Kafe Knesset for Dec 26th
The fallout from Resolution 2443 took over the Knesset today, as various party leaders used their weekly faction meetings to share their opinions on the UNSC decision and the Prime Minister’s harsh diplomatic reaction. Fearing future repercussions, Netanyahu resisted the loud calls from his right wing base to immediately announce a massive wave of building in the settlements and promote legislation that would apply Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, and is trying to postpone any declarative moves until after the Trump inauguration. Instead, he launched a diplomatic blitz on the US and other Security Council members, summoning their ambassadors for reprimands (on Christmas Day!) and announcing a temporary reduction in diplomatic ties. The idea is to emphasize that Israel is angry. Very angry.
Besides the Left-wing Meretz party, almost everyone in Israeli politics agrees that 2443 is bad; but Netanyahu’s channeling of Israel’s protest sparked intense criticism from the opposition. Yesh Atid Leader Yair Lapid dubbed it as “hysteria.” Speaking to the Knesset correspondents today, Lapid said that “A strong and proud country would not react this way. It doesn’t project strength, only pressure and confusion. This resolution was not a must – it could have been prevented, not by bending in front of the world, but by working in an organized, professional manner.” Lapid is now threatening to summon Netanyahu to the Foreign Affairs and Defense committee to present his policy. Zionist Union leaders Livni and Herzog echoed the same sentiment, and attacked Netanyahu for one of his recent Facebook posts in which he lashed out against the left and compared them to Hamas, demanding an apology. “I want to announce that I have doubts about the Prime Minister’s sense of reasoning, given his behavior in recent days. He’s out of control, and he needs to go home.” Livni added: “Every time Netanyahu feels his chair rocking two things happen automatically – he gets hysterical, devotes himself to the extreme right and turns into a small inciter. It happened in the elections when he connected the Arabs, the left and foreign governments and he is doing it again now – once again the left, the Arabs, and foreign governments are to blame.”
On the other hand, Netanyahu is receiving a whole lot of support from the right, which is rallying around him and fully endorsing the David against Goliath style war he declared on the international community. Even Jewish Home lawmakers praised him for his strong and adamant response to the weekend’s diplomatic crisis. Echoing the Prime Minister, Defense Minister Liberman criticized the upcoming diplomatic conference in Paris, set to take place on the 15th of January. “This is a trial against Israel, a modern version of the Dreyfus affair, with one difference: instead of one Jew on the bench – the whole Israeli people will be accused.” While Netanyahu bashed the Obama administration, Liberman used the opportunity to attack the French government, and to encourage our French cousins to come on Aliyah. “Now’s the time to tell French Jews – it’s not your country and not your land. Leave France and come to Israel – that is the only answer to this scam.