Why the European Elite Hates Benjamin Netanyahu

Jan. 13 2023

Since Israel’s longest-serving prime minister returned to office, European journalists, intellectuals, and politicians have been lamenting the end of democracy in the Jewish state. The French writer Guy Sorman explains what lies behind these attitudes toward a government which, he emphasizes, was democratically elected:

The voters know what they’re doing: under Netanyahu, Israelis have experienced their greatest security, and never has their economy been more prosperous. It was thus not by chance that Netanyahu was reelected, but as a reward for his success and his good fortune (in politics, luck and success are indissociable). Has he threatened democracy in the past, and will he distort it this time in order to please his integralist allies? This may be doubted, since the person who could make the Israelis shut up would not be of this world.

What, then, is the source of this Western condemnation of the new Israeli government and these dark prophecies concerning democracy? First, there is ignorance. What European scribbler inquires into the problems Netanyahu faces? We prefer to condemn him from afar, for fear of being contradicted by reality. But let’s state the essential: the despair displayed by the European left comes from the fact that its adherents judge Israel from the standpoint of the Palestinians. It’s true that Netanyahu and his allies don’t believe in the viability of a Palestinian state; the Israeli government is not the Palestinian government, and it defends the interests of Israelis before those of the Palestinians. We may bemoan the fate of the Palestinians, but whose responsibility is that, really?

The Palestinians are perhaps victims of the Israeli occupation—though there is no occupation of Gaza at all—but they are still more victims of international aid. They are also just as much victims of the Arab world, which has contributed little to the Palestinians, while long refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

What, then, is the true cause of Europe’s demonizing of Netanyahu? He is on the right and he is Jewish—look no further. And the unrestrained sympathy for the Palestinians? They play the role, despite themselves, of the proletariat in a Marxian vision of the world. Israel and the Palestinians, for elite commentators, are nothing but the screen on which are projected the ideological fantasies of the West.

Read more at City Journal

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Europe and Israel, Israeli politics, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria