Dan Ehrlich

PM Bibi Netanyahu Taking Heat over Preventable War

If you think Russia’s Vlad Putin has tsouris, wait till the war is over when PM Bibi Netanyahu has the prospect of facing a corruption trial in Israel, a war crimes trial in Holland and the ire of the Israeli public for his incompetence that facilitated the October 7th massacre.

He and Putin have one thing in coming: The prospect of no foreign travel plans for a long time.

As Netanyahu vowed to press on with a “powerful” assault on Rafah, Gaza’s last urban area, he said Hamas must be eliminated from the southern city.

“We will fight until complete victory and this includes a powerful action also in Rafah after we allow the civilian population to leave the battle zones,” he said.

Yet the growing civilian death toll, no matter whose figures you believe (We know how much Hamas inflates casualties) and the utter devastation in the strip, will almost certainly spur calls for Bibi to be charged with war crimes at the Hague based International Criminal Court.

Which brings up a question of moral equivalency. Who bears most of the responsibility for the Gaza devastation…Netanyahu or Hamas?

Looking at Hamas, first and foremost, it’s a group that has little respect for human life. It could end the war immediately by its leaders surrendering and freeing the hostages. But, they would rather make all the Gaza population martyrs rather than give-up to Israel.

For decades its leaders have kept the billions in aid funds for their own terrorist infrastructure and personal bank accounts while most of the population endured a meagre existence.

Now, when the chips are down, the Hamas leadership remains arrogant and delusional in thinking that things can go back to the pre October 7th order in any peace deal arranged with Israel.

Word comes from the Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar that he never thought the October 7th attack would evolve into a major regional war.

Then there’s Netanyahu, who is prosecuting this war partially out of revenge for Hamas biting the hand that has been feeding the terrorist group. By eliminating Hamas, he feels it will mitigate the fact that he was one of its enablers that lead to October 7th.

But any way you cut it, the prospects don’t look bright for Bibi. Even if he’s never convicted on corruption charges at home, he will always be saddled with the worst Jewish massacre since WWII on his watch. Then there’s possible ICC charges to consider.

Now, after ordering the IDF to lay waste to most of Gaza, in an effort to destroy Hamas, the Rafah border town is facing the final assault, this after world leaders such as US Pres. Biden and France’s Macron, are urging restraint and a pause in fighting.

But Netanyahu needs something that seems like a victory to calm the unhappy Israeli public…The release of the remaining hostages?

If there ever was a past action that lead to something terrible in the future, Israel’s naive and short-sighted 2005 evacuation from the Gaza Strip is such an action.

This entire deadly tragedy would never have happened and Gaza would more than likely have become a prosperous beachside area similar Haifa.

Now, in the midst of Israel’s longest war since 1948, Netanyahu is rejecting calls from its few friends for a temporary cease fire and the creation of a Palestinian state.

To be fair, Netanyahu’s demand for the hostages to be freed before any ceasefire and a rejection for the moment of a Palestinian state are not unreasonable positions.

Before any Palestinian state can exist in reality, there must be rational peace-loving leaders who accept Israel as a permanent nation, not just a Zionist entity. Those people have yet to be found.

An opinion poll in Gaza has shown 56 percent of Arabs there were in favor of the October 7th massacre. And the war continues.

About the Author
A London based American journalist with a long wide ranging career spanning print, radio TV and online news.
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