Netanyahu’s Annexation Ploy Sacrifices Israel’s War on Coronavirus to the Idol of Settlements
The coronavirus pandemic has created national, medical, social, economic and human crises throughout the world, including Israel. Elderly are dying, hospitals collapsing, unemployment multiplying, economies are at a standstill and despondency is creeping into every household.
It is a genuine emergency, one of the most acute Israel has ever encountered, one that demands unity, dedication of purpose and the sidelining of non-critical issues and policies.
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So what is the most urgent thing for Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing bloc at this time of unprecedented dire need? Annexation. Seriously. Vital-shmytal, unity-shmoonity, dead-shmed – what is uppermost on their minds, the pivotal make or break issue, is to change the legal status of the Jordan River Valley and settlement blocs and to do it now.
Netanyahu’s ultimatum to Benny Gantz on annexation, which has been holding up the formation of a so-called “national unity government” is so absurd that it strengthens widespread suspicions that it’s all a ruse. Netanyahu, according to this view, planted the annexation mine in his talks with Gantz so that it would blow up the coalition talks at the last moment and scuttle the chances of achieving an emergency government.
Moreover, Netanyahu seems to believe, Gantz’s opposition to annexing all the areas supposedly earmarked for Israel in Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” will serve as a hammer with which Netanyahu can castigate Gantz and the center-left as defeatist wimps in the fourth consecutive election campaign, which, according to this scenario, has been the prime minister’s final objective all along.
The alternative explanation is even more appalling: Netanyahu is serious. He wants to sculpt his “legacy,” Netanyahu’s aides claim, and to exploit what may very well be the last months in what increasingly seems like Trump’s first and only term.
This is how Netanyahu and the right want to acquire the land of Israel: Not by suffering, as the Talmud instructs, but by subterfuge and chicanery, with the blessings of a wantonly reckless U.S. president and under cover of a terrible disease plaguing humanity. Let’s use this window of opportunity, the right is saying, while the goyim – and possibly Israeli public opinion as well – are otherwise engaged.