Public Bickering Grows in Israel’s Divided War Cabinet

Israeli Coalition Was Split by Peace, But War Is No Unifier

For Israel’s various wars, traditionally the start of combat has been a great unifier for the nation’s politicians, as long-time moderates trend hawkish and the original hawks welcome them with open arms into the war camp.

That’s how it’s supposed to work, at least, but this current Israeli right-far-right coalition is forever engaged in infighting, and even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s own Likud Party is deeply divided during the current Gaza War.

The moderates are trending hawkish, as usual, but the ultra-hawks in the Israeli war cabinet are not content to simply claim vindication, and are rather moving toward even more extreme pronouncements, while lashing Netanyahu and others for not being even more unrestrained than they already are.

Former Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon exemplifies this, as the rising young Likud member was sacked outright by Netanyahu for publicly condemning the “feeble” war efforts up to that point and demanding escalation.

Danon’s road-bump is likely temporary for his career, but his comments aren’t alone, as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and others loudly contradict Netanyahu in public, and even with Israel launching a ground invasion, are still clamoring for ever more.

The Israeli coalition was deeply divided, and seemingly on the brink of collapse during the last days of peace talks, but those divisions aren’t narrowing even in time of war, meaning balancing the far-right’s demands for escalation will be a continuing problem throughout the invasion.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.