Netanyahu has long enjoyed his reputation as “Mr. Security,” but in recent incarnations, he has clashed with the military, which has become one of the most powerful groups opposed to his military coup.
In addition to the surprises of recent months, Netanyahu, born in Jerusalem and raised in progressive Tel Aviv, seems to be living in a different neighborhood. He, his son Yair, and, on Tuesday, his brother, Iddo Netanyahu, all spread the right-wing conspiracy theory that Biden is encouraging or financing the growing protests.
After the pilots became popular among opponents of Netanyahu’s plans, his communications minister, Shlomo Karhi, warned the pilots – who are well-known in Israeli society – “they can go to hell.”
Twenty-four hours later, everything was over.
Rivlin’s words, like Moody’s warning about the decline in debt, like the threat of pilots to leave the reserve service, like the strike of doctors, like the millions of Israelis who marched against the seizure of leadership power, fell on deaf ears.
On Monday afternoon, what was felt, although for many months, as a surprise and treasonous vote, Netanyahu’s coalition passed a law to remove the “Reasonability Clause” of Israel, a legal instrument that allows judges to overturn government appointments and unjust decisions. Former Prime Minister Yair Lapid, the main opposition leader, said “The government has declared war against its citizens.”
All speed was gone. A few hours before the vote, Netanyahu rejected the request of Israeli army chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi to meet. He didn’t want to be briefed. Of course, it will go away.
In addition to the sense of impending doom, Netanyahu, 73, did not do well in his voting in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. He was released from the hospital after an emergency pacemaker implanted about two hours before the roll call, and, instinctively, gripped the chalk tightly as he slowly descended the steps to the plenum.
Less than half an hour after the bill passed, 64-0 among opponents, hundreds of pilots posted pictures of themselves, many in tears, sending letters to their senior crews. They wrote: “We signed an agreement to fight. “We will not fight for the king.” The Israeli military later revealed that more than half of the airmen who signed the original petition to Netanyahu, including pilots, followed through and informed their units that they would no longer report on their work.