Politics

Israel Marks Six Months Since October 7 With New Divisions, Fueled by Biden

Israelis marked six months since the October 7 terror attacks on Sunday — mourning the dead, praying for the return of the remaining hostages, and worrying about divisions that have re-emerged under Biden administration pressure.

For months, protests calling for the release of the hostages managed to stay somewhat separated from political rallies against the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had been subdued since the war broke out.

But after President Joe Biden backed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) call last month for Israel to hold early elections to oust Netanyahu, the Israeli left has become more aggressive, and the two causes have merged.

In addition, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted, during a period of few protests, that massive protests would emerge to topple the Israeli government. And Netanyahu’s main political rival met with the White House on a surprise visit.

The pressure has emboldened some — not all — hostage advocates to join their cause with that of Israel’s political opposition, exploiting public yearning for the hostages to come home in an effort to bring down Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s opponents now openly claim that he alone is responsible for the fact that there is no hostage deal — in spite of the fact that it is Hamas, emboldened by the U.S. pressure on Israel, that has backed away from a deal.

Hamas dug in on its demand for a ceasefire before any more of the remaining 130 or so hostages are released, after Biden allowed a United Nations Security Council resolution to pass that separated a ceasefire from a hostage deal.

Regardless, Netanyahu’s opponents are claiming that he is to blame, and are holding increasingly larger rallies. On Saturday night, a driver in Tel Aviv rammed his car into protesters, injuring five of them before being arrested.

There are fears that the national unity that emerged after October 7 may have begun to evaporate — even with Israeli troops in Gaza within sight of victory, even with Hezbollah apparently trying to find a way to save face short of war.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog, seen as a unifying figure, issued a message of hope — but also warned his people that “We cannot return to October 6,” referring to the political divisions over judicial reform in the days before the way.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.



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