Didn’t I mention this during the ending of hostilities against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip? The decision to abort the Gaza attack and negotiate truce with Hamas has let down many Israelis backing more [illegal] settlements on Palestinian land. A new charismatic leader Naftali Bennett situated to the right of Netanyahu’s Likud party is making large gains.
(JPost) – A Likud MK complained that the Likud was not campaigning enough and that the party’s hawks were being hidden despite the public moving rightward. Likud MKs blamed the party’s strategist, Arthur Finkelstein, for misjudging the electorate.
“He thought we could win without a campaign,” said the MK, who asked not to be identified. “Now we woke up late, and we are being attacked on all sides.”
The latest trigger for Likud Beytenu’s free fall was Netanyahu and other Likud leaders attacking Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett for saying his conscience would not permit him, as a reserve soldier, to evacuate Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria. The Right saw the attacks as excessive and as opening fire on a political ally inside the right-wing bloc.
Bayit Yehudi, which won only three seats in 2009, rose from 10 to 11 seats last week, and to 14 this week, according to the poll. Surprisingly, one-third of the former National Religious Party‘s voters define themselves as secular, and 40 percent of Bayit Yehudi’s support comes from voters aged 30 and younger.
(Ynet News) – Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin on Friday leveled harsh criticism at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, saying “I have not trust in the current Israeli leadership.”
Speaking at a conference in central Israel, Diskin said: “I don’t trust a leadership that relies on messianic leadership. Our two messiahs from Caesarea and from the Akirov Towers are not fit to stand at the helm of the government.”
Yuval Diskin also noted that peace with Jordan and Egypt was made by leaders who actually wanted peace: “Netanyahu knows that if he makes a small gesture toward the Palestinians, his coalition will fall apart. “If we don’t come to our senses soon,” he warned, “When (Palestinian President) Abbas steps down in a year or two, we might be in a worse-off situation.”
(Hurryet News) – Diskin said that in 2010 Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak tried to convince him, the army chief and the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency to prepare the security apparatus for an attack on Iran before gaining approval from the necessary government forums, a move Diskin called “illegal.” Diskin also described attending a meeting with Netanyahu, Barak and then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, in which they discussed the Iranian nuclear threat over cigars and liquor. He called the atmosphere “bizarre,” saying leaders discussing such a serious subject with Israeli security officials should show more gravity.
Diskin said Netanyahu acted irresponsibly regarding Iran’s nuclear program and accused him of prioritizing personal concerns over national interests. “Unfortunately, my feeling, and many others in the defense establishment share it.”