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Soleimani’s assassination could not have come at a better time for Netanyahu

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As Israel prepares to head for an unprecedented third round of elections within less than a year in March, Israeli parties are scrambling to ensure as many votes for them as possible. Undoubtedly the most distressed of those parties is Netanyahu’s Likud, with Netanyahu himself frantically searching for a win in order to avoid criminal prosecution over numerous corruption cases following his indictment at the hands of the Attorney General.

In fact, Netanyahu made a formal request of immunity from the Speaker of the Knesset, who himself is a Likud party member. As per Israeli law, members of the Knesset (MKs) do not receive automatic immunity from prosecution, however they can request it. If a request is made, a majority of the Knesset must vote in favor of granting immunity. To this day, there has not been a single incident of immunity being granted to an MK.

In response to Netanyahu’s request, the leader of the far-right party Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, announced that his party would vote against the request. It is worth noting that the primary reason behind Israel’s political turmoil over the past year was due to Lieberman’s decision to leave Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition, leading to the collapse of the government and fresh elections in April 2019. Even now, Lieberman still refuses to join a Netanyahu-led government, citing his fierce opposition and hatred towards the ultra-Orthodox and religious parties that form the backbone of Netanyahu’s coalition.

Following inconclusive elections in April and September of 2019 that were filled with egregious incitement and racism at the hands of Netanyahu against Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as mounting pressure from the people calling on him to resign, it seems as if Netanyahu’s momentum has run out.

Furthermore, dealing a decisive blow to Netanyahu’s incitement filled campaign against Palestinian citizens of Israel, the Joint List – a coalition of Palestinian parties led by the joint Arab-Jewish party Hadash – won an astonishing 13 seats in the Knesset, making it the third largest party in it. Moreover, its renewed power meant that should Netanyahu’s Likud and Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan, Netanyahu’s main rival and opposition, form a unity government, the Joint List’s leader, MK Ayman Odeh, would become the speaker of the opposition, giving Palestinian citizens of Israel unprecedented power and influence in the Israeli government.

It is also important to note the fact that despite Gantz campaigning as a “centrist” and a “progressive” voice that will bring change to Israel, his politics differ little to Netanyahu. More importantly, despite his constant preaching of peace and reconciliation, when MK Odeh offered to join a center-left government coalition with Kahol Lavan, Gantz was quick to dismiss his willingness to cooperate with any Palestinians on any matters.

This further proved a prospect that has haunted Netanyahu and his right-wing bloc — the rise of Palestinian citizens of Israel as game changers and a force to be reckoned with in Israeli politics. The September election results demonstrated that Palestinian citizens of Israel are the ones who can and will decide who the next prime minister is, as the Joint List’s decision to recommend Gantz for the formation of the government (with the exception of the Balad faction of the Joint List) – something that Arab parties have only done once before in the 1990s. While the Joint List made it clear that they are not supporting Gantz, it was a very explicit message to the Netanyahu and the world that Palestinian citizens of Israel plan to take an active role in bringing about change and ending Netanyahu’s grip on power and his far-right agenda.

Finally, when no party was able to form a government in September, it became clear that Israel will head to the polls again – something Netanyahu knew would be catastrophic to him and his parties. A third election would mean only one thing, a devastating blow to the Likud and, more importantly, to Netanyahu, as voters have clearly grown tired of his policies and corruption.

In fact, polls released right after the Knesset was dissolved again in September of 2019 showed that Gantz’s Kahol Lavan would gain a whopping 37 seats in the Knesset, an increase of 4 which would give them an incredible 6 seat lead over Netanyahu’s Likud. Additionally, the Joint List, arguably the kingmaker of the Israeli elections, was projected to receiving an unimaginable 14-15 seats. Such a feat has never before been accomplished by Palestinian voters, who are clearly energized by Netanyahu’s incitement and racist policies. Even worse, Likud member and former education and interior minister, Gideon Sa’ar, is mounting a serious challenge against Netanyahu’s leadership in the party.

As the world seemed to crumble around him, Netanyahu received a golden gift. Following the assassination of Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, at the hands of the United States, Iran vowed revenge. While such revenge will almost certainly not involve direct conformation with the US, it will however most likely involve Iran’s proxies in Iraq, Syria, and most importantly for Netanyahu, in Lebanon and Gaza.

Such escalation of tensions between the US and Iran have provided Netanyahu with the perfect opportunity to use a strategy which has kept in power all those years: the possibility of war. Every time Netanyahu was about to lose an election, he simply launched an offensive into Gaza or the West Bank prior to election day, stoking fears among the Israeli population, and selling himself as the strong-man needed to counter such so-called threats.

Yet, when he employed that tactic in the September elections by promising to annex the West Bank and severely escalating military aggression in the West Bank and Gaza, leading to dozens of deaths and hundreds more injured – it failed. It seems as if the Israeli population was simply sick of his policies and corrupt behavior. However, the threat of Iran and its proxies attacking Israel is a far more effective fear-mongering tactic which he will use to rally the nation around him. Moreover, it is clear that Netanyahu has been attempting to provoke Iran and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria with dozens of Israeli airstrikes being carried out on Syrian and Iranian targets in the region all throughout 2019. Now that his wish has come true, it is looking more and more possible that he will remain in power for yet another term.

Naim Mousa

Naim Mousa is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, currently living in New York. He is the Media Director of the Friends of Mossawa, a US-based sister organization to the Haifa-based Mossawa Center, which advocates for the rights of Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel.

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14 Responses

  1. echinococcus on January 6, 2020, 12:57 pm

    “Soleimani’s assassination could not have come at a better time for Netanyahu”
    It “came” at the right moment for a good reason:

    “…Netanyahu received a golden gift. Following the assassination of Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, at the hands of the United States…”

    It was “golden” because it was ordered, and most probably executed, by the Zionist entity itself… and the US was fronting. Why else do you think Trump’s first reaction was to panic and send 2 messages asking Iran for a proportionate response?

    “Iran vowed revenge. While such revenge will almost certainly not involve direct conformation [sic] with the US, it will however most likely involve Iran’s proxies in Iraq, Syria, and most importantly for Netanyahu, in Lebanon and Gaza.”

    Even more importantly for Netanyahoo, speaking of proxies he is Proxy Numero Uno, and close by.

    Unless one wants to be closer to the truth and say that the Yahoo is the principal, while the proxy who accepted the responsibility of this Israel-style terrorist murder is the US. In both cases, though, one can safely predict that the Yahoo’s fear-mongering to the Zionist invaders is now fully justified.

    • RoHa on January 6, 2020, 8:23 pm

      “Trump’s first reaction was to panic and send 2 messages asking Iran for a proportionate response”

      Is he going to send the Chief of Staff to Baghdad and invite the Iranians to have a crack?

      • echinococcus on January 6, 2020, 9:35 pm

        Dunno about crack or anyhow peace pipes, but he had one message through the Swiss embassy and the other through an Emirati diplomat, urging the Iranians to be proportionate in their response (rejected), right after which he declared that any US response to anything happening anywhere would be against Iran and disproportionate… doesn’t look to me as if he were listening to a single, inner voice.

      • echinococcus on January 7, 2020, 10:13 am

        By the way, a proportionate response would target any US government official at any level, no ceiling, considering the unprecedented breach. The Dolt and his councillors couldn’t even figure out that before taking the fall for Zionist terrorism and getting themselves set up as targets.

    • Egbert on January 7, 2020, 12:18 pm

      Echino (if you will forgive the familiarity!)

      “Why else do you think Trump’s first reaction was to panic and send 2 messages asking Iran for a proportionate response?”

      I missed Trump’s early responses. Do you have links? Presumably they were Twitter responses?

      The Soleimani murder is right out of Israel’s playbook. Ronan Bergman’s book ‘Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations’ is a catalog of such murders from first strikes against the British in 1944 to recent times. It is a slightly giddy gee-whiz book, but overall it is a catalogue of tactical win (the murder) followed by substantial strategic defeat (unpredictable consequences). The irony is that frequently these consequences have made things worse for Israel. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened here.

      • echinococcus on January 7, 2020, 4:31 pm


        As a lowly tapeworm I am honored by what you call familiarity.

        Giving a couple links from which you can start getting other links and (with the help of a hit-and-miss automated translator, or your knowledge of Persian and Arabic), get to the source documents, too. The same is somewhere regarding the UAE guy carrying a message (rejected by Tehran), very likely starting with 2 articles in the forest of Jan 2-4 releases on RT.
        I am not keeping an archive, not a professional, sorry about that.

        And of course this hit has Mossad written on it in big letters (especially when the Yahoo just asked for immunity on the grounds that he is needed to protect the security of the Ziostate in a time of war.) I bet you a case of wine they barely bothered to give advance notice to the Americans.

      • Mooser on January 8, 2020, 1:35 pm

        “As a lowly tapeworm…”

        Not, not just a worm, my Cyclophyllid friend. “Echinococcus” is also the name for the infection caused by parasitic tapeworms. Don’t sell yourself short.

      • echinococcus on January 9, 2020, 12:12 am

        OK, Mooser, I’ll sell myself long, to you. I also know the proper terminology and can tell you that the name of the disease caused by echinococci is echynococcosis, unlike what you write.

  2. Mooser on January 6, 2020, 2:49 pm

    “#Breaking: Full Netanyahu statement to security cabinet meeting. “The assassination of Soleimani isn’t an Israeli event but an American event. We were not involved and should not be dragged into it.”“Noga Tarnopolsky” on Twitter.

    “If memory serves the only other time Netanyahu publicly distanced himself from Trump was over the fate of the Kurds, and it took immense public pressure and the better part of a week.” Ibid.

  3. James Canning on January 6, 2020, 5:34 pm

    Netanyahu has fostered bad relations between the US and Iran for many years. Promoting war between the US and Iran s part of his ongoing strategy. Consider for a moment Sheldon
    Adelson’s relentless promotion of Netanyahu’s war scheme.

    • Misterioso on January 6, 2020, 9:00 pm

      @James Canning, etal

      A reminder re Sheldon Adelson, Trump’s puppet and pay master:
      Short video, Oct. 25, 2013, discussion between rabid Zionists, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Sheldon Adelson.
      Adelson declares – “Attack Iran with an atomic bomb”

      • Tuyzentfloot on January 7, 2020, 11:22 am

        A reminder that the US doesn’t need Adelson to go genocidal with nukes. The US has already deliberately destroyed North Korea and Japan and absentmindedly added a few nukes. The military have been complaining that the current nuclear arsenal is too big and unwieldy for daily use.
        The bloodthirsty warmongers who make the decisions can’t wait to nuke anyone who gets uppity. And the rest are merely cheerleaders. So why pick on Adelson?

      • RoHa on January 7, 2020, 10:33 pm

        “The military have been complaining that the current nuclear arsenal is too big and unwieldy for daily use.”

        I think we can all agree with that. We need nukes that are much lighter and easier to handle for our daily affairs.

        Last night a carpet python crawled up a drainpipe and is now camping in the loft in my house. And there was that annoying woman in the supermarket this morning!!!

        Hauling out those clumsy Minuteman Missiles was just too much hard work , and they made rather a mess , too.

        No, something small and convenient is required.

      • Tuyzentfloot on January 8, 2020, 4:37 am

        An instance of such a modern ‘everyday’ nuke is the W76-2:
        Apparently some people think the US adheres to some kind of ‘No First Strike’ policy. I’d describe the current policy as ‘Just Waiting For An Excuse’. And no, it’s not a recent policy.

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