Someone somewhere must have pointed this out, but I haven’t seen it. Let me start out by just saying it, straight out. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, is escalating the fight with Hamas–may have even provoked it–so that he can stay in office. He is perfectly willing to see a great many people killed– Palestinians, Gaza residents, women and children, journalists, and Israelis killed in retaliation to the escalation–simply because he was in great danger of losing his job. A new government was about to be formed, as in the Israeli system, and it was likely he would not be able to keep the job of Prime Minister. Here’s a quote from CNN dated eleven days ago: “Benjamin Netanyahu’s hold on the Premiership of Israel looks a little less secure after a deadline to build a new government passed at midnight”. He didn’t want to build a new government. It’s quite possible that with one of the best intelligence services on Earth, the Mossad, Netanyahu knew that an attack was expected. So why not wait for it, and escalate the ensuing conflict? Will Israel remove him from power in the midst of a war? Probably not. Unwise to change horses in mid-crisis. And if he shows his strength and demonstrates he will do anything to protect Israel, he’s likely to keep power even after it’s over.
This escalation is opportunism. Netanyahu was busted for corruption. He was losing control of government. He does not want to give up power, and have to crawl away in ignominy. Perhaps face jail for his corruption. As long as he’s Prime Minister, after all, he probably won’t be seriously pursued by prosecutors. He won’t be cuffed and hauled off to jail. His salivation for power will continue to be followed, every day, by feasting on power.
So he’ll do anything he can to stay in power, whatever the cost, whoever it hurts. Escalate, escalate. Refuse a cease fire. Let the blood run in the streets–just so long as Benjamin Netanyahu can stay in power.