Reckless Policies, Dire Consequences: Netanyahu With All His Fanaticism And Faults
11 September 2014
By Alon Ben-Meir
The Netanyahu-led government's announcement of its
decision to annex nearly 1,000 acres of Palestinian
land in the West Bank between the Etzion settlement
block and Jerusalem amounts to nothing less than a
reckless and offensive act that only further
undermines Israel's moral international standing and
has dire future consequences.
Netanyahu's hypocrisy was put on full display when he
blamed Hamas for the abduction and gruesome murder of
three Israeli teenagers, which subsequently led to the
Gaza war, only to expropriate land in the West Bank to
punish the Palestinian Authority.
In fact, President Abbas did everything in his power
to cooperate with Israeli security forces in the
search for the abductors and strongly condemned the
abduction. Instead of rewarding him for his efforts to
keep the calm in the West Bank throughout the war, for
example by freeing some prisoners, Netanyahu usurped
another chunk of Palestinian land.
The message Netanyahu sent clearly suggests that he
has no scruples, and contrary to his public statement
in support for a two-state solution, he has no
intentions of ever allowing the Palestinians to
realize their aspiration for statehood.
He eagerly joined the extremist right-wing members in
his coalition, the overzealous madmen Naftali Bennett
and Avigdor Lieberman, whose sole purpose is
continuing the colonization of the West Bank at any
cost as they pursue their messianic mission with blind
devotion, further jeopardizing Israel's very
Beyond that, Netanyahu's action will have ominous
repercussions for Israel on many other fronts, which
can be overlooked only by a man possessed by a demon
which blinds him from discerning between reality and
Netanyahu's ill-advised action has undermined Israel's
national security as his land grab further weakens the
moderate Palestinian camp led by Abbas, and
strengthens the extremists led by Hamas and Islamic
Jihad, who can now demonstrate that moderation does
not pay, justifying their continued violent
Netanyahu's act was not only deplorable but
extraordinarily ill-timed (only days away from the UN
General Assembly's annual meeting), leaving Abbas with
no choice but to pursue his plans to seek a
UN-mandated resolution to end the occupation within
In addition, Abbas will now feel free to turn to the
International Criminal Court to seek charges against
Israel for gross human rights violations.
The international community, especially European
countries and the United States, which matter the most
to Israel, are losing patience with Netanyahu and his
reactionary policy. They view his latest move not only
as harmful to the prospect for a negotiated peace, but
a direct contributor to instability in a region which
is already in turmoil.
They view Israel as a county that abrogates its
democratic values, callously disregarding
international laws that govern the rules and
responsibilities of occupying power while dangerously
eroding its moral standing.
Western Europe in particular has already sounded the
alarm and is cautioning Israel that it cannot continue
its discrimination against Israeli Arabs and the
occupation of the West Bank with impunity.
Moreover, Israel is undermining the strategic
interests of its closest and indispensible ally, the
US, throughout the Middle East. The US' unwavering
support of Israel will have its limits as the US
cannot allow itself to be seen as subservient to the
whims of irresponsible Israeli leaders.
I do not rule out the possibility that should Israel
continue on its current twisted path under Netanyahu,
we will sooner than later begin to witness the
imposition of sanctions starting with some European
states, further isolating Israel from the
Another consequence of Netanyahu's ill-fated policy is
the rise of anti-Semitism, a disgraceful, racist
attitude that has always existed in one form or
another in various degrees.
Any sane individual, however, attributes the latest
escalation of anti-Semitism throughout Europe,
certainly the Middle East and even in the US, to
Netanyahu's and his cohorts' loathsome policy toward
Even more dangerous is the fact that a growing number
of young American and European Jews (the largest pool
of potential immigrants to Israel) do not wish to
immigrate as they no longer view the country as
pioneering, high-spirited, true to democratic values,
and one in which they can take pride.
The younger generation of Jews resent the occupation
and even more so the repeated violent confrontations
with the Palestinians, which have no end in sight.
Many feel offended by Netanyahu's policies as they
grew up with the tradition of equality, fairness, and
The irony is that while Israel was created as the
ultimate refuge for the Jews, determined to safeguard
the security and well-being of the Jews anywhere, it
has now became a liability.
Jews living in and especially outside Israel find
themselves torn between their desire to defend Israel
and their apprehension about the continuing occupation
and discriminatory policies.
Even more troubling is the fact that hundreds of
thousands of Israelis have emigrated from Israel in
recent years as they witness their country losing its
reason for being. They feel betrayed by their leaders'
inability to remain faithful to the country's founding
fathers, who sought to build a strong, inclusive, and
just nation living in peace and harmony with its
Sadly, many Israelis have resigned themselves to live
with corrupt leaders, whose hunger for power knows no
limits and who have readily sacrificed the welfare of
the nation for personal gains and ambition. Is there
any wonder why they have lost hope and now want to
escape from the country they once were willing to die
They cannot envision, and neither can I, how the
status quo with the Palestinians can be maintained or
"managed" without repeated violence that will only
grow in intensity, making Israel a living hell as we
have just witnessed from the last Israel-Hamas war.
Ironically, with all his fanaticism and faults,
Netanyahu may still be able to change the dynamics of
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He should sit down
by himself and think without his "chief advisor"—his
wife, whose lust for power knows no bounds—and ask
himself where Israel will be in ten or fifteen years
down the line if the current situation continues to
Perhaps he should also ponder about the legacy he
wants to leave behind.
Does Netanyahu want to leave an Israel as an occupying
power existing in a constant state of war, a garrison
state, controlled by fanatic right-wing and religious
leaders, becoming ever more isolated, whose Jewish
population is depleting, with no friends, gloomy
future, ever more vulnerable while forfeiting the one
chance given to the Jews to rise from the ashes of the
Or will it be the country that has everything it takes
to become a "light unto the nations."