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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may consider postponing next Sunday’s Likud primary, and possibly even the January 22 general election, if Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip does not end soon, Likud sources said on Saturday night.
Netanyahu formed a task force of three Likud officials to determine whether the party’s Knesset candidates list could be chosen in the midst of the operation. Likud attorney Avi Halevy, party campaign manager Tzahi Braverman and Netanyahu’s political adviser Gabi Kadosh were tasked with determining whether the primary could be delayed until just
Party officials said Netanyahu has taken into account that he could easily obtain Knesset approval for delaying the general election, which could legally be held any time until October 22, 2013. But the prime minister’s associates have warned him that postponing the race would show weakness.
Originally posted by Hijinx
It of course seemed rather convenient that Netanyahu, and Gaza started fighting just before election time...
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping the offensive in the Gaza Strip wins his Likud party more votes in January's election. But the move is extremely risky. Skirmishes could escalate into a full-blown war that might weaken Hamas but shift Palestinian support behind even more radical groups.
Just a few hours before the launch of the deadly offensive against military targets and Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in his favorite place: in front of live television cameras. On Wednesday evening, he addressed the Israeli people with direct, aggressive words. "Today, we relayed a clear message to the Hamas organization and other terrorist organizations," he said. "If there is a need, the military is prepared to expand the operation." Defense Minister Ehud Barak also addressed reporters, saying that Hamas' "consistent provocation in recent weeks … forced our hand into acting with both precision and decisiveness."
The dual appearance seems to betray the motives behind the most recent attacks. "When the cannons roar, we see only Netanyahu and Barak on the screen, and all the other politicians have to applaud them," wrote the daily Haaretz in a commentary published Thursday. "The assassination of (Hamas' top military commander Ahmed) Jabari will go down in history as another showy military action initiated by an outgoing government on the eve of an election."
Indeed, more than anything, it is the presence of these ultra-radical groups in the Gaza Strip that could turn Israel's current offensive into an adventure that spirals out of control. Goaded by Israeli airstrikes and shelling from tanks and naval gunboats, these extremists will be even less inclined to agree to a new cease-fire. Their supporters expect them to take a tough stance and reject all compromises.
Originally posted by MonkeyFishFrog
reply to post by ConspiracyNutjob
It also falsely predicted the end of the world in 2006.
There is the usual discussion over where to locate responsibility for the initial act in this renewed upsurge violence. Is it some shots fired from Gaza across the border and aimed at an armoured Israeli jeep or was it the targeted killing by an Israeli missile of Ahmed Jabari, leader of the military wing of Hamas, a few days later? Or some other act by one side or the other? Or is it the continuous violence against the people of Gaza arising from the blockade that has been imposed since mid-2007? The assassination of Jabari came a few days after an informal truce that had been negotiated through the good offices of Egypt, and quite ironically agreed to by none other than Jabari acting on behalf of Hamas. Killing him was clearly intended as a major provocation, disrupting a carefully negotiated effort to avoid another tit-for-tat sequence of violence of the sort that has periodically taken place during the last several years. An assassination of such a high profile Palestinian political figure as Jabari is not a spontaneous act. It is based on elaborate surveillance over a long period, and is obviously planned well in advance partly with the hope of avoiding collateral damage, and thus limiting unfavourable publicity. Such an extra-judicial killing, although also part and parcel of the new American ethos of drone warfare, remains an unlawful tactic of conflict, denying adversary political leaders separated from combat any opportunity to defend themselves against accusations, and implies a rejection of any disposition to seek a peaceful resolution of a political conflict. It amounts to the imposition of capital punishment without due process, a denial of elementary rights to confront an accuser. Putting aside the niceties of law, the Israeli leadership knew exactly what it was doing when it broke the truce and assassinated such a prominent Hamas leader, someone generally thought to be second only to the Gaza prime minister, Ismail Haniya. There have been rumours, and veiled threats, for months that the Netanyahu government plans a major assault of Gaza, and the timing of the ongoing attacks seems to coincide with the dynamics of Israeli internal politics, especially the traditional Israeli practice of shoring up the image of toughness of the existing leadership in Tel Aviv as a way of inducing Israeli citizens to feel fearful, yet protected, before casting their ballots.