Adjust size of text


Follow us and continue the conversation

Your saved articles

You haven't saved any articles

What are you looking for?

To protect its future, Israel must listen to its Defence Minister, not its Prime Minister

In a highly unusual move, Yoav Gallant publicly called on Netanyahu to make “tough decisions” to advance non-Hamas governance of Gaza. It comes as the international community indicates it will move towards recognising Palestinian statehood – with or without Israel.
The Jewish Independent
Print this
Palestinian and Israeli flags together on a blue background

Published: 16 May 2024

Last updated: 16 May 2024

Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant broke ranks yesterday and publicly challenged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the conduct of his government.

Hardly a ‘dove’, Gallant’s position indicates broader dissatisfaction amongst Israelis with the current government’s vision, or lack thereof, for Israel’s exit plan from Gaza.

His barely-veiled view is held by much of the security establishment – Netanyahu is favouring his far-right coalition partners over Israel’s security interests.

The words not spoken in Gallant’s statement should be spoken: Israel needs to talk to the Palestinians. Now.

No-one gets to choose their ideal partners in the road to peace. While the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) remains the official representative in Palestinian rhetoric, in practice there are currently two different representatives for the Palestinians.

Hamas, with which Israel is in essence already negotiating a hostage release, or the Palestinian Authority led by Fatah, with whom Israel cooperates and coordinates on a range of issues, including security in the West Bank.  

While the Palestinian Authority is corrupt and lacks support amongst its people, the same can be said about other Arab governments that Israel partners, and hopes to partner, with.

Moreover, Israel's refusal to engage with the Palestinian Authority is endangering its relations with regional Arab states and puts the promise of normalisation with Saudi Arabia into deep freeze.

The vacuum Netanyahu is creating will be filled one way or another: by a resurgent Hamas or similar actor, by a chaos of competing warlords or ongoing Israeli military occupation.

These are all calamitous for Israel’s security.

Without negotiations, the vacuum of Palestinian statehood may well be filled by the international community.

Already Australia has broken with longstanding tradition last Friday, voting at the UN General Assembly in favour of a resolution that strengthens the standing of Palestine as a non-member observer, although it stopped short of recognising Palestine as a member state. 

The UN resolution is significant because of the message rather than the mechanics: Israel may decline to pursue a two-state solution, but the rest of the world won’t wait.

As painful as the timing of that resolution is, it is not so much of a success for Palestinian terrorism, as it is a failure of Israeli strategy.

The international community, including Australia, has shown that it is not abandoning its two-state policy just because Israel and the Palestinians don’t agree.

Israel stands to lose military gains against Hamas and its much-needed regional alliance against Iran.

We call on Netanyahu to listen to Israel’s Defence Minister and defend the future of Israelis.


Analysis: Israeli defense chief's message to Netanyahu, the artful fraudster: You're to blame (Haaretz)
Hoping to ensure the survival of his government until November, the prime minister once again pulled out the 'conscription law' ploy. In desperation, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant gave the public a glimpse of the most sensitive strategic discussions and made it clear to Netanyahu: You better come to your senses – and fast.

Gallant attacks Netanyahu's 'indecision' on Gaza, sets off political storm (Jerusalem Post)
Gallant's comments immediately set off a storm of responses from senior ministers, and Netanyahu himself was quick to respond with a video statement.

In Gaza's Jabalya, with no 'Day After' strategy, Israeli soldiers fight Hamas – again (Haaretz)
The IDF announced it had 'dismantled' Hamas battalions in northern Gaza over four months ago. Now, entire brigades of Israeli troops have returned, experienced just like their adversaries.

Opinion: Israeli public opinion is shifting on the Gaza war – but this may make Netanyahu even more reckless (Meron Rapoport, Guardian)
Families of the hostages are leading calls for a ceasefire. Let us hope the roar of guns in Rafah isn’t used to drown them out.

Analysis: Israel's rift with Egypt could create a future for the Palestinian Authority in Gaza (Haaretz)
Egypt's decision to stop coordinating with Israel after its takeover of the Rafah crossing signals Cairo's willingness to take drastic measures. But to secure a 'day after' plan involving the PA in Gaza, Israel must take the keys from Smotrich and confront the necessary political change.


No comments on this article yet. Be the first to add your thoughts.

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

Enter site