How Long Can Netanyahu Keep All the Plates Spinning?

How Long Can Netanyahu Keep All the Plates Spinning?

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January 9, 2024 3:57 p.m.

I had been planning to write a post today about a shift in the news coming out of Israel-Palestine and a shift in attitudes among the various countries which have been supporting Israel’s war effort, either openly or tacitly. But as I thought about it, the connections I intended to draw were too tenuous or perhaps too premature to really sustain the argument. Instead, I’m just going to share an anecdote and a quote which capture one element of this shift.

First, a bit of stage setting.

As I’ve argued in earlier posts, there are two overlapping but very distinct stories unfolding within Israel. Israel’s devastating onslaught in Gaza in retaliation for the October 7th massacres has broad, really overwhelming support within Israel. But it’s being led by a prime minister whose personal credibility and political standing were shattered by the massacres that triggered the war. As the intensity of the fighting has decreased, this contradiction comes more and more to the fore. As “day after” questions become more urgent, he is more openly toadying to the demands of the settler extremists who keep him in power even as they propose horrific new policies which at best complicate Israel’s position with its top allies and the Arab countries it still seeks to conclude peace deals with.

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