Assaf Sharon, a philosophy professor at the University of Tel Aviv and founder of the Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy, discusses the complex interplay between Israeli politics, security challenges, and populism in the wake of recent events. Talking to Reset DOC, he addresses the weakening of democratic values, the credibility of the Israeli government, and the prospects for a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Hamas obviously thinks that if it wants to take over the Palestinian movement, it needs another sustained insurgency against Israeli occupation. Hamas is hoping to lure the Israeli military back into the interior of Gaza for the urban combat that favors insurgent groups. Hamas hopes a sustained insurgency can eventually result in a steady drip of killed and captured Israeli conscripts, allowing Hamas to claim that it alone is actively fighting for Palestine. What this means is that in trying to fulfill the pledge to “eliminate Hamas,” Israel could well deliver everything Hamas is counting on.
- On October 7, a major coordinated military operation by Hamas resulted in terrorist attacks in Israel marking a significant escalation in the Israeli-Arab conflict, with a higher casualty count than previous conflicts. The Israeli establishment was caught off guard due to internal divisions and a lack of military readiness. Hamas’s objectives included challenging the IDF’s invincibility, garnering international support for the Palestinian cause, and disrupting normalization efforts between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The conflict is now on the verge of a land incursion by Israel to eliminate Hamas in Gaza, potentially drawing regional players into the fray.
- Israeli rallies began in November, after Netanyahu’s victory and the formation of a new government through a coalition of six right-wing parties. At a press conference held on January 4, Minister of Justice Yariv Levin announced the government’s plan to reform the judicial branch that would empower the executive branch to override it.
- A “fundamentalist” Israel calls into question already complex relationships in the Arab world and with its longest ally, the United States.
- An Israel with a collapsed government will host Joe Biden in mid-July, amid uncertain political legacy and perspectives.
- Israel’s Prime Minister is looking at involving Arab party Ra’am in a new coalition to try and solve the new political stalemate. That shall not impede the advancement of a sharp nationalist agenda.
- An interview with PM Mohammed Shtayyeh on the day of the signing of the “Abraham Accords” between Israel and the two Gulf countries
- What the normalization and the freeze of Israel’s annexation of West Bank territories means for the Middle East, the Arab world and the Palestinians.