In an extraordinary and surprising move, Netanyahu has all but unilaterally agreed to a ceasefire in his war against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. By ‘unilateral’ I mean without the support of the extreme right–wing of his cabinet including Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett, Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovich and Minister of Communications Gilad Erdan; all of whom were intent on destroying Hamas completely and fully occupying the Gaza Strip permanently and ultimately annexing the territory to Israel.
Hamas and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are, of course, delighted – as is Abbas and the Palestine Authority, who are now enthusiastic about the prospect of having a seaport and maybe even an airport with which to rebuild their country.
But what happens when Netanyahu is gone and the real right-wing Zionists who are in the ‘don’t care what the rest of the world thinks’ camp take over?
The war against Hamas was extremely popular amongst Israelis who wholeheartedly supported bombing the Gaza into submission with a view to full occupation. It begs the question: What next? Will the extreme right bring Netanyahu down and will they then renew hostilities by once more provoking the Palestinians in the Gaza into launching more rockets into Israel by randomly shooting dead Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank as they did to get this latest round of carnage going?
I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t believe this is the end of it. I have no idea what Netanyahu has in mind at this stage. I can only suggest that Netanyahu, always sensitive to public opinion despite seemingly able to push affairs right up to the very edge, has backed off due to overwhelming and growing worldwide public support for the Palestinians; or possibly having been threatened by the US who would support a push for the Palestinians to enjoin the ICC if Netanyahu didn’t make peace.
Netanyahu may well have something else up his sleeve but, if he hasn’t, then this could well be the beginning of the end for Netanyahu. And, if that happens sooner rather than later, then it may be a case of ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’ for both the Palestinian people and the Israeli people if the extreme right replace him.