NY Times: Israel Increasingly Isolated Amid Controversial Policies

The New York Times has published a critical article highlighting the increasing isolation of Israel under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attributing this to his "destructive policies."

Jun 20, 2024 - 12:37
NY Times: Israel Increasingly Isolated Amid Controversial Policies

The article, penned by renowned analyst and journalist Thomas L. Friedman, is titled "The Israel We Knew Is Gone," and underscores the nation's growing alienation on the global stage.Friedman notes that Israel's policies, which are contentious even in peacetime, have become outright reckless during times of conflict. He argues that no country is willing to align with Israel's current trajectory, leading to its escalating isolation.Reflecting on the recent victory of Israel's right-wing coalition, Friedman recalls his earlier warnings about the coalition's extreme nature. He writes, "Many opposed my cautionary stance, but current events have proven them wrong. The situation has deteriorated significantly, and Israel now faces greater danger than ever."

Friedman points out that Israel is grappling with formidable regional challenges, particularly from Iran, which stands as a major power in the Middle East. He emphasizes that Israel lacks both diplomatic and military solutions to counter Iran. Highlighting the potential for conflict on multiple fronts – Gaza, Lebanon, and the West Bank – Friedman warns of Hezbollah's precision missiles capable of crippling Israel's critical infrastructure, including airports, ports, military bases, and power plants.Critically, Friedman asserts that Netanyahu's leadership is primarily focused on maintaining power at all costs, avoiding prosecution, and imprisonment. This pursuit of power, he argues, has led Netanyahu to form a government with far-right extremists, compromising the nation's democratic values.

Adding to the critique, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has recently expressed grave concerns about Netanyahu's leadership. Barak foresees a dire scenario where Israel could find itself embroiled in simultaneous conflicts: an escalation in Gaza, a full-scale war with Hezbollah in the north, and a potential third intifada in the West Bank. He also highlights the threats from Yemen's Ansarullah movement and Iraqi resistance groups, with Iran posing a significant challenge to Tel Aviv.Friedman warns that such a widespread conflict could drag the United States into a major war in the Middle East. He recommends that the U.S. government exert pressure on Netanyahu to agree to a ceasefire in exchange for the release of Israeli prisoners and to withdraw troops from Gaza.

In line with other Western observers, Friedman calls for Netanyahu's resignation and the holding of new elections in Israel. The political turmoil is further exacerbated by the resignation of Benny Gantz, a member of Netanyahu's war cabinet, who has also demanded early elections.Amid this turbulent backdrop, extremist elements within Netanyahu's cabinet are vying for greater control, further destabilizing the Israeli political landscape. The ongoing developments underscore a critical juncture for Israel as it navigates internal and external pressures.