Rise and fall of King Bibi

The man once believed to be “Mr. Security”, has now lost the faith of his people.


Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview with ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir (Credits - ABC News)

Isha R Gopalan

Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, in an interview with ABC news, said that Israel would take full responsibility for Gaza’s security after the war. But this comes after his reputation as the mastermind behind Israel’s security took a massive hit. On 7th October, the Hamas military group entered southern Israel and killed around 1400 civilians, out of which many were women and children.

This incident shook Israel and the consequence of it is a war that has claimed more than 10,000 Palestinian lives in just a month. Mr. Netanyahu might be doing justice to all the Israeli lives lost by retaliating but he is still being criticized and protested against for allowing the incident to happen in the first place.

Screenshots from CCTV and dashcam footage from the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel (Credits - how.org)

The youngest and longest-serving prime minister of Israel earned the name of “Mr. Security” because of his many missions in the past that were carried out in an attempt to best protect Israel.

One such mission was the launch of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. He started this war as a retaliation for the deaths of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers in the “security zone” established by Israel in Southern Lebanon to secure it’s northern borders from the forces of militant group Hezbollah and the Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine.

IDF soldiers walking near the Israel-Lebanon border during the Second Lebanon War (Credits - IDF spokesman’s unit, The Jerusalem Post)

Similarly, he launched “Operation Protective Edge” in the Gaza Strip, in 2014, in an attempt to prevent Hamas led rocket attacks on Israel. But, as both these missions - much like the on-going Hamas-Israel war, resulted in casualties among civilians, Mr. Netanyahu is also known as a very controversial leader internationally.

IDF APCs (Armed Personnel Carriers) are seen near the Gaza border in southern Israel on the second day of Operation Protective Edge, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

While he is notorious for his violent tactics when it comes to war, he has also played a role in a couple of peace negotiations. The “Hebron Agreement” is one such example of a peace negotiation, signed by both Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Mr. Netanyahu in 1997. Much later in 2009, he also met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to talk through the possibilities of a two-state solution to the conflict in between them, but the discussion led nowhere.

Despite King Bibi’s past efforts, he is being condemned by many Israelis for his failure to protect civilians from the October 7th attack. Many protestors had gathered outside his home in Tel Aviv, on November 4th, expressing their frustration about the lives that were lost, the ones that were taken hostage and the political and security leaders that haven’t yet accepted responsibility for the attacks.

Israeli civilians gather outside prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence to protest (Credits - Reuters)

Amid pressure from his own citizens to step down and calls for a ceasefire from many nations such as Jordan and Egypt, Mr. Netanyahu continues to be headstrong about his decision of opposing a ceasefire, but according to Al Jazeera, he is prepared to give Palestinians “tactical pauses” which they may use to get humanitarian aid and for the movement of civilians.

From Mr. Netanyahu's perspective, this war is far from over, but civilians on both sides seem to be exhausted by the consequences of this fight for power. Will he be forced to resign, arrested or will he finally agree to a ceasefire? Only time will tell.

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