Benjamin Netanyahu has now moved his war to Beirut, which could draw in Lebanon and certainly Hezbollah. Meanwhile, the threat to commercial shipping from the Houthis in Yemen has drawn the United States & Co. to form a defensive alliance to protect international shipping and trade.

There are also pro-Palestinian terrorist attacks in Iraq. Iran is, of course, lurking in the background, supplying these various groups with the required hardware. Hezbollah is the most heavily armed terrorist group in the world. Its weaponry is sophisticated and is capable of penetrating the heart of Israel, not merely its border areas.

Clearly, Netanyahu’s war may reach a regional level. This war has created such a situation but it suits him fine. Of course, it also suited the United States and President Joe Biden who emboldened Netanyahu from day one after the heinous Hamas attacks of October 7. Biden is now attempting to restrain Israel and pull it back but is it too late? Netanyahu is so emboldened that he feels he can go on with his cruel war nonetheless, challenging the world.

What Israelis may not realise is that this is one man’s war ‒ not their war.

The Gaza massacre is crucial to Netanyahu’s survival. The moment it is over he is dead meat. He will probably go to jail and he knows it. He sold his soul to the fundamentalist, fascist, radical, right-wing religious extremists. This was the only way he could form a government and become prime minister, giving him temporary immunity from prosecution.

These are the people who promote war against the Palestinians, expelling them from Gaza and, subsequently, the West Bank, where they have not only encouraged Israeli settlers to illegally occupy Palestinian land but have also supplied them with arms.

The moment the war is over, Netanyahu and his government will go. Hence, the statements that the war is expected to go on for months ‒ certainly throughout 2024. Netanyahu has an interest in prolonging his genocide. His words about only military pressure bringing the release of hostages are but empty.

Benjamin Netanyahu sold his soul to the fundamentalist, fascist, radical, right-wing religious extremists- Austin Sammut

He has clearly stated that the release of the hostages is not his first priority. The elimination of Hamas is. He knows that the elimination of Hamas is impossible and the assault will, thus, go on indefinitely. He has no qualms about targeting tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians ‒ over 22,000 at the time of writing, the majority of whom are women and children.

What the Israelis may also not realise is that Netanyahu’s massacre of Palestinians, his genocide and ethnic cleansing, is sowing the seeds of a far stronger terrorist movement.

Over half the population of Gaza, not to mention the West Bank, is under 18 years of age. Every one of these young people have had a mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent or cousin killed by Israeli bombs and marauding Israeli soldiers or illegal settlers.

The level of hatred for all Jews and all that is Jewish will fester for many decades, as these youths grow up, and this hatred will be expressed worldwide. Anti-semitism is on the increase and will continue to increase ‒ all a product of Netanyahu’s self-interest. Already Jews in many countries are afraid to show themselves for fear of reprisals.

Netanyahu has also just received a heavy blow from Israel’s Supreme Court. His law to suppress the judiciary (once again with the aim of securing his own impunity from a number of criminal charges of corruption) has been annulled.

Prior to his war, tens of thousands of Israelis protested in the streets, week after week, against Netanyahu’s self-centred reforms. Had there not been a war, which he will prolong indefinitely, he would likely have been brought down.

Austin SammutAustin Sammut

This is the context of Netanyahu’s war and its consequences, as I see it. Perhaps Israelis would do well to see it in the same way.

Austin Sammut is a lawyer.

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