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Ha’aretz Editorial Board Holds Netanyahu, Anti-Palestinian Crusade Responsible for War

Oct. 10, 2023, (EIRNS)—In the lead editorial Oct. 8 of both its English and Hebrew editions, “Netanyahu Bears Responsibility for This Israel-Gaza War,” Israel’s influential daily, Ha’aretz, charged that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bears full responsibility for the war underway between Israel and Gaza, provoked by his ethnic cleansing policy against the Palestinians. The Editorial Board is scathing and blunt:

“The disaster that befell Israel on the holiday of Simchat Torah is the clear responsibility of one person: Benjamin Netanyahu. The prime minister, who has prided himself on his vast political experience and irreplaceable wisdom in security matters, completely failed to identify the dangers he was consciously leading Israel into when establishing a government of annexation and dispossession, when appointing Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir to key positions, while embracing a foreign policy that openly ignored the existence and rights of Palestinians.”

The editorial calls out Netanyahu’s anti-Palestinian crusade: that he

“shaped ... the multidimensional effort to crush the Palestinian national movement in both its wings, in Gaza and the West Bank” carried out by the Bennett-Lapid government (2021-2022), and then when back in the prime minister’s office in December 2022, he began “overt steps taken to annex the West Bank, to carry out ethnic cleansing in parts of the Oslo-defined Area C, including the Hebron Hills and the Jordan Valley. This also included a massive expansion of settlements and bolstering of the Jewish presence on Temple Mount, near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as boasts of an impending peace deal with the Saudis in which the Palestinians would get nothing, with open talk of a ‘second Nakba’ in his governing coalition.”

The result of this policy came “as expected,” the Editorial Board wrote. “Signs of an outbreak of hostilities began in the West Bank, where Palestinians started feeling the heavier hand of the Israeli occupier. Hamas exploited the opportunity in order to launch its surprise attack on Saturday.”

“Nakba,” meaning the “catastrophe” in Arabic, refers to the 1948 expulsion of more than 760,000 Palestinians from their lands. Knesset member Ariel Kallner, from Netanyahu’s Likud party, (in Hebrew) maniacally called for second Nakba, bigger than the first, on Saturday, Oct. 7. His X posting, originally in Hebrew, read: “Right now, one goal: Nakba! A Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 48....”

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