A good many Israelis are angered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeatedly agreeing to ceasefires with Hamas, knowing full well that the terror group was using the reprieve to rearm and prepare for the inevitable resumption of violence that now has residents of the Jewish state again scrambling for bomb shelters.
Polls over the past two weeks have consistently shown broad public support for continuing the war against the Gaza terrorist infrastructure until Hamas is so badly beaten that it can no longer militarily threaten Israel.
But feeling the pressure from America and the international community, Netanyahu has been quick, too quick in the minds of most, to accept each and every ceasefire request presented by the UN, Egypt and even Hamas itself.
Former Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon was unsympathetic to Netanyahu’s plight, and held the prime minister directly responsible for allowing Hamas to again threaten the lives of Israeli civilians.
“The policy of ‘calm will be met with calm’ brought about the humiliation of Israel, and now we are at a critical juncture in time in which if we don’t act, the Israeli deterrence will erode and be harmed,” Danon said on Wednesday after Hamas fired more than 50 missiles at Israeli population centers overnight.
Danon said that it was now clear that Israel must “hammer a final nail in the coffin of Hamas, we must act with strength and decisiveness to topple Hamas.”
Various government ministers were less critical of Netanyahu personally, but fully agreed with Danon’s assessment of the situation.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman insisted that “the government policy of ‘calm will be met with calm’ is fundamentally wrong. We need to talk and negotiate with Hamas only when it has surrendered. We now must seek a quick and decisive end to Hamas.”
Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar pointed out that “the negotiations with Hamas do not serve Israel’s security interests, and there’s no point in continuing them.”
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan added, “Quiet can no longer be achieved by diplomatic means, only by military means.”
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett explained that “when you want to defeat a terror organization, you reach a decisive victory. When we hold peace talks with a terrorist organization we get more terror. …Sooner or later, Israel will need to subdue Hamas, there’s no way to avoid it.”
Housing Minister Uri Ariel called on the government to “pound Hamas until it is defeated.”
Outside the coalition, opposition leader Isaac Herzog expressed similar sentiments.
“If, as Netanyahu said, Hamas has been vanquished, he should reach a diplomatic deal under the best terms possible for Israel,” Herzog said. “But if the government will surrender in order to bring about a fake quiet like we had until today, it would prove that it is a weak government that has failed.”
Herzog’s Labor Party colleague, MK Nachman Shai, got straight to the point: “No more talking, shoot. That is the only language Hamas understands.”