NETANYAHU’S DRAMATIC MOVE IS A RISKY ONE – WITH NO GOOD SOLUTION IN SIGHT
This dramatic move isn’t without its risks.
Mr Gallant wasn’t the only one to voice concerns about the protests gripping Israel.
Other senior figures in Israel’s security establishment, including the IDF chief of staff and head of the internal intelligence agency, Shin Bet, have also warned of the corrosive effect the reforms are having on Israel’s security.
Hundreds of Israeli military reservists have gone on strike in protest, threatening the military’s operational capabilities.
By firing Mr Gallant, Mr Netanyahu is effectively siding with the far-right voices in his coalition over the people entrusted with Israel’s security.
The previous defence minister, Benny Gantz, has accused Mr Netanyahu of putting “politics and himself above security”.
The main opposition leader and former prime minister Yaid Lapid has described it as “an act of madness, indicating a complete lack of judgement”.
Mr Gallant said he had tried to raise his concerns in private and had asked for cabinet meetings to talk about a different way forward.
His calls were ignored, and he has now been punished for airing his views in public.
The security situation in the West Bank is as fragile as it has been for decades.
Talk of a Third Intifada (uprising) has been increasing and the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, just a few days old, is being seen as a crucial moment.
Removing the defence minister, at this point in time, is a big call.
Mr Gallant was supported by three other politicians from Mr Netanyahu’s party when he spoke out last night.
His firing might harden those views and threaten Mr Netanyahu’s majority of four in the Knesset. If other politicians are harbouring private doubts, they too might now feel forced to speak out.
Neither side is backing down. The national demonstrations are growing in size, almost by the day now, and Mr Netanyahu has said he will continue to drive through reforms at the pace before the Passover recess.
Right now, it’s hard to see any good solution to Israel’s crisis.