The Israeli Left May Have Stopped Judicial Reform, but It Hasn’t Won Over the Public

According to recent polls (taken, one should note, before the fighting with Gaza resumed on Tuesday), the Likud would lose eight Knesset seats if an election were held tomorrow, while the other parties in Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition would lose another three or four. Conventional wisdom reasonably assumes that the stalled attempt at judicial reform, and the social unrest it brought about, are responsible for this shift. Yet, argues Michel Gurfinkiel, it is not Yair Lapid—who emerged as the leader of the anti-judicial-reform protests—and his secularist, center-left Yesh Atid party, who stand to gain from the prime minister’s loss:

The true winner is the right-of-center National Unity party, led by a former [IDF] chief-of-staff and defense minister, Benny Gantz, which rose to a projected 29 seats from twelve seats last November. That turns it into the opposition’s main group, well ahead of Yesh Atid.

For those in Likud who were losing faith in Mr. Netanyahu’s political wizardry, and those who, whatever their background, were concerned by a potential disruption of the economy or the army [during the protests], the former chief-of-staff looked like the only alternative, especially against Mr. Lapid.

Most of the conservative voters who helped Mr. Gantz to emerge over the past weeks would probably desert him if he again enters in a coalition with Mr. Lapid and the far left, as he did in the past. Conversely, his core supporters, who granted him twelve seats in 2022, are weary of an alliance with Mr. Netanyahu. The way out might be, ideally, a national-emergency government led on equal footing by both Likud and National Unity.

Read more at New York Sun

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Yair Lapid

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy