Israel: Netanyahu increasingly contested

“Coronavirus incubators”. That is what the Israeli prime minister calls the demonstrations that increasingly challenge his policies. Everything, he says, encouraged by the media.

Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had yet another weekend to forget, with several protests taking place in the past few days, challenging the way the right (allied with the opposing Benjamin Gantz) is leading the fight against the pandemic and the return to economic activity. This Sunday, Netanyahu said, quoted by several newspapers, that the Israeli media are fueling anti-government protests and that the demonstrations are themselves “an attempt to run over democracy”.

Speaking at the end of an executive meeting in Jerusalem, the prime minister said the media came together behind the protests: “they are encouraging, they can paralyze neighborhoods, block roads, unlike anything that has been acceptable so far ”. The Prime Minister condemned what he considers to be "the unilateral nature of the majority of the media"; "They don't report the protests, they participate". The alleged media initiative "is not similar to Soviet times, it is already at North Korean levels," he said.

The country has struggled to react to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has already destroyed thousands of jobs and highlighted the lack of resilience of an economy that Benjamin Netanyahu has led for two decades. All of this occurred after the prime minister had made the country weeks and weeks without government, for refusing to leave the leadership of the party - just as his opponents initially wanted.

Finally, Netanyahu reached an agreement with Gantz for the formation of a joint government. The result was weeks of neglect and a government that has everything it needs to go smoothly: the two politicians hate each other, analysts say, and their motivations are hardly aligned, and may even be in complete antagonism.

More and more people believe that the country will soon have to face new elections - which, in turn, will further deepen a political crisis that has not been resolved for over a year.


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