Is the Israeli resolve weakening?

Is the Israeli resolve weakening?

There are concerns that the Israeli public has had enough.

Over the past few weeks there have been a number of global news stories pushing the idea that the resolve of the Israeli people to finish off Hamas, in Gaza, is weakening.

These stories vary in the detail, but generally focus on the concerns of the families of the hostages, growing partisan opposition to the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu, the increasingly incoherent and contradictory demands of Biden and the US Government, and a resurgence of the protests which were taking place in Israel in the months leading up to October 7.

Each of these is being used to support the narrative that the Israeli people now support a ceasefire, and that Netanyahu is out of step with his own people in pushing ahead to finish off Hamas in Rafah.

But is this really true?

Not according to the results of a recently released poll, commissioned by Israeli Channel 14, which shows that 83% of the Israeli public thinks the fighting should continue until nothing is left of Hamas and until all of the hostages have been freed or recovered (the Israeli Government believes that only 60-70% of the 140 remaining hostages are still alive).

An 83% result is about as comprehensive as a poll gets and confirms that the media claims of support for a ceasefire among the Israeli people are contrived and manipulative rather than real.

To be fair, there are also other polls showing differing political realities – including one which shows strong support for a new election – but none of these should detract from the united Israeli view that Hamas must be destroyed completely. The positions are not in contradiction and such polling differences are the mark of a healthy democracy, not ambivalence on the determination to eliminate Hamas.

This should also be a strong wake-up call for those of us, in the west, who claim to support Israel. If we’re genuine in that support, we need to respect the views of those who are actually on the ground and affected by what’s happening on their doorstep. If the Israelis think the only way to be safe is to eliminate Hamas it’s not for us to be dictating a different approach to them – anymore than we would want to be dictated to in matters relating to our own security.

Hamas MUST be eliminated – and that means that Israel must finish the job that it started almost six months ago.


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