In addition to the still-ongoing mass protests in Israel against the Netanyahu government, the United States, Israel’s number-one ally, is also turning back on Bibi and his far-right cabinet.
This Tuesday, tens of thousands of people in Israel held another mass protest against the Netanyahu government in Tel Aviv. Tuesday protests coincided with the official Independence Day in Israel, a ceremony in Jerusalem that was attended by Prime Minister and other senior ministers and officials.
For the past four months, Israelis have been out in streets in their tens of thousands protesting against extremist policies of their government, especially the controversial planned changes to the Israeli Supreme Court, a move that critics say would weaken Israel’s democratic foundations.
Reminding the government that Israel’s Independence Day is a day of respect for democratic values, leading figures from the anti-government movement read out sections from Israel’s Declaration of Independence, among them former defense minister and IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, fellow former Israeli Air Forces commander Dan Halutz and award-winning actress Hanna Azoulay Hasfari.
“Israel is marking 75 years since its founding while under a relentless attack on Israeli democracy that is tearing the people apart,” organizers said in a statement, adding that “facing the attackers are millions of Israelis who love the country, who will not give up even an iota of democracy and equality.” The protesters gathered at the Azrieli Junction and then blocked Kaplan Street and other roads in the area. As they paraded, some unfurled a huge “Torch of Democracy” banner.
Also Tuesday evening, about a thousand people attended a protest rally in Jerusalem, an area close to the location of the official Independence Day ceremony at Mount Herzl, and protested. Smaller protests were held in other locations including Raanana, Yehud, and Zichron Yaakov. Because of the several protests that were ongoing during the ceremony of the Independence Day, Netanyahu did not deliver a live speech at the ceremony, which was held under tight security amid fears activists would attempt a publicity stunt or disrupt the event.
Is Washington still an ally for Israel?!
Along with the internal crisis of massive and constant protests against his government, Netanyahu is also facing a cold shoulder from the United States, a country that has historically been a strategic ally for Israel.
Just to give an example of the deteriorating relations between Tel Aviv and Washington, it was on this Tuesday that the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution marking Israel’s 75th anniversary, heralding the importance of the US-Israel relationship and urging the expansion of the Abraham Accords. But the problem with this year’s resolution was that 19 US lawmakers, mostly from the Democratic Party, opposed the US support for Israel.
The growing concern over Netanyahu’s extreme policies, along with protests in Israel were the most notable reasons for the considerable decrease in the US House support for Israel.
Good to mention that the 19 lawmakers, 18 of whom were Democrats, who voted “no” to the above-mentioned pro-Israeli resolution, were more than double the number of representatives who voted against a September 2021 bill to provide Israel with $1 billion for its Iron Dome missile defense system.
Israel already lost Europe!
The opposition of the European countries with Netanyahu and his far-right cabinet is even clearer as many of them has already expressed grave concern over Israel’s efforts to behead democratic values by limiting the power of Israel’s Supreme Court in favor of the far-right government.
Among the critics was Joseph Borrell, high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, who rebuked Israeli government in a statement back in March for ignoring the voice of tens of thousands of Israeli people who oppose the government’s judicial overhaul plan. The statement, however, was only met with strong denial and objection by Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen who accused the EU of ‘interfering in Israel’s internal affairs’.