Political leaders are, by their very nature, controversial; no one will agree with everything they do. Now, throw in the decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestine, and using the term “controversial” ends up being a massive understatement. Several months before the declaration of war, the BBC described Benjamin Netanyahu as “politically invincible,” citing his falls from grace, his comebacks, and his reelections — all of which have made him the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history.
Supporters call him “King Bibi,” and his time in power has been defined by a few crucial policies that include warnings about the continued persecution of Israeli Jews and the imminent danger presented by the policies of Iran. Not all of Israel has been 100% behind him at any given time … until, says CNN, the unprecedented 2023 attack by Hamas and the declaration of war.
That, they say, unified Israel in a way that hadn’t happened in a long time, but it’s more a matter of having more important things to worry about. Yohanan Plesner, the president of the Israel Democracy Institute and a major in the Israeli special forces, explained, “The last thing Israelis care about right now is Netanyahu’s political career.” Still, it was Netanyahu who declared war with these chilling words (via PBS): “The enemy will pay an unprecedented price. [Israel will] return fire of magnitude that the enemy has not known.” So, what is it that the rest of the world doesn’t know about the man leading Israel to war?