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The Middle East Report – Dr James M. Dorsey

Azra Hoosen |
21 June 2024 | 12:00 CAT
2 min read

Tensions within Israel are intensifying as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the military clash over the handling of Gaza post-war. Netanyahu’s refusal to plan for Gaza’s administration after the war, coupled with allegations of prolonging hostilities for personal gain, has sparked controversy.

According to Dr James M. Dorsey, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli military are in disagreement over Netanyahu’s refusal to devise a plan for governing Gaza once the current war concludes. His reluctance stems from two main reasons: first, there are claims that he has a personal interest in prolonging hostilities to maintain his political position. “Second, he refuses to have the Palestine Authority, the West Bank internationally recognised, representatives of the Palestinians play a role in a post-war Gaza, forget about letting Hamas play a role. He doesn’t have good alternatives, given that the Palestine forces are not going to stick their necks out for Netanyahu,” he said.

Dorsey pointed out that a parallel can be drawn here: the spokesman of the Israeli armed forces stated, “It’s an illusion that we can defeat Hamas,” echoing sentiments similar to what the Israeli military conveyed to then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin during the late 1980s amid the first intifada.

“Neither side is budging, and as a result of this Israel is losing whatever gains it may have made on the battlefield in Gaza because it continuously has to return to areas where it thought it removed Hamas,” he said.

Dorsey asserted that Netanyahu’s strategy is “to blame everybody for Israel’s problems except for himself.”

In this instance, he publicly stated that America is delaying arms shipments to Israel, although only one shipment is currently held up while others continue to flow. The Americans expressed their frustration publicly and cancelled a scheduled meeting. The divide between Netanyahu and the Biden administration has been evident for some time now.

“As long as that gap is in words and not in deeds, Netanyahu is not going to move,” Dorsey added.

There is rising concern and tensions that you may have a full-fledged war between Israel and Lebanon, Hezbollah specifically. Parts of the far-right in Israel have always eyed southern Lebanon, which has become more active due to rising tensions, which could involve an Israeli ground invasion.

According to Dorsey, there is growing concern and escalating tensions over the potential for a full-scale war between Israel and Lebanon, specifically Hezbollah. Parts of the far-right in Israel have long expressed interest in southern Lebanon, which has become more active due to rising tensions. The situation raises fears of a possible Israeli ground invasion.

“You hear voices from the far-right, but they are still on the fringe, talking about the settlement of southern Lebanon. These are the same people who talked about settlement in the Westbank at a time when no one was thinking about it. One risks ignoring them at one’s peril,” he said.

Dorsey highlighted the rise of the far-right in Israel is notable, encompassing influential figures such as rabbis and Jewish clerics who wield significant influence within both the government and the armed forces.

“One of these Rabbis in March gave a speech basically for all practical matters called for genocide in Gaza, arguing that women who give birth in Gaza give birth to terrorists, and therefore, Israel should not leave anyone alive,” he said.

Under the oversight of Itamar Ben-Gvir, the far-right Minister of National Security who advocates for occupying and resettling Gaza, the police have initiated an investigation.

“He recommended to the attorney general to drop any charges and any case against this Rabbi, and that is in the current atmosphere in which Israel is being accused of genocide if not war crimes, and that’s very telling,” said Dorsey.

LISTEN to the full interview with Ml Habib Bobat and Dr James M. Dorsey here.

Dr. James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist, scholar, and Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute. He is the author of ‘The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer’.



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