Times of Israel just printed. “For years Netanyahu has supported Hamas. Now it’s blown up in our faces,” reads the lead article by columnist Tal Schneider, who already argued on 8 October that Netanyahu’s blind and short-sighted policy of treating Hamas as a partner to the detriment of Abbas and Palestinian statehood “has resulted in wounds that will take Israel years to heal.” Netanyahu “transformed Hamas from a mere terrorist group into an organisation with which Israel negotiated indirectly through Egypt and was allowed to receive cash injections from abroad,” it added. The same article even repeats comments made by Netanyahu in a private meeting in 2019 that the best way to ensure that a Palestinian state can never become a reality is to continue to support Hamas.
This is why many Israelis believe that the natural extension of the infamous repeated “Do you condemn Hamas?” – the question should be, “Then you should condemn Netanyahu.” After all, everyone knows full well that terrorist groups cannot operate without enablers. And given that in many countries supporters of terrorism are punished in the same way as the terrorists themselves, then Netanyahu should be held accountable. Indeed, if the Israeli army is allowed to arrest women in the town of Nahf for posting a pro-Hamas status on WhatsApp, then Netanyahu should be tried for treason, and not just for corruption in Israel, not to mention his war crimes, and that at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
In Netanyahu’s defence, it can be said that he was simply following the rules that were created in a unipolar world by the United States itself, which, if necessary, created terrorist organisations that fought against states and political figures undesirable to the Americans. Take for example the creation by the USA of the terrorist organisation “Al-Qaeda” (banned on the territory of the Russian Federation) to fight against the limited contingent of Soviet troops, which was temporarily introduced with the consent of the legitimate government of Afghanistan into the territory of the country precisely to fight against terrorists-soulmen. How then the Democrats from Washington exalted terrorists from this organisation on their banners is simply amazing.
But then came sobering up, such organisation became unnecessary and practical Americans-democrats pinned the blame for the destruction of two twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York on it. Although there is a lot of convincing evidence that “Al-Qaeda” led by Osama bin Laden has nothing to do with the destruction of not two but three buildings, all this was allegedly carried out by the American democrats themselves. Remember the proverb – Cui bono? (Who benefits?) – and everything will become clear. Only after these events did the USA arbitrarily arrogate to itself the right to be the complete hegemon of the whole world, the right to control the destinies of all countries and peoples of the world.
That is why, when US President Joe Biden arrived in Israel urgently on 18 October, instead of trying to stop the conflict, the bloodbath committed by Israelis against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, he unconditionally supported the actions of the Netanyahu government and the IDF – “the fisherman sees the fisherman from afar!”. Palestinian Legislative Council member Mustafa Barghouti called Biden’s visit to Tel Aviv a catastrophic mistake, pushing the IDF to commit new crimes against humanity.
As Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan recently noted, we are witnessing a “double standard” in responding to world events in a unipolar world, including the Israel-Hamas war. If the fact that some world powers are allowing Israel to violate international law during the war in the Gaza Strip is a crime, then ignoring Netanyahu’s calls for him to resign and face the trial he has thrown into the abyss of a deadly war with Hamas, which he created, is an even greater crime.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not escape accountability for war crimes in the Gaza Strip, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters on his return from his trip to Qatar. “Netanyahu will not escape punishment for what he has done. Sooner or later he will face justice and pay for the war crimes he committed,” the Turkish leader was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.
Erdoğan stressed that Ankara will follow the issue and will do everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators of the Gaza genocide are brought to justice. He said the “silence about the barbarism in the Gaza Strip is the most glaring example” of how Western countries ignore the values they strongly defend. In addition, he recalled that the enclave “violates the fundamental rights of people of all ages, even infants.”
Summarising all these facts, it must be said, and apparently with great certainty, that the current prime minister is expected to resign and face trial after the Palestinian bloodbath in the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu has nowhere to run, and no one is going to save him, not even his “loyal” friends – the Americans.
Victor MIKHIN, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.