Arnon Grunberg



On ICC – Harel in Haaretz:

‘Israeli officials justifiably decried the decision to bunch Netanyahu and Gallant together with Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh, the heads of a terror organization whose people started the war with a massacre of Israeli civilians. However, there is the suspicion that the order of the chief prosecutor's moves was in reverse. He sought to bring the Israeli leadership to justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Hamas leaders were added to the request to create the false representation of impartial balance in the process.
Contrary to early forecasts, the investigation of the chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, is aimed solely at politicians. No army officers are included at this point. The allegations focus on measures taken against Gazans, mainly starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. It likely indicates that Khan knows that the claim that the Israel Defense Forces is deliberately killing many civilians doesn't hold water. It recently emerged that international organizations have started to doubt the data they received from Hamas, which was trying to claim an especially low rate of Palestinian combatants relative to civilians among those killed.’


‘Netanyahu attacked Khan's inquiry on Monday and received relatively broad backing from Israeli politicians from the president down through the ranks. Now a belated effort is being made to recruit the U.S. administration to threaten the ICC. They are turning to the very administration and very president that Israeli cabinet ministers and legislators have been regularly disparaging. Amir Tibon reported in these pages on Sunday that the American national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, informed Netanyahu that the United States would soon provide him with the full text of the U.S.-Saudi agreement that is being put together, part of which deals with normalization between Riyadh and Jerusalem. Netanyahu will have to decide whether to adopt it, including a declaration on the principle of establishing a Palestinian state in future. For now, it seems that the prime minister will answer in the negative, despite dependence on the U.S. in the international realm and the growing need to finish the war in Gaza and on the Lebanese border.’


‘A large part of the criticism about Halevi is political, and is meant to divert all the blame for the failures of October 7 to him, in order to cover for Netanyahu's responsibility. However, the chief of staff ought to pay attention to the findings: the public's widespread support of him, despite the horrible massacre, was based in large part on the assumption that his tenure is limited in time and that he intends to retire. An extensive round of appointments raises question marks. So does the feeling that the war isn't achieving its goals. This is a developing problem for the military, in addition to the difficulties that the prime minister and his messengers are dumping on it.’

Read the article here.

The ICC decision is largely symbolic, but Harel rightly points out that Israel is not Russia and is dependent on the West. Needless to say, dependencies can change, and Israel might be forced to seek Putin as a close friend, but I’m afraid that is not a very wise decision.

The damage Netanyahu is doing to its own country is immense.
The military appears to be collateral damage.

US might come to Israel’s rescue once again but not without demanding a price

Saying yes to the Saudi plan for example.

Netanyahu might be forced to choose between his own survival and Israel’s survival.

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