If Prime Minister Yair Lapid doesn’t muster the courage and rush to sign the maritime border agreement with Lebanon, he’ll bear the blame for the next war in the north. If the prime minister and the defense minister don’t immediately order the Israel Defense Forces to stop its rampage in the West Bank, both will bear the blame for the deterioration of the situation in the territories. The dream government is turning into the war government. Before it runs its brief course, Israel could yet find itself in a war that, as always, it did not want. Once again it will be proved that the left can do it: It can instigate wars and sink Israel into another round of bloodshed, as it did even during its best days.

The weekend columns of the anyone-but-Bibi commentators Yossi Verter, Nahum Barnea, Ben Caspit and company were, as usual, filled with accusations against the head of the opposition, this time for causing a war against Hezbollah. For a moment it seemed as though Benjamin Netanyahu were the prime minister, but he is not. He does incite war with his threats and accusations, but he will not bear any responsibility if it does break out in the absence of an agreement with Lebanon.

The direct culprit will be Lapid, he and no one else, if he ends up, frightened by the threats of his predecessor, rushing to capitulate. If that happens, he must not be forgiven for it. If Israelis and Lebanese pay with their lives and property over the amount of royalties, or even over the location of the line that is marked with buoys, the Third Lebanon War will be just as pointless as the first two. Withdrawing from the agreement would probably mean war. Nothing would justify it, and an agreement, any agreement, is a thousand times better. The days after Yom Kippur are a good time to remember this. Lapid has the power to prevent a war even before the election.

No less egregious, and possibly even more so, is the criminal culpability of the so-called government of change, with Benny Gantz in the role of the level-headed, peace-loving defense minister, and with the Labor Party and Meretz as full partners, for what has been happening in the West Bank in recent months.

The combination of a chief of staff who believes in lethality, a prime minister and a defense minister who automatically back him up and a cabinet whose members all seem to have joined a silent monastic order has created a catastrophic situation in which hardly a day goes by without pointless deaths. In a single day this weekend, Israel’s brave and moral soldiers killed four people. In one case, these were protesters, shot with live fire as is the military’s scandalous wont; in the other, gunmen in Jenin, whom the military provoked in another idiotic operation to arrest a wanted man.

Lapid and Gantz do not command the army. Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz cannot control what it does. But when this bloodshed is a daily occurrence, and in most cases also unnecessary and illegal, their silence echoes far and wide. This silence is a salute to an army that shoots with no constraints: once at a “car-ramming attack” that did not happen, once at a 14-year-old boy near the separation fence. No government, certainly not a center-left government that claims to be the force of change, can ignore these things. And it is silent. Its silence is ongoing and disgraceful, from Lapid to the last of his ministers. And when the military sees that the government is silent, sometimes supportive and even acclamatory, as in the transportation minister’s congratulatory messages after every IDF operation in the territories, it continues unhindered to kill, kill and kill. That’s what it knows how to do, that’s what it does. It’s the government’s fault for allowing it to do so.

The Lapid government may have accomplishments in a few areas – not that I know what they are – but if it doesn’t reach a war-preventing agreement with Lebanon, and if it continues to poke the Palestinians in the eye on a daily basis, it will not be cleared of blame. This government may not have promised a dove of peace, in the words of the song, but what is happening before our eyes now is the opposite of such a promise. It portends disaster and reminds us once again that in war and in peace, the left is certainly not preferable to the right.

QOSHE - Lapid's Government Is Determined to Go to War - Gideon Levy
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Lapid's Government Is Determined to Go to War

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09.10.2022

If Prime Minister Yair Lapid doesn’t muster the courage and rush to sign the maritime border agreement with Lebanon, he’ll bear the blame for the next war in the north. If the prime minister and the defense minister don’t immediately order the Israel Defense Forces to stop its rampage in the West Bank, both will bear the blame for the deterioration of the situation in the territories. The dream government is turning into the war government. Before it runs its brief course, Israel could yet find itself in a war that, as always, it did not want. Once again it will be proved that the left can do it: It can instigate wars and sink Israel into another round of bloodshed, as it did even during its best days.

The weekend columns of the anyone-but-Bibi commentators Yossi Verter, Nahum Barnea, Ben Caspit and company were, as usual, filled with accusations against the head of the opposition, this time for causing a war against Hezbollah. For a moment it seemed as though Benjamin Netanyahu were the prime minister, but he is not. He does incite war with his threats and accusations,........

© Haaretz


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