He’s unfit to serve. An embarrassment to legitimate governance. Ideologically extreme. Over-the-top and then some.
Former Mossad head Efraim Halevy sharply criticized him and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.
Saying peace won’t come without treating Palestinians as equals. More on his comments below.
Earlier, former Shin Bet head, Yuval Diskin, called Netanyahu “weak,” “wavering,” “unreliable,” “scared and fickle.”
Obsessed over Iran. “Shirks responsibility.” Represents “a crisis in leadership, a crisis of values and total contempt for the public.”
Diskin doesn’t trust him. Feels insecure with him in charge. He hasn’t “an iota of leadership qualit(y),” he said.
He has messianic ambitions. He’s-over-the-top. Dangerous. Wanting his stamp put on history.
Wanting “to go down in history as the person who did something on (a grand) scale.” No matter the potential consequences.
Former Mossad head Meir Dagan earlier criticized Netanyahu’s inflammatory war-mongering, saying:
“We need a prime minister who will not be subject to political pressures when deciding on” issues of war or peace.
Former Military Intelligence head Major General (ret.) Uri Saguy earlier accused Netanyahu of heading Israel over a cliff. Adding he can’t be trusted.
Why Israelis put up with him they’ll have to explain. Halevy believes the 1979 Israeli/Egyptian peace treaty was possible because both sides considered themselves Yom Kippur War victors.
Equals. Each side retaining dignity. What’s needed to achieve Israeli/Palestinian peace, he said. Instead of one side overwhelmingly dominating the other. Taking full advantage of its superior might.
“I do not think we will make any progress until that moment arrives, and I fear that it will take a very long time before it happens, if at all,” said Halevy.
“And if it never happens, there will never be peace between us and the Palestinians. And if it never happens, we’re sentenced to a very long term of struggle.”
Israel will survive, he added. Facing no existential threat. For over 40 years. Despite claims otherwise.
Halevy thinks March elections are Israel’s last chance for responsible leadership. Embracing peace and reconciliation.
“The election is not just a plebiscite on the question of who is going to be prime minister,” he said.
“The question is what will be the policy. And by choosing A or B or C you are supporting a policy.”
“Security is not a policy. Everybody supports security. But people interpret (it) differently.”
“The choice this time is a choice the likes of which we have never had before.”
Determining “how we treat the other side. A decision this time will be not on who will do but also on what will be done.”
“Not on who will determine the policies but on what will be the policies.”
Instead of condemning Operation Protective Edge aggression, Halevy claimed Israel achieved “something constructive.”
“The achievement was that the other side didn’t get anything. What did we get?”
“We didn’t need anything. We weren’t seeking anything political, because we don’t want to do business with them.”
In dealing with Palestinians, “we feel, some way or another, that it’s either them or us. We believe we’re superior to them.”
“We believe that we’re better organized, better equipped, much more experienced. We know how to conduct our affairs.”
“And actually we’re in control. And it’s almost humanly impossible in a situation like this to conduct a negotiation because for it to produce something in the end, you have to reach the point where you’re on par with the other side.”
Halevy criticized Bennett’s hairbrained scheme. Urging annexation of over 60% of West Bank land.
What Palestinians won’t tolerate. Foregoing any chance for future peace. Achieving it requires both sides respecting each other’s rights, Halevy said.
He’s very critical of Netanyahu’s Jerusalem policy. Displacing Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Making room for Jewish development.
Netanyahu’s policy is “I can build and live anywhere in Jerusalem I want because I am a Jew,” said Halevy.
Shutting out Palestinians entirely. Leaving resistance their only alternative. Assuring continued conflict.
Halevy believes an equitable two-state solution works best. One state least desirable – but most likely outcome, he thinks.
“In a situation like this you have to look for something in between.” Making sure that both sides gain something. Come out feeling respectable.
Hebrew has no word for dignity, Halevy said. Israelis consider Arabs inferior.
“The problem we have had over the years has been that they have sought dignity, and the last thing we ever thought of was addressing them in a manner that g(ives) them a” sense of what they want.
It shows in horrific daily treatment. Brutalizing children one of many examples.
On Saturday, Israeli security forces arrested 8-year old Obeida Ayash. On suspicion of stone-throwing. He denied doing so.
Interrogators demanded names of others involved. Last year, Israeli security forces terrorized a 5-year old Palestinian boy. More recently a 7-year-old.
Each year, about 700 West Bank children are arrested, detained, interrogated, terrorized, and prosecuted in Israeli military courts.
Operating unaccountably. Systematically violating their fundamental rights.
Children lawlessly arrested at checkpoints. On streets. Heading to school. Coming home. Helping parents plant or harvest crops. At play. While sleeping pre-dawn.
Family members intervening are beaten. At times arrested. Children are blindfolded and shackled.
Terrorized. Physically and verbally abused during interrogation. Subjected to other degrading and inhumane treatment. At times tortured.
Placed in tiny cells. Denied family contacts. Legal counsel for days. At times weeks.
Declared guilty by accusation. Kangaroo court justice follows. Cruel. Unforgiving. Unjust.
How can a nation abusing 5, 7 and 8-year-olds be expected to work responsibly for peace? Treat Palestinians like equals. Change decades of racist policies.
Notions ingrained in young minds from kindergarten to daily events. Nothing in prospect suggests positive change. No matter how March elections turn out.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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