by Ayman Ahmed (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 4, Shawwal, 1442)
Benjamin Netanyahu, a cynical politician facing criminal charges for fraud and embezzlement, decided to kill Palestinian women and children to try and stay out of jail by clinging to power. This is not speculation. Days before he unleashed murderous attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, Netanyahu had failed to cobble together a coalition to remain prime minister.
On May 5, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin asked opposition leader Yair Lapid to form a new coalition government. This was a nightmare scenario for Netanyahu who could clearly see the alternative coalition’s assumption of power resulting in his going to the doghouse. The Israeli president announced his decision on live television a day after Netanyahu failed to cobble together a governing coalition by the midnight deadline.
Following the March 23 election—fourth in two years in the Israeli political snake pit—Netanyahu was given first choice to form a coalition government. His Likud Party had secured only 30 seats in the 120-member parliament, a quarter of the seats needed to form a government. The “only democracy” in the Middle East (an utterly false claim) is riddled with extreme rivalries.
Political rivals can’t stand each other. Had it not been for their common hatred of Palestinians, they would be drinking each other’s their blood. It was this factor that led Netanyahu to unleash his attack dogs on worshippers in Al Aqsa Mosque on Friday May 7. The date is important.
It was the last Friday of Ramadan, a very special day in a very special month. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians flock from all over Palestine to pray Jumuah Prayer in one of the most sacred mosques in the world. Israeli police prevented most Palestinians from participating in Jumuah Prayers on May 7 (in 2019, 200,000 worshippers had attended; this year, only 70,000 were allowed!).
This was bound to anger Palestinians, something Netanyahu wanted. He was looking for an excuse to escalate the crisis around Masjid al Aqsa to divert attention from his trial and try to derail the opposition’s attempts to form a coalition government in the stipulated 28-day time period.
It was also a green light to the Zionist squatters to escalate attacks on Palestinians. The hoodlums needed no prodding. Since the beginning of Ramadan, they had indulged in attacks on worshippers at the Damascus Gate where the Palestinian youth congregated after nightly prayers. The Israeli police, far from preventing Zionist thugs from attacking worshippers, joined in such oppression.
They escalated the situation further by invading Masjid al Aqsa and barging into the mosque. The heavily-armed police attacked worshippers with rubber-coated steel bullets while firing tear gas and stun grenades. More than 305 Palestinians were injured on the night of May 7. Such attacks continued for the next three nights. Zionist squatters marched through the streets of Al Quds (Jerusalem) screaming blood-curdling chants: “Death to Arabs”.
This was music to Netanyahu’s ears. Aware that Palestinians would react to such attacks, he wanted the provocations to continue. On May 10, the Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, issued an ultimatum to the Zionist regime to get its forces out of the Aqsa Compound within one hour or face the consequences.
Far from de-escalating, Netanyahu and his henchmen scoffed at this warning. Hamas launched a series of rockets at Tel Aviv and military installations in the Zionist entity.
The corruption-plagued politician who has served as prime minister for 15 years in total (the latest spell being 12 years), launched one of the most vicious attacks on the tiny Gaza Strip hoping to subdue Hamas and Islamic Jihad, thereby donning the mantle of a victorious warrior who ‘saved’ Israel from “Khamas rockets”. Instead, the Islamic resistance turned the tables on him. It stood its ground despite the destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure as well as the murder of hundreds of civilians by Israel’s war machine.
After 11 days of blood-letting, Zionist Israel was no closer to achieving any of its political or military objectives than when it unleashed the murderous assault. Instead, it led to unity among Palestinians in different parts of Palestine and exposed deep divisions in the political and military structures of the Zionist entity.
Netanyahu was forced to accept an “unconditional ceasefire”. This was quite a climbdown from the arrogant rhetoric he had spouted at the start of the Gaza assault.
Reports from the Zionist snake pit indicate that Lapid is in talks with other political party heads including Naftali Bennett (another extremist Zionist politician and former Netanyahu ally who is on record as saying Palestinian “terrorists should be killed, not released”.) to form a coalition government. There is talk that Lapid would allow Bennett to go first as prime minister in a rotation. So far, the Lapid-led coalition seems to have the support of 56 Knesset members, still short of a majority but better than Netanyahu’s total of 52.
If Lapid succeeds in building a coalition, he would make history by driving the longest-serving prime minister from office and potentially sending him to jail. If he fails, another ‘election’ cannot be ruled out. Netanyahu’s predecessor Ehud Olmert is serving a jail sentence, also relating to corruption.
Israeli politicians are not only corrupt, they are war criminals. They should spend the rest of their life in prison. Bennett who is likely to become the new prime minister is on record as saying that he has killed a lot of Arabs and there is nothing wrong with that!
For any meaningful change to occur in the holy land, the Zionist occupation army must be defeated and the racist ideology of Zionism banished. Only then will the original inhabitants of this land, whether Muslims, Christians or Jews, live in peace as equal citizens under the law.