DECEMBER 9, 2022
USA News

Netanyahu's handling of Gaza reflects stance of 'large majority of Israelis': Blinken

Netanyahu's handling of Gaza reflects stance of 'large majority of Israelis': Blinken

US State Secretary Anthony Blinken said on 4 May that the genocidal actions undertaken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Gaza are "a reflection of where a large majority of Israelis are in this moment.”

“This is a complicated government. It’s a balancing act when you have a coalition. And if you’re just looking at the politics of it, that’s something that he has to factor in,” Blinken said at an event in Arizona.

"What’s important to understand is that much of what [Netanyahu is] doing is not simply a reflection of his politics or his policies; it’s actually a reflection of where a large majority of Israelis are in this moment,” the top US diplomat said.

Last month, a survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute revealed that three-quarters of Jewish Israelis support Netanyahu's much-anticipated ground invasion of Gaza’s southernmost city, Rafah, where about 1.3 million Palestinians are sheltering after being violently displaced from their homes.

Surveys conducted over recent months have shown a similar trend despite growing pressure to see Netanyahu removed from office. 

In January, opinion polls showed that Israelis overwhelmingly agreed that “the best way” to obtain the release of captives held inside Gaza was “military pressure” against Hamas, falling in line with the same rhetoric Netanyahu and his war chief have been repeating daily since 7 October.

Polls have also shown a stern objection to delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza, even if the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is “replaced.” 

As Netanyahu continues to dig his heels in over the “need” to invade Rafah, on Friday, the Times of Israel reported that the premier “is convinced that he will win an election.”

“Netanyahu’s working assumption is that [an eventual Knesset vote for a prisoner-exchange deal] will lead to ultranationalist National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and his Otzma Yehudit party resigning from government, followed soon after by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and the Religious Zionism party,” the Israeli daily writes.

The two Jewish-supremacists officials have repeatedly threatened to abandon the coalition government over various reasons, including a controversial judicial overhaul law, providing concessions to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and the continuation of the genocidal war in Gaza, including the ground invasion of Rafah.

Once the government collapses, “elections will be inevitable,” the Time of Israel adds, claiming that Netanyahu “is confident he can beat any other candidate in the country.”

“None of the other potential prime ministerial candidates can hold a candle to him,” a source in the prime minister’s office is quoted as saying.

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