(Banner will apear here)

Beautiful Kabbalah Jewelry Judaicawebstore.com
Font Size:

THE CLOCK IS TICKING IN ISRAEL - EARLY ELECTION AND ESCALATION IN GAZA?

Sara & Bibi Netanyahu (CC National Photo Collection)

It seems as though life is never dull for Israelis. Gaza: Hamas continues its "scorched earth" campaign. Days ago, Israeli military reporters disclosed the IDF had devised a hi-tech solution to intercept waves of Palestinian kites and balloons carrying incendiary bombs into Israel. However, these reports have proved to premature. These kites and balloons have now torched thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and forest with some 20-30 new fires daily. Firefighters are rushing from one blaze to another, dousing the flames, while Israeli residents are demanding the government order the IDF to take off the gloves. So far, the Israeli objective has been to develop less lethal means than firepower to deter Hamas.

Moreover, US President Trump's two envoys, Kushner and Greenblatt, have now gone home after trying to drum up support for the US Pease Plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is no longer the Israeli-Arab conflict because nearly all the neighboring Arab states now side with Israel against Iran. But Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas refused to even see Trump's envoys after the US moved its embassy to West Jerusalem.

Until now Israeli airstrikes have deliberately missed Palestinians launching the rockets with the intention of warning them to back off.

IsraCast outlook: Until now Israeli airstrikes have deliberately missed Palestinians launching the rockets with the intention of warning them to back off. In the overall Israeli perspective, it is intolerable that Israel has endured the Hamas torching campaign for over three months. However, the problem is that if the IDF starts taking out Hamas targets inside Gaza this would likely escalate into a Hamas-rocketing of Israel and consequently a new war. On the other hand, there may be no choice.

The is also another strategic consideration to be taken into account - the IDF has preferred to keep its eye on the Iranian ball in Syria. Iranian-backed forces there have been probing Israel's reaction to moving closer to the Israeli border on the Golan Heights. In just about every case the IDF has reacted immediately with an airstrike and the PM has again warned that this policy will continue. Jerusalem will not acquiesce an Iranian buildup in Syria. Obviously, Israel would prefer not to conduct a two-front military campaign - Gaza and the Iranian forces in Syria. However, this does not mean it will not be done if necessary. In fact, this may likely be the case if Hamas continues to torch in the South while Iran provokes the IDF in the North.

Sara bypassed this regulation by instructing the senior resident official to order the outside meals on the public tab.

Now to the indictment of Sara Netanyahu and what might follow: According to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, an intensive police investigation has uncovered sufficient grounds for inditing the PM's wife. Sara Netanyahu has been indited for wrongfully using some 350,000 shekels (approximately 97 thousand dollars) to order very expensive meals from outside chefs. At the PM's residence, there is an in-house cook whose job is to prepare meals for the Netanyahu family. This perk comes free of charge. However, Sara bypassed this regulation by instructing the senior resident official to order the outside meals on the public tab. Her defense has been that she knew nothing about this regulations and it was the resident manager who did it on his own. However, he categorically denies this and is pointing the finger back at the PM's wife.

It can be said that Sara Netanyahu has a reputation for angry outbursts against resident employees. It is also fair to describe her behavior at times as erratic, to say the least. So what will happen when she has to appear at an open court hearing where some employees will apparently accuse her of wrongdoing? This media-fest is a headache that the Prime Minister does not need, however, Sara reportedly refused to reach an out of court resolution with the State Attorney by agreeing to pay back only 50,000 of the 350,000 shekel meals. For his part, Bibi has tried to play down the scandal by charging, "Never in history has the wife of a leader been indicted for order a few trays of food from outside the public residence."

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit (Photo Credit: Mark Neyman / GPO)

Some stargazing: Opinion polls in Israel have repeatedly shown that Bibi would win an early election hands-down. The next ballot is scheduled for November 2019. Bear in mind that the Prime Minister himself is currently being investigated on four counts of fraud. Now, if an early election is suddenly announced, all police investigations of politicians are suspended until after the election. If Bibi were to win an early election, the Attorney General would be in a hot seat of his own. That is to say, the Israeli public would have re-elected Netanyahu knowing full and well that he was under investigation for financial and political chicanery. After another Netanyahu victory, might the Attorney General be induced to declare, 'the people have spoken and reelected Netanyahu, therefore I will suspend any further investigation until the Prime Minister leaves office.'

It gets worse, or better, depending on your perspective. Bear in mind that the ultra-orthodox parties who are crucial coalition partners are now opposing a new bill on drafting their young men into the IDF. This while threatening to topple the government over this issue. Now, what if Netanyahu, by hook or by crook, is able to force an early election that might get him off his own legal hook, and eventually form a new government coalition? I can imagine readers protesting, "this writer has lost his marbles!" To this I respond, just remember a few months ago that Bibi did try to engineer an early election but failed; primarily because his right-wing coalition partners feared that Netanyahu would gain at their expense.

It gets worse, or better, depending on your perspective. Bear in mind that the ultra-orthodox parties who are crucial coalition partners are now opposing a new bill on drafting their young men into the IDF. This while threatening to topple the government over this issue. Now, what if Netanyahu, by hook or by crook, is able to force an early election that might get him off his own legal hook, and eventually form a new government coalition? I can imagine readers protesting, "this writer has lost his marbles!" To this I respond, just remember a few months ago that Bibi did try to engineer an early election but failed; primarily because his right-wing coalition partners feared that Netanyahu would gain at their expense.



Political Analyst David Essing


 

David Essing

Back To The Top