Syrian Air Defences shot down Israeli missiles targeting their assets near the Damascus airport on Tuesday while many criticized this move as yet another political stunt by the incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu
After so much dispute and conflict over the throne from which Benjamin Netanyahu ruled Israel with an iron fist, it appears that the uncontested king might finally get knocked down for good, even though that the chances for that to happen are still very slim.
Yesterday, Syrian news agencies reported that Syrian air defence had intercepted a number of missiles launched against its assets by Israeli Defence Forces, not unlike those raids conducted a month ago against supposed Iranian proxy forces stationed in Syria. Though nothing conspicuous at the first glance, Israel’s increased military action in the Middle East in light of Biden’s presidency and his willingness to return to the Iranian nuclear deal might eventually backfire against Netanyahu in the coming days.
Israel’s having its fourth parliamentary election in two years a week from now and people’s hopes and anticipations for a change is once again flaring up. Turning the clocks back a year, Netanyahu was at the most precarious position he’d ever been in his political career. Allegations of corruption against him and his wife were piling up and Israel’s attorney general Avichai Mandelblit was hotly in pursuit. In yet another battleground, Netanyahu’s party Likud was facing its most serious challenger in years, the so-called Blue and White coalition.
The political alliance formed between the centrist and liberals was founded upon shaky grounds. Israel’s Resilience Party headed by former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz had little to no in common with his allies Yesh Atid and Telem when it came to security or liberalization issues but all of them nonetheless believed that no matter what the difference between them were, Benjamin Netanyahu’s continued leadership was a threat to the integrity of the country.
Things were going fine for the Blue and White during the March 2020 election until it became clear that despite the call for a change from the public, Likud’s alliance with radical ultra-orthodoxy had paid off and no matter how much he despised the religious fanatics, the “Kingmaker” Avigdor Lieberman couldn’t bring himself into fully embracing the Blue and White Coalition where two member parties had lenient security policies when it came to the question of relations with Palestine and the situation with the West Bank.
Discord effectively strengthened Netanyahu’s position, forcing Gantz to settle for a coalition that easily broke apart not long after. With the emergence of Covid19, tables turned and Gantz shrieked away, giving Netanyahu what he desired most: Total control over the country his performance during the outbreak effectively gave him the much-needed cover for suppressing the local dissidents and to divert the attentions from what was happening in the West Bank. Now however, the tables are turning. Israeli Prime Minister has grown too overconfident and this might just be his downfall.
Though taking most of the credit for Israel’s response to the current pandemic despite his initial inaction, people’s fervour hasn’t subsided one bit and the calls for his resignation are growing stronger still. Furthermore, his provocative actions against Iranian and Syrian forces in recent weeks haven’t gone unnoticed by neither his American allies nor his constituents. Additionally, with the Covid19 no longer being an option for political cover, Netanyahu might finally slip into the hole that has been dug for his opponents.
Though Likud still maintains a comfortable lead over other competitors, Netanyahu’s hands for forming a unified coalition are tied behind his back and another inconclusive election might finally be the last straw to break the camel’s back. One is understandable, two is undesirable. Three is unbearable but a fourth inconclusive election? That is untenable. And who is the common denominator in all of them: Good Old “King” Bibi Netanyahu.