The Israeli government’s intentions to implement legal changes have spiked up Israeli polarisation, prompting security services to raise the level of protection for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chief Justice Esther Hayut and Minister of Justice Yariv Levin, to the maximum level. In addition, an important phone call took place between the head of the Shin Bet security service, Ronen Bar, and Police Commissioner, Kobe Shabtai, after the recently charged atmosphere on social media following death threats to some officials.
These steps took place after the government received various statements and threats because of promoting what the opposition calls a legal coup. The prevailing Israeli mood, fear of growing internal tensions and targeting public figures have prompted security services to take some steps to prevent the situation from slipping to dangerous levels and they have been assessing the security situation more than usual.
This coincides with the police investigation of General Zaev Raz, who described Netanyahu as “the son of death” and demanded that he be killed because he is leading the country into a state of dictatorship. The Likud party considered this incitement to be of unprecedented levels of insanity. In addition, the police are investigating lawyer, David Hudak, because he announced that he will be ready to fight if legal changes lead to dictatorial rule in the country, and that he will oppose them with all his might, no matter what, warning of an outbreak of civil war.
University Professor, Avishalom Elitzur, stated that “a Prime Minister who abolishes democracy will be replaced by someone in a non-democratic way”, and Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv, said that “dictatorial countries become democratic again through bloodshed.”
Back and forth accusations between political and partisan circles are giving these successive developments a lot of importance, and contributing to poisoning the atmosphere, which might lead to killing someone in the end. And, now, after more than a quarter of a century to the first Israeli political assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, ongoing disagreements and differences may cause an outbreak of more thunderous storms that may end in a bloody assassination. Meanwhile, weekly Saturday demonstrations coincide with a growing fear that the internal conditions will deteriorate very quickly, possibly leading to an assassination, which would represent a turning point and a terrible crisis for Israel.
Israeli estimates of the possibility of a new political assassination have increased but, this time, it may be carried out by the leftists and not the right-wing as was the case in the assassination of Rabin at the hands of the right-wing activist, Yigal Amir. Given the heated atmosphere in Israel, there is room to examine the possibility of a political assassination by left-wing members, noting that we are talking about the assassination of a Jewish politician at the hands of another Jew.
Israeli fears of a possible political assassination of any of the ministers in the right-wing government, or even its President, bring back to memory the incident where a Likud activist handed an envelope to former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s wife containing a bullet and a piece of paper reading: “this bullet will hit your soft abdomen if you do not resign”. This activist was never caught or prosecuted.
At the same time, the Prime Minister’s son, Yair Netanyahu, posted an incitement against the senior police and prosecution officials involved in his father’s trial, describing them as traitors and saying that everyone knows what the punishment for treason is, and that it is not imprisonment. Strangely enough, Netanyahu’s son is very popular and has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, so his words resonated widely.
In conclusion, there is a growing fear that, right now, there is an Israeli activist, whether belonging to the left- or right-wing, sitting at home, and preparing to use his gun in a new political assassination against an Israeli official, from either wing, which is an uncalculated political risk, regardless of how big or small the risk is.
And, while Israel is facing the dangers of a political assassination, the escalating protests preceding it, and demonstrations every Saturday evening, Netanyahu and his ministers are indifferent towards it all, and are marching with all their might to implement a violent coup. This is prompting the opposition leaders to demand moving towards a wider protest, one that is bigger in scope and strength, claiming that it is impossible to continue to use a polite protest method. The opposition believes they need to further expand the demonstrations in more cities in order to increase their impact and this, in turn, calls for activating more rapid escalatory moves that effectively paralyse the State.
The Israeli opposition realises that Netanyahu is most expert in buying time and deceiving political rivals and partners and, therefore, they are not to fall into his trap. They stress that he is guilty because of the serious conflict of interests’ situation he is found in, failures in the justice system and the fact that he is leading legal changes that aim at helping him out of Court. In the end, all of this is a coup against the State.
The right-wing government is implementing its agenda through tyranny by the majority, harming civil rights, blowing the balance between the authorities and minorities, and paving the way for a State based on Jewish supremacy, all of which would lead to dire consequences. The government is proceeding with its legal procedures to cause a coup, by weakening the Supreme Court, and leading the country towards the most serious social and political crisis since its establishment, which is a dictatorship that is no less dangerous than any other. This deems it necessary to stop the actions of this evil and extremist government seeking to carry out a thuggish coup. Otherwise, there may be an Israeli somewhere and, at some point, who will resort to turning history back, and carrying out a serious political assassination, along the lines of Rabin’s assassination!
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.