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TEL AVIV — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been “destroyed emotionally” by his huge failure on nationwide safety and is now miscalculating by making ready to take general management of Gaza’s safety for an “indefinite period” after Hamas has been crushed, in accordance with former chief Ehud Olmert.
In an interview with POLITICO, Olmert argued Netanyahu was in a state of “nervous breakdown,” as he sought to keep away from being thrown out of workplace for failing to safeguard nationwide safety within the murderous Hamas assaults of October 7. This meant Israel was now steering astray strategically, Olmert went on, insisting the precedence needs to be to barter an endgame with the worldwide neighborhood — involving a return to talks on the formation of a Palestinian state, somewhat than turning again the clock to full army oversight over Gaza.
“[Netanyahu] has shrunk. He’s destroyed emotionally, that’s for sure. I mean, something terrible happened to him. Bibi has been working all his life on the false pretense that he is Mr. Security. He’s Mr. Bullshit,” he stated. “Every minute he is prime minister he is a danger to Israel. I seriously mean it. I am certain the Americans understand he is in bad shape.”
As a living proof of the prime minister’s wrong-headed method, Olmert warned Netanyahu’s strategic plan for conserving management over the post-war Gaza Strip — aired in an interview with ABC news on Monday — sounded tantamount to going again to 2005, when Israel exercised army rule over the coastal enclave.
“It’s not in Israel’s interests to oversee the security of Gaza,” he stated. “It is in our interests to be able to defend ourselves in a different way than we did before the October 7 attack. But to control Gaza again? No.”
Olmert additionally warned the endurance of Israel’s Western allies was sporting skinny due to the failure of Netanyahu and his ministers to stipulate a sensible plan for the post-Hamas governance of Gaza. “There is a lot that we can do, but we can’t do everything that we desire,” he cautioned.
Olmert, who led Israel from 2006 to 2009 as a pacesetter from the liberal Kadima social gathering, complained there was lack of sober considering in Israel’s conflict cupboard.
Indeed, Netanyahu’s approval scores have hit rock backside for the reason that assault. A mid-October ballot confirmed Israelis consider the failure to stop the Hamas onslaught uncovered a “leadership debacle” with two-thirds wanting anybody however Netanyahu to be the nation’s subsequent prime minister. In one other survey 44 % of respondents stated Netanyahu is accountable for what occurred October 7. Only 18 % of Israelis thought that he doesn’t should go away workplace. Seventy-six % need him out of workplace eventually.
Israel Hayom, a historically pro-Netanyahu newspaper, stated Wednesday he ought to step apart, writing: “Take responsibility and accept that the buck stops with you.”
After his premiership, Olmert served a jail time period for accepting bribes and for obstruction of justice throughout his phrases as mayor of Jerusalem and as commerce minister. He was praised throughout the political spectrum for resigning as social gathering chief as investigations intensified, saying in his resignation speech he was “proud to be a citizen of a country in which a prime minister can be investigated like any other citizen.”
Time for two-state talks
Olmert spoke with POLITICO simply hours after Netanyahu gave the clearest indication up to now of what Israel may be planning for Gaza within the conflict’s aftermath. In an interview with ABC News, Netanyahu omitted to say who he thinks ought to govern the enclave as soon as Hamas was gone however he stated Israel would “have the overall security responsibility” for Gaza indefinitely. “We’ve seen what happens when we don’t have it. When we don’t have that security responsibility, what we have is the eruption of Hamas terror on a scale we couldn’t imagine,” Netanyahu added.
U.S. President Joe Biden had beforehand stated it will be a “mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza once more. While Netanyahu’s plan might fall wanting a full re-occupation — one thing the United States and different allies have warned towards — it will presumably entail appreciable management of the enclave and a continued presence of Israeli troops.
Critically, it will seemingly sprint any hopes the U.S. harbors of persuading the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which managed the Strip earlier than Hamas violently ousted it in 2007, from agreeing to return. The PA’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, has up to now dismissed the idea of the PA being reinstated by force of Israeli arms.
Netanyahu’s remarks would seem to undercut Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s insistence final month that one of many most important goals of Israel’s army marketing campaign was to sever “Israel’s responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip.” Among the concepts mooted for what occurs to Gaza as soon as Hamas has been defeated embody a consortium of Arab states taking safety accountability, probably with U.N. mandate to supervise the return of the PA.
Olmert stated he thought it was inconceivable any Arab states would signal on to the peacekeeping plan, suggesting solely a Western-intervention pressure would work. His greatest concern is Israel will proceed to dither and fail to grapple with what ought to occur to post-war Gaza. This will add to Western exasperation, he warned.
“There is a total lack of planning for the next phase,” he complained. “What are we going to do? Okay, according to Netanyahu, we are going to smash and break down Hamas. And I think, by the way, that we can do it. Then what is the next step? What are we going to do then? Does anyone think about it? We need to present to the international community our idea of an endgame,” he added.
“If Israel produced a serious proposal for two-state negotiations it would have a dramatic impact on the international community. It would give us more space and time to achieve the aims of our military operations — it would have an impact on public opinion in Western countries and in the media. It would show Israel is committed to doing something it hasn’t wanted to in the past 15 years. So, something positive could come out of all of this. But we’re not doing it, and no one wants to think about it. No one wants to spell it out. No one wants to say it.”
Fundamentally, Olmert recommended, the issue was now that Netanyahu is “in the state of nervous breakdown. I’m not exaggerating. He’s being squeezed from all sides and his focus seems to be stopping being thrown out of office the day the war stops and even maybe before then,” he stated.
“You expect him now to talk about the second phase and the third phase. He’s not certain he will survive politically this phase,” Olmert added.