Israelis Want Netanyahu Out, but No Freedom for Palestinians. Netanyahu Wants to Exterminate All Resistance

Steven Sahiounie, Global Research, March 1, 2024 —

Israelis are in the streets protesting against their government. Their grievances are many, and the protesters might be standing shoulder to shoulder with a fellow Israeli citizen, but have very different reasons for coming out on cold February nights.

Mounted Israeli security services have used water cannons, and batons against protesters, and many have been arrested for something that in a democratic country should be tolerated, and admired as a basic right. On Saturday night in Tel Aviv, the police arrested 21 persons protesting.

The biggest group of protesters are angry that the Netanyahu government has not done more to secure the release of the hostages who are held captive in Gaza. With the number of hostages killed by Israeli bombing in Gaza growing, the families and supporters of the hostages want an immediate release of the hostages, and they know that requires negotiations with Hamas. But, Netanyahu has rejected the hostage release deal presented by the US through Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Their slogan is “Choose the lives of our loved ones”.

Many of the protesters have focused their wrath of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who they view as a convicted corrupt politician, who is prolonging the war in order to save himself from jail.  This group are pro-democracy and the protests, in which 719 were arrested, prior to the October 7 attack are fresh in their mind. From January to October 2023, large-scale protests took place across Israel in response to the government’s push for a wide-ranging judicial reform which would strip democracy from Israel through the subversion of the Supreme Court. This pro-democracy group are calling for the immediate resignation of Netanyahu.

Their slogan is “You are in charge; you are guilty”.

The last group of the protesters are the ‘peaceniks’, who want an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  This group of protesters is the smallest, and are mainly leftist, educated, open-minded people who care about the international standing of Israel and value human rights for all.  They want to live in peace alongside their Arab neighbors, and they want to enjoy the respect of the international community, and shed the current image of Israel as a pariah state. These people should find common ground with the US; however, the US government has supported the Israeli occupation.

Their slogan is “It’s time to wake up”.

Even though there are deep divisions and discontent within Israel, Netanyahu seems to not be concerned about addressing the grievances of the Israeli citizens. He pushes on with his war, fueled by his extremist partners, such as Ben Givir and Smotrich, who hold him on a short leash, reminding him constantly that if he should make deals with Hamas, or even allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, they will pull out of the government, and Netanyahu will be on his way to jail.

Across the US and UK there were mass protests beginning in the early days of Israel’s response to the October 7 attack by Hamas. This overwhelming international response in support of the Palestinians in Gaza encouraged South Africa to appeal to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Israel of genocide.

The mass global pressure has not phased most Israelis. A recent survey conducted by Tel Aviv University showed that more than half of the Jewish Israelis surveyed thought Israel was using the right amount of force in Gaza, with another 43% that said it had not used enough.

In another recent survey by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), a majority of Jewish Israelis opposed a political agreement to end the war, and two-thirds opposed humanitarian aid to Gaza. In the same survey, only 39% of all Israelis, think there is a high or very high likelihood of “absolute victory”, as the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has promised.

After about five months of war, Israelis see that Hamas has not been destroyed and is still fighting, and this adds to their distrust and lack of confidence in their government.  Instead of rallying around the flag during a war, the Israelis are out in the streets in the thousands asking for the end of Netanyahu and his radical partners.

The protests have spread to Jerusalem, Netanyahu’s official residence, Netanyahu’s private home in Caesarea, and beyond.

Israelis have become self-isolated, and their media is focused only on the suffering of the Israelis who were attacked on October 7.  The Israeli news media focuses on personal stories of those killed, and the survivors.

The international response to the Netanyahu government’s brutal attacks on Gaza, killing about 29,000 mainly women and children so far, are met by Israeli anger. Israelis feel their own suffering much more acutely, and many feel that Jews are superior, and none Jews are not humans. Some feel the ‘world’ is against them, just as their ancestors were persecuted across Europe.  There is a national paranoia taking hold.

Another question in the IDI survey was: Should Israel agree in principle to the establishment of a Palestinian state? Around two-thirds of Jewish respondents (63%) oppose this, in contrast to the international call for the two-state solution coming from the US as well the majority of the UN member states. This demonstrates a huge Israeli citizen disconnect. They think of themselves as part of the ‘free’ world, and exposing western values, and yet they find the notion of allowing their neighbors to live in freedom and enjoy human rights absurd. The Israelis like to call their country ‘democratic’ and yet they are not able to recognize that Gaza is an open-air concentration camp. They feel that Jews own the word ‘genocide’ from their ancestor’s experience in Europe.

On Friday, Netnayahu released a one-page document which outlines his plan to run Gaza as a permanent concentration camp. He can do that because he knows President Joe Biden and the US Congress will never stop sending money and weapons to Israel.

The plan says, “Israel will have security control over the entire area west of Jordan,” which includes all of the areas which were to be part of the Palestinian state as recognized by the UN. The plan says Israel will continue its 17-year siege on Gaza, and will control local policing and the teachings of schools and mosques.

To carry out such a plan, Netanyahu has to exterminate all resistance, and he hopes to do that by a ground offensive on Rafah, planned to begin as early as 10 March.

A UN report issued last week, says there is evidence of Israeli soldiers arbitrarily executing Palestinian women, and they have seen “credible allegations” that Palestinian women and girls have been raped, while in Israeli detention.

Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said

“We might not know for a long time what the actual number of victims are.”

Palestinian women detained by Israeli soldiers in Gaza were kept in a cage in the rain and cold, without food earlier this month.

“We are particularly distressed by reports that Palestinian women and girls in detention have also been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers,” the UN panel members said.

Adding insult to injury, Israeli soldiers took photos of the naked women in Gaza, and posted them on social media.  This is a form of humiliation encouraged by Jewish extremists, who feel non-Jewish women are not humans.

Christopher Lockyear, secretary general Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), spoke to the UN security council on February 22.

“We are appalled by the willingness of the United States to use its powers as a permanent council member to obstruct efforts to adopt the most evident of resolutions—one demanding an immediate and sustained ceasefire, “said Lockyear.

He added,

“The humanitarian response in Gaza today is an illusion—a convenient illusion that perpetuates a narrative that this war is being waged in line with international laws. Calls for more humanitarian assistance have echoed across this Chamber. Yet in Gaza we have less and less each day—less space, less medicine, less food, less water, less safety. “


This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

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