March 4, 2024

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War in the Middle East – Benjamin Netanyahu's Power Poker – News

War in the Middle East – Benjamin Netanyahu's Power Poker – News
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Have Prime Minister Netanyahu's policies strengthened Hamas instead of protecting Israel? Estimates of his biographer.

Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to go down in the history books as Israel's protector — and now Israel's dream came true during his tenure: the October 7 massacre. The prime minister is waging war against Hamas – while fighting for his political survival.

Critics blame his policies for terrorist attacks. Netanyahu's popularity is plummeting. “70 to 80 percent of the population supports the war against Hamas. At the same time, many citizens are calling for the Prime Minister to resign,” says Anschel Pfeffer. This was unusual in wartime.

Anschel Pfeiffer has been watching the longtime prime minister — whom many call “Bibi” — for years. He is a journalist for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and has written an unauthorized biography of Netanyahu.

Funded by Hamas

Critics accuse Bibi of supporting the terrorist organization Hamas in the past. One of the most serious accusations: Netanyahu is said to have indirectly strengthened Hamas since 2018 by supporting its funding through its close ally, Qatar.

Netanyahu reassured himself and believed that Hamas could not attack Israel, says Anshel Pfeffer. At the same time, he was interested in a strong Hamas, making it a powerful opponent of Fatah, the enemy in the West Bank.

“How can I negotiate with the Palestinians when they themselves are divided?” says Anschel Pfeffer. Netanyahu does not want to make concessions to the Palestinians. In his interest was the division of the Palestinians between Fatah and Hamas.

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Publicly, Bibi has repeatedly said he wants to destroy Hamas. “But he said privately that it's okay to have Hamas in Gaza,” Pfeffer said.

A suitcase full of money

The guys confirm the millions of dollars brought in suitcases into the Gaza Strip. Interim Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was one of them. He has been an ally of Netanyahu for years.

“I stopped the money cases because I believe it was a terrible mistake to allow Hamas to keep this money. Why should we feed them cash so that they can kill us?” Bennett said in an interview with CNN.

Polarization of Israel

Netanyahu's politics are polarizing. In the early 1990s, he raised sentiments against the Oslo Accords and rhetorically attacked then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. So many Israelis blamed Rabin for the 1995 shooting death of an Israeli right-wing extremist at a peace rally.

Biographer Anshel Peffer says Netanyahu did not create divisions in Israeli society. “But he exploited, deepened and manipulated these divisions. What we see now is the polarized, highly divided nature of Israeli society. That is largely Netanyahu's doing.

What's next for Bibi?

Anschel Pfeffer believes there may be new elections in the near future. But Netanyahu should not be written off just yet. “Netanyahu campaigns like everyone else eats breakfast. It will be difficult for him, but he will fight. Bibi is like a machine – tireless.