Israel was vying for votes when it launched its most recent attacks last Sunday that left 12 people dead, including a senior Hezbollah figure and Iranian general. This isn’t the first time Israel has done this, either. It intentionally starts conflict before elections in order to draw up support among its electorate and to fend off other parties trying to gain power in parliament.
Believe what you want, but it’s no secret — Netanyahu is hurting in the polls. According to a poll conducted by Israel’s Channel 10, the Zionist faction and the centrist camp Hatnua are both set to receive 24 Knesset seats compared to only 20 for Netanyahu’s ruling elite. Other polls do not show much difference.
Netanyahu needs something, anything really, that will show he is a strong leader best positioned in protecting Israel. In order to do this, he needs the people of Israel to remain fearful of possible attacks on its homeland. Fear sells, after all. And, best of all, fear gets votes.
Research economist Shir Hever says Israel’s latest aggression was timed with Israel’s elections in mind, and to top it off, was designed to distract its electorate from its own poor domestic economic issues.
Here is the analysis he gives:
I think Netanyahu may have not known that he’s going to kill — that this attack was going to kill Iranian officers, as well as Hezbollah officers, but I believe that he was counting on this snowball effect. He was counting on a retaliation, because if Israel attacks and there is no response, then Netanyahu can say, well, I’m a strong military leader and I could attack Hezbollah and they’re too afraid to strike back.
This might give him a little bit of popularity in the polls in Israel. But, if Hezbollah does retaliate and there’s a state of emergency and there is a sense of threat and people are afraid for their lives because Hezbollah are armed with long-range rockets that could reach various cities inside Israel, then Netanyahu’s political advantages can really shine. That’s where Netanyahu can outmaneuver his political opponents and say, well, I’m the only strong leader who could lead his country in a time of crisis.
This is a very calculated attack in order to try to change the political atmosphere in Israel, to push away from the headlines, the news headlines, stories about the stagnant wages and the rising cost of living and put forward issues of threat and fear where Netanyahu’s forte is.
This isn’t the first act of violence Israel has orchestrated before elections in order to gain the upper hand politically.
The Jabari assassination took place two months before Israels most recent elections in 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, which left over 150 Palestinians and only six Israelis dead.
Operation Cast Lead, which took place in Gaza between December 2008 and January 2009, also immediately preceded Israeli elections. This caused more than $1.9 billion worth of damage, murdering more than 1,300 Palestinians, many of them women and children. In total, more than 7,000 civilians were injured, while destroying 4,000 plus houses and much of Gaza’s infrastructure and buildings. All of this, politically motivated.
Israel claims, in this latest round, that Iran and Hezbollah must have been planning a “big attack against Israel” since a few high-ranking officials were near its border. But, evidence to the contrary, it is well documented that Iran and Hezbollah are both in the Golan Heights area fighting ISIS.
John Kerry, Secretary of State, recently came out and said that Iran fighting rebels in Syria was even a good thing. But, Israel, for its part, has been deploying military action that has been helping the rebels. This is absurd. Some are even questioning whether Israel is secretly supporting ISIS. It’s actions certainly seem to support this assertion.
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Israel knew that attacking high ranking officials from Hezbollah and Iran would incite further outrage and threats against the people of Israel, which is exactly what it wanted. It desperately needs its own people living in fear in order for people to go to the polls in record numbers in order to support Prime Minister Netanyahu’s party, and so that he can hold onto power. Judging by the recent media reports already making waves throughout the country, warning about impending war at any moment, it looks like so far, at least, Netanyahu’s grand scheme seems to be working.
H/T: New York Post | Featured Image: New York Post