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Jun 27, 2024, 8:25am EDT
politicsMiddle East
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Semafor Signals

Israelis stage mass protests against Netanyahu as calls for him to go gain momentum

Insights from The New Arab, Al Jazeera, Haaretz, and Dissent Magazine

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Eloisa Lopez/Reuters
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The News

Israeli anti-government groups blocked a major highway in central Israel on Thursday as part of a day of demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration, calling for an immediate hostage deal and early elections.

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Netanyahu’s woes at home and abroad

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Sources:  
The Washington Post, The New Arab, Al Jazeera

Netanyahu is now at war on many fronts, both at home and abroad, a columnist noted in The Washington Post. They could be linked: His earlier criticism of US President Joe Biden for supposedly withholding weapons from Israel may have been designed “to strengthen his political stature as an opponent of foreign meddling” domestically, a Middle East scholar told The New Arab, as well as shift the blame somewhere else, another added. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s ongoing US visit may be an attempt to undermine Netanyahu a month before his own visit to Washington, opening up the space for him to take on the premier upon returning home, Al Jazeera’s Middle East editor wrote.

Israelis may be starting to challenge the status quo

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Sources:  
Dissent Magazine, Haaretz, The Guardian

That most Israelis still don’t see destroying Gaza and bringing the hostages home as mutually exclusive betrays a “disconcerting” disconnect, a history professor at the University of Haifa told Dissent Magazine. While Israeli protesters’ demands since October have typically focused on the release of hostages rather than a ceasefire, an explicitly anti-war and anti-occupation bloc may be emerging as liberals begin “connecting the dots” between the military campaign in Gaza, the far-right, and the settler movement, a columnist wrote in The Guardian. It’s not enough to call for a change in government, a columnist argued in Haaretz: Israelis must also confront the “system of suppression and corruption” — which includes occupation and securitization — that brought the country to this point.



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