Netanyahu cabinet facing opposition even from hawkish Zionists: Analyst

Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, the most right-wing in the Israeli regime’s history, is facing opposition even from regime officials in the occupied Palestinian territories who hold fascist views, according to a political commentator.

Sa’d Nimr, professor of political science at Birzeit University, made these remarks in an interview aired on Thursday.

In the past days, he said, many Israeli regime officials have protested against Netanyahu’s cabinet and called it a sign of weakness in the political structure of this regime and warned that it could pose serious dangers to the regime’s survival.

“Many Israelis start to think about leaving Israel because they said…it’s a kind of a regime that is hard for the Israelis themselves to deal with,” said Nimr.

“Netanyahu himself is a sick person who doesn’t care about Israel, about Palestinians, about the whole world. The most important thing for him is to come back to the government, he doesn’t care about [political] parties that he’s having the coalition with.”

In recent days, thousands of protesters staged a demonstration in the port city of Haifa in the Israeli-occupied territories against the regime’s incoming right-wing administration led by Netanyahu.

The protesters and left-wing activists blocked roads near the center of Horev marched with burning torches and chanted against the initiatives of the Likud political party and its partners.

The main focus of the demonstration was a series of controversial bills that would give the right-wing coalition more power over the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, and police policies.

“It’s horrifying. The whole world will stand against them because the Palestinians by the end of the day have the right by international law to resist the occupation but being there he wanted to do the execution of the Palestinians when they act actively against the occupation,” Nimr said.

Netanyahu has pledged to approve a law that will sanction the death penalty for all Palestinians, especially those lodged in prisons.

“It’s not only the execution but also he’s promising on the other hand to make the life of the Palestinian prisoners like hell.”

Netanyahu, 73, who is facing corruption charges in court, told the Knesset that his top goal would be to thwart Iran’s nuclear program and “ensure Israel’s military superiority in the region.”

He also voiced hopes of expanding the circle of normalization with Arab countries following US-brokered agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.

Opponents heckled him with chants of “Weak! Weak!”. They said Netanyahu had to make costly deals to secure new partners after centrist parties boycotted him over his legal woes.

“Netanyahu’s cabinet is the real face of Israel. Israel is a colonialist regime, a racist regime, which is based on hatred and violence,” Nimr added.

Netanyahu was ousted in June 2021 by a motley coalition of leftists, centrists and Arab parties headed by right-winger Naftali Bennett and former TV news anchor Yair Lapid. It didn’t take him long to come back.

Following his November 1 election win, Netanyahu entered into talks with ultra-Orthodox and extreme-right parties.

His allies include the Religious Zionism formation and Jewish Power Party, whose leaders Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir oppose Palestinian statehood and both have a history of inflammatory remarks about Palestinians.

Smotrich will now take charge of Israeli settlement expansion policies in the West Bank, and Ben-Gvir will be the national security minister with powers over the police, which also operate in the occupied territories since 1967.

Senior security officials have already voiced concern over the new Israeli administration’s direction, as have Palestinians.

Smotrich and Ben-Gvir “have a very strong thirst for power,” and their priority remains the expansion of West Bank settlements, Denis Charbit, professor of political science at Israel’s Open University, said.

The cabinet is the result of “Netanyahu’s political weakness, linked to his age and his trial,” Charbit added.

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