Escalation of violence in Israel: Solidarity with the opposition

Escalation of violence in Israel: Solidarity with the opposition

Many in Israel’s opposition see no way out. But beyond absurd boycott fantasies, it must receive international support.

protesters on the ground

Anti-government protests in Tel Aviv on February 25 Photo: Ammar Awad/Reuters

The violence between Israel and Palestinians is escalating – again. An attack on two Israelis in the West Bank was followed by a settler riot that left one Palestinian dead and hundreds injured. The Israeli military classifies the actions of the settlers as “acts of terrorism”. In short: the already tense situation is getting worse.

Israelis – even those who would not describe themselves as particularly left-wing and who believe in their state – feel strangely ashamed of their government. One could say cynically that the only one who benefits from the escalation is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself: the more acute the crisis, the less one has to deal with criticism of the actual policy – for example the recently decided carefully formulated, controversial judicial reform – employ, against which tens of thousands demonstrate every Saturday.

That’s why the comments, which are surprising that the Israeli government is apparently not trying to de-escalate, seem a bit silly. Like all other right-wing, radical governments, it needs conflicts and enemies from outside. Especially since Netanyahu, accused of three corruption cases, could avoid a possible prison sentence thanks to the judicial reform.

How little he, the former pragmatist, is now concerned with the Jewish state, which he represents and pretends to defend, shows that he and his clique are not above to use the old, embarrassing hatred of the elite for their own purposesby the demonstrators, who are mostly well educated and from the across the political spectrumdiscredit.

This opposition does not see a way out of the misery. But Europe and also the US should see that they get in touch with her and offer all the support – beyond absurd boycott fantasies – that is possible. Because a strong, democratic Israel in an otherwise unstable region can only be in their interest.

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