| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Israel’s Far Right Challenges Biden, Slams US Policy on Gaza

The Israeli right wing and far-right parties of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government are not satisfied with the economic, military and economic support offered by the US administration of President Joe Biden for Israel.

On Friday, those parties slammed the US policy on Gaza and said Washington is “trying to impose dictates on the Israeli government.” They also accused the Biden administration of seeking to drive the Israelis to suicide by establishing a Palestinian state, and trying to prevent them from paying the price for a Hamas massacre against the people of Gaza.

The far right is telling Washington that Israel now has a rare opportunity. “With our soldiers proudly returning to our positions in the south, we must return fully, sovereignly and morally, to Gaza,” according to Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover, the founders of Sovereignty Movement, Ribonut, and members of the Otzma Yehudit party of Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir.

Matar and Katsover, famous for their violent settler protests 30 years ago, wrote that “a thousand Israeli flags should now be raised at key positions in the Gaza Strip, alongside the flags heroically raised by our soldiers working there.”

No to Foreign Intervention

Also, far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich expressed his dissatisfaction with the US policy on Gaza. He said that Israel is “an independent state that governs itself, knows its interests, and does not like friends to interfere in our affairs.”

When asked to comment on Biden’s criticism of the far right in Israel and his call for changes in Netanyahu’s government that would get rid of the extremists, Smotrich responded, “I see that as a compliment.”

Two Opinion Polls

Two Maariv and Yedioth Ahronoth polls conducted this week showed Friday that a high percentage of Israelis oppose the US approach to the future of the Gaza Strip and demand that Israel remains in it.

One poll published by the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, found that 23% of Israelis believe that the Gaza Strip should be ruled by an Israeli military after the war, while 23% say it should be ruled by moderate Arab states.

Another poll published on Friday by the Israeli newspaper Maariv said 43% of Israelis disapprove of Netanyahu’s treatment of Biden than support it, 36%.

The poll also showed a “decline in popularity” for the Likud Party led by Netanyahu.

According to the poll results, if the elections were held today, Likud and its ally parties would win 43 seats, compared to the 64 seats this coalition currently holds in the parliament or Knesset, according to the 2022 elections.

The results concluded that the Likud party would receive only 17 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, while the National Unity Party led by Gantz would receive 39 seats if general elections were held.


  • Asharq Al-Awsat