On Thursday, former Israeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot threatened “million-dollar” protests against reforms that the nascent coalition headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to carry out.
Eisenkot is a member of the Knesset for the “official camp” party led by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and previously held the position of Chief of Staff of the Army between 2015 and 2019.
Eisenkot said in an interview with the Hebrew news website Ynet: “If Netanyahu harms the national interests of the State of Israel, if he harms Israeli democracy, the education of the state, and the Israeli army as the army of the people, then the way to deal with him is to take a million people out onto the streets, and I will be among them.” “.
Officials from the right-wing parties, partners in the government under formation headed by Netanyahu, announced their intention to pass laws related to democracy, education and the army that might harm non-right-wing classes in Israel.
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In his interview, Eisenkot talked about an unannounced study conducted by an “unspecified security agency”, indicating that “Jews no longer constitute a majority in Israel, as the non-Jewish population exceeds their number by about 200,000”, referring to the area between the sea and the river or Historical Palestine.
And he added, “Seeing politicians, such as the far-right extremist Itamar Ben Gvir, who supported the Israeli army soldiers who were court-martialed after a confrontation with far-left activists in Hebron, indicates the dilemma we are in.”
He condemned “the bad use of this issue by Ben Gvir and others (…) whoever involves the Israeli army in political discourse is weakening the army in the long term in order to achieve short-term goals.”
He made it clear that he did not intend to join Netanyahu’s coalition or leave Israeli politics, adding, “I am afraid that Israel will not continue to exist as I knew it, democratic and united.”
Netanyahu has been working these days to form a right-wing government that includes hard-line parties, since he was appointed by Israeli President Isaac Herzog on November 13.
On Friday, the “Likud” party (led by Netanyahu) reached an agreement to distribute ministerial portfolios with the far-right “Jewish Power” party headed by Ben Gvir.