In marmur, Our Virtual Mishkan

Netanyahu “Postpones” Annexation

The only noticeable difference to date resulting from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s proclamation of his intention, starting last July 1, to annex parts of the West Bank was that it brought together the Palestinian arch-rivals Hamas and Fatah. They decided to set aside their deep differences that have kept them at loggerheads for decades in order to fight the proposed Israeli measure.

Their decision has led to fears in Israel that they would start a terror campaign that would cost Israeli life and limb. Netanyahu may have rightly also feared that it may have curtailed his political career and, therefore July 1 was no longer “sacrosanct.”

Other, not only Arabs but also Jews, political leaders of most countries in the world as well as many public figures in Israel and abroad had come out against the plan. But it is not clear how much they influenced the decision to delay the implementation, though Jordan’s outrage may have been a particularly important factor in view of its proximity and complex relationship with the Jewish state.

The fact that the Trump administration may have got cold feet about its “peace” (piece?) plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may have been the decisive inhibiting factor.

Perhaps Gantz’s hesitation may also have had something to do with it. Not that Netanyahu seems to care about what Gantz thinks, but a split in the present government would have forced yet another election. Though Netanyahu would move mountains to blame Gantz and his supporters for it, the Israeli public might not have seen it that way. Another election would not go down well among the citizens of Israel and they may have chosen to punish Netanyahu for it.

That. Of course, would be good news for many of us, but t is not clear who in Likud would or could replace Netanyahu. It is, therefore, likely that in case Gantz leaves the coalition, Netanyahu will try to form another “transition” government in order to stay in power without testing the electorate.

His trial is due to start in less than two weeks and the publicity about it may also have a negative effect on the prime minister. The court and, of course, the attorney general, don’t seem t be the fans of Netanyahu, which may have also been a reason why he would rather talk about annexation to keep te right-wingers (though not necessarily all settlers) happy while avoiding upsetting Trump, Gantz and perhaps others. Talking a lot and doing nothing seems to have emerged as his strategy.

What next then? I dare not predict. Nor do the pundits. Let us hope that we will only talk about annexation but no action.

Yes, the situation is pathetic. And the man supposed to lead us has created it.

Jerusalem 3.7.20                                                                                                                     Dow Marmur  

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