Too many die for Binyamin Netanyahu’s political survival




Fig. 1. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[1] fair use.

Binyamin Netanyahu doesn’t actually respond coherently to Joe Biden’s criticism. He just cites Israeli public opinion as if that somehow makes it all logical.[2] Given that he’s clearly attempting to delay an election, I recommend skepticism.

But there’s a larger issue here in that necessary presumptions in any authoritarian system of social organization are that leaders are somehow superior to the rest of us and can be trusted with that authority. There are times when public opinion is wrong, flatly wrong, and not necessarily due to lack of information, but sometimes due to moral impairment. Paradoxically, to deserve that trust, leaders must sometimes go against public opinion, which is hard when that very same public is their judge. But that’s the test.

Netanyahu is in no way ‘better’ than the Israeli public. He faces corruption charges, his judicial reform was too obviously an attempt to undermine those charges, and his threat to expand the war to Lebanon is a blatant attempt to delay an election. He plays not for any moral high ground but to buy time, with which he hopes to save himself politically.

Far too many have died in a genocidal campaign for Netanyahu’s political survival, a fact that obliterates any claim to moral superiority.

Zack Beauchamp, “Are Biden and the Democrats finally turning on Israel?” Vox, March 8, 2024,

Konstantin Toropin, “New Military Sealift Operation to Aid Starving Gaza Residents Will Require More than 1,000 US Troops,”, March 8, 2024,

Steve Hendrix and Sufian Taha, “At Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, Ramadan brings uncertainty and fear,” Washington Post, March 9, 2024,

Paul Ronzheimer and Carlo Martuscelli, “Netanyahu vows to defy Biden’s ‘red line’ and invade Rafah,” Politico, March 10, 2024,

Roya News, “Exposé reveals list of essential aid items banned by ‘Israel’ from entry into Gaza,” March 10, 2024,


Fig. 2. Photograph by Joachim F. Thurn, August 1991, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F089030-0003, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE.

Chega, a nativist anti-establishment party led by André Ventura, notched up the biggest gains [in Portugal] while the vote of the ruling Socialist party collapsed from a 2022 victory and the centre-right held its ground.

The result marks another important advance for the right in the EU, where conservatives have won elections or joined coalitions in Italy, Greece, Sweden and Finland in the past two years. . . .

Luís Montenegro, leader of the Democratic Alliance (AD), insisted in the early hours of Monday [March 11] that he would stick to his pledge of not forming a pact with Chega, even though doing so could create a conservative majority.[3]

Barney Jolson and Sérgio Aníbal, “Portugal’s centre-right wins tight election as far-right surges,” Financial Times, March 11, 2024,



Donald Trump
Coup attempt


Fig. 3. Cartoon by Ben Jennings, January 24, 2024, via the Guardian,[4] fair use.

Now that Nikki Haley is out of the race for the Republican nomination, I am seeing many more campaign flags and yard signs supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy. I do not know if this is coincidence, or if any of these folks were quietly supporting Haley, or if they were simply waiting for a resolution in the primaries.

Many of the messages take the form, “Don’t blame me, I voted for Trump.” It is thus apparent that the white Christian nationalist perception of Biden’s presidency is of an unmitigated disaster, a perception which seems ludicrous to me. As always, the story with the Democrats is more, by far, about what they fail to do or refuse to do than it is about what they do, and while for me, the Democratic sins of omission weigh as heavily as the Republican sins of commission, the omissions don’t amount to a disaster. My problems with Democrats are simply that I lack the privilege of being able to tolerate the status quo and that, taking seriously the “Never Again” oath sworn by people of conscience following the Holocaust, I must oppose, to the extent of my ability, war crimes and genocide.[5]

  1. [1]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018,
  2. [2]Paul Ronzheimer and Carlo Martuscelli, “Netanyahu vows to defy Biden’s ‘red line’ and invade Rafah,” Politico, March 10, 2024,
  3. [3]Barney Jolson and Sérgio Aníbal, “Portugal’s centre-right wins tight election as far-right surges,” Financial Times, March 11, 2024,
  4. [4]Ben Jennings, “Ben Jennings on Donald Trump’s progress along the Republican nomination trail – cartoon,” Guardian, January 24, 2024,
  5. [5]Noah Feldman, “How Oct. 7 is forcing Jews to reckon with Israel,” Washington Post, March 5, 2024,

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