Benjamin Netanyahu is hardly taking his ouster as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister lying down. He has vowed to lead the opposition in the country’s parliament, the Knesset, “with a very strong voice,” and predicted that his Likud Party coalition would be back in power sooner rather than later.
“Bibi” Netanyahu also blasted his successor and former protegee Naftali Bennett of the Yamina Party “who always does the opposite of what he says, of what he promises” and continued his public disagreement with the Biden administration over its plans to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal.
In his speech, Netanyahu, 71, outlined his administration’s economic, technological, security, foreign policy, and public health accomplishments during which Israel emerged as a global power despite its small size.
Netanyahu called out Bennett, 49, as “fake right” because he “led astray hundreds of thousands of right-wing voters and transferred their votes from the right to the left. Bennett is relying on the public forgetting, but the public will not forget this fraudulent trick, and it will settle accounts with him and with him at the ballot box. The media, of course, will compliment him and flatter him and everyone around them because they know the truth.”
In his address, Netanyahu also revealed that the White House had asked him to keep his opposition to the Iran deal private, but that isn’t possible even given his 40-year friendship with President Joe Biden.
“Because the lessons of history are in front of my eyes,” he said. “In 1944, at the height of the Holocaust, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt refused to bomb the railway leading to the extermination camps, and refused to bomb the gas chambers, which could have saved millions of our people. We hoped for others to save us, and they didn’t come. In the face of the threat of extermination, we were helpless. Our voice was not heard among the nations. We had neither a state or an army. But today we do have a voice. We do have a state, and we do have defensive power.”
Netanyahu recalled that he told Defense Secretary Austin that “I will oppose the agreement that you are proposing both publicly and operationally.”
'You will not silence me.'
'We shall continue to work together for our beloved country. I am with you to topple this bad, dangerous, left-wing government and with G-d's help it will happen much sooner than you think.' pic.twitter.com/uZCv6LrhmM
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) June 13, 2021
Bennett lacks what it takes to stand up to the U.S. or Iran, Netanyahu implied.
“He doesn’t have the international standing. He doesn’t have the credibility. He doesn’t have the ability. He doesn’t have a government. He doesn’t have the ability to put up genuine opposition… An Israeli prime minister must be able to say no to the president of the United States on matters that endanger our existence, and to back this up with massive work in Congress, in the senate, and in public opinion, into the greatest democracy, which is the United States.”
The Bennet/Lapid government is only capable of giving lip service — all talk, no action perhaps — to opposing the deal that, in the end, will facilitate Iran’s nuclear ambitions and threaten the Middle East region and the world’s security, Netanyahu claimed.
“From the moment the United States returns to the nuclear deal with Iran, the incoming government will not authorize meaningful operations inside Iran in order to prevent its continued armament. At most, they will make a few limp remarks for protocol, or say a few meaningless things behind the scenes of no value,” Netanyahu said.
“A government that is incapable of standing up forcefully against the international community on matters that are fateful for us is not worthy of leading Israel even for a single day. That is the incoming government. Iran understands this, too. No wonder they’re celebrating there today. They know that were it not for the efforts that we led, Iran would have had an arsenal of nuclear weapons long ago with the objective of eliminating us. Iran is celebrating because it understands that from today there will be a weak and limp government that will align itself with the dictates of the international community,” he continued.
A total of 13 parties won seats in the Knesset in the March 23 election, the fourth inconclusive election in two years.
The Likud Party won the most seats, 30, but the Netanyahu team was unable to form a coalition with other right-wing parties to form a government because at least two of those parties are Never Netanyahu.
This ultimately led to Bennett striking a deal with so-called centrist Yair Lapid, the head of the second-most popular party, Yesh Atid (17 seats), even though Bennett had promised he would never participate in the formation of anything but a right-wing government.
“They lead a fragile eight-party alliance ranging from far left to hard right, from secular to religious, that few expect to last a full term and many consider both the embodiment of the rich diversity of Israeli society but also the epitome of its political disarray,” The New York Times noted.
The current alliance also includes one of the Arab parties, which serves as a rejection of the make-believe claim from the left that Israel is an apartheid state.
As part of this arrangement, Bennett — whose party only won six seats in the election — has agreed to pass along the top job to Lapid in two years, but as alluded above, that assumes this shaky coalition will last that long.
“Much of the Israeli opposition to Netanyahu was personal. Three of the eight parties in the new government… are headed by former Netanyahu allies who share his hard-line ideology but had deep personal disputes with him,” the New York Post observed. “The coalition, including a small Islamist faction that is making history as the first Arab party to sit in a coalition, agree on little beyond their opposition to Netanyahu.”
Netanyahu served 12 consecutive years as prime minister and 15 years overall. He was deposed by a 60-59 vote, which demonstrates the challenges facing Bennett’s premiership. Netanyahu is also dealing with corruption charges, which his supporters claim is merely a ploy by Israel’s Deep State to undermine his reputation.
Netanyahu concluded his remarks by encouraging his supporters to keep their spirits up. “I will lead you in a daily battle against this bad and dangerous left-wing government, and bring it down. And with the help of God, this will happen faster than you think.”
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