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I hate it when they ask questions!

They're like the American Indians...they'll be perfectly happy on a makeshift reservation. Maybe they can fire up a new Casino?


Bibi to his cabinet "you'll find out when I decide to tell you. In the meantime how about a big dose of shut the f-ck up".


Israel’s wartime government frays as frustration with Netanyahu grows.


Aaron Boxerman and Ephrat Livni, NY Times

May 19, 2024


Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel’s war cabinet, said on Saturday that he would soon leave the country’s emergency wartime government unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked to immediately answer major questions about the future of Israel’s war.


“If you choose the path of zealots, dragging the country into the abyss, we will be forced to leave the government,” Mr. Gantz said in a televised news conference. “We will turn to the people and build a government that will earn the people’s trust.”


Mr. Gantz, who leads the National Unity party, said he would give Mr. Netanyahu until Jun. 8 — about three weeks — to reach an agreement in Israel’s war cabinet on a six-point plan to bring back the hostages, address the future governance of Gaza, return displaced Israelis to their homes and advance normalization with Saudi Arabia, among other issues.


His party’s departure would not by itself topple Mr. Netanyahu’s government, which would still hold 64 seats in the 120-member Parliament. But it would end a fragile wartime partnership that helped keep Israel unified and provided Mr. Netanyahu’s hard-line coalition with more moderate faces, boosting the country’s legitimacy abroad.


In a statement, Mr. Netanyahu fired back that Mr. Gantz was essentially calling for “Israeli defeat” and would allow Hamas to remain in power. He also said Mr. Gantz was “choosing to place ultimatums for the prime minister, rather than for Hamas.”


Mr. Gantz’s comments came amid growing domestic frustration with Mr. Netanyahu’s failure to decisively defeat Hamas or bring home the remaining hostages. Israeli forces recently recovered the bodies of four captives held in Gaza since the Hamas-led attack on Oct. 7, heightening fears over the fate of the remaining 128 hostages.


Over seven months into Israel’s campaign against Hamas in Gaza, its leadership is deeply divided over how to move forward. The government opposes Hamas’s demand for a permanent truce, undercutting cease-fire talks for the release of hostages. Israeli troops have returned to parts of northern Gaza, seeking to clear out a renewed Hamas insurgency there. Israelis displaced amid bombardment by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have little idea when they will return.


The Israeli government has yet to put forward a clear plan for what a postwar Gaza might look like, a task complicated by the government’s fractious makeup. Mr. Netanyahu’s partners include hard-line ministers who want to build new Israeli settlements in Gaza, as well as more moderate politicians like Mr. Gantz.


Long one of Mr. Netanyahu’s main opponents, Mr. Gantz — a former military chief of staff — joined the Israeli government after the Oct. 7 attack as an emergency wartime measure. The result has been a fragile coalition, with Mr. Gantz’s party trading fire with Mr. Netanyahu’s far-right allies and occasionally the prime minister himself.


On Wednesday, Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, similarly criticized Mr. Netanyahu’s management of the war, warning that the government’s failure to decide on a postwar plan for Gaza was leading the country down “a dangerous course.” He called on Mr. Netanyahu to explicitly rule out setting up Israeli “military governance” in Gaza.


“Since October, I have been raising this issue consistently in the cabinet and have received no response,” said Mr. Gallant, a member of Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party. “The end of the military campaign must come with political action.”


To some extent, both Mr. Gallant’s and Mr. Gantz’s criticisms were similar to those of U.S. officials. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said this week that Israel had to advance a “clear, concrete plan” for postwar governance in Gaza.


“We cannot have Hamas controlling Gaza,” Mr. Blinken said. “We can’t have chaos and anarchy in Gaza.” He added that the United States was looking “to Israel to come forward with its ideas.”


But while the Biden administration says it supports a Palestinian state — of which Gaza would likely be an integral part — neither Mr. Gantz nor Mr. Gallant has indicated immediate support for that. Both men have insisted that Israel must maintain “security control” to prevent a recurrence of the Oct. 7 attacks. On Saturday, Mr. Gantz vowed that “we will not allow any party, whether friends or enemies, to impose a Palestinian state upon us,” echoing Mr. Netanyahu’s rhetoric opposing Palestinian sovereignty.


Until a permanent solution is found, Mr. Gantz said, Gaza should be temporarily run by an “American-European-Arab-Palestinian administration,” with Israeli security oversight. In a statement following the speech, he also joined Mr. Netanyahu in dismissing a role for the internationally backed Palestinian Authority, Hamas’s main rival.


— Aaron Boxerman and Ephrat Livni

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