Will the protests in Israel mark the end of Benjamin Netanyahu’s reign once and for all?
There were fiery scenes all across Twitter for the past couple of weeks as Israel descended into chaos when Israeli citizens protested en masse against Netanyahu.
Citizens had breached the gates at the residence of the Prime Minister according to Louis Fishman on March 26th. Fishman called the situation “a crisis like no other”. The protests are centered on Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial reform.
Israeli citizens are protesting Netanyahu’s alleged attempts to turn the country into a dictatorship under his rule. The protests have been the subject of much debate around Netanyahu’s intent and his waning potential of longevity. Writing for the Guardian, Joshua Leifer argued this could be a make or break for Israel as he believes the country has not been a democracy in a long time. Leifer stated that the protest movement could develop into a “genuine call for democracy or remain at its current impasse.”
Israel has featured extensively in the sphere of international affairs recently as the territorial tensions between them and Palestine have heightened in recent months. The most recent skirmishes came from Israel whose forces killed a Palestinian for the second time in a day around Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Netanyahu has been a controversial figure for several years, even prior to returning to the Premiership of Israel. He gained significant controversy through his expansion of Israeli territories which has been deemed illegal under international law and more recently his relationship with the administration of Donald Trump has caused murmurs after the Trump White House recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The protests began on the 7th January and have steadily gained traction throughout the past few months and have now culminated in startling scenes over the past fortnight or so. Fishman, who was closely following the story, highlighted the sheer number of citizens out in the streets protesting. The ferocity at which they are attempting to force Netanyahu out of office is “beginning to show the cracks in government.” The protesters were heard chanting “Bibi to prison!” Showing that the end of the judicial reforms is not enough to satisfy many who are out protesting. Fishman believes the continued protests and the failure of Netanyahu’s reforms would almost inevitably lead to the end of his regime. Fishman wrote “Netanyahu is scrambling. Hiding at home.”
The Guardian wrote an editorial referencing the protests and have expressed continued vigilance as they wrote “it is not over yet.” This comes after extensive clashes between the protesters and the police forces. The Guardian argues that Netanyahu’s primary motivation after having to suspend the reforms is his “saving himself”.
The way forward for Israel is unclear now, Netanyahu’s dismissal is no guarantee that the country will find its feet and fight towards democracy. The failure of a government is not a fair suggestion of a nation’s health but a mere indication of the fight within a country’s citizens. Netanyahu’s deposition could further plunge Israel into chaos and their weakness without a leader could mark the beginning of a new phase in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Edited by: Morgan Reitzel
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