Bibi’s Diehard Fans Urging Him to ‘Step Up’ on Iran

Samantha Parker By Samantha Parker Jun12,2024

Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel in the early hours of Sunday morning has elicited calls for swift retaliation against Tehran by some prominent Israeli MPs. The shrillest voices baying for retribution have come from ultra-right wing politicians inside Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The coalition consists of seven political parties, which include the Religious Zionists and Otzma Yehudit.

These two parties in particular are both considered to be on the far-right of the political spectrum, representing ultra-nationalist and anti-Arabic views.

The Israeli prime minister is dependent on the support of his far-right partners to stay in power.

His government has indicated it will not allow Iran to get off “scot-free” and will have to answer for its brazen attack.

The question arises to what degree the severity of that retaliation will be influenced by the opinions and political beliefs of Netanyahu’s rightwing radicals.

Here the looks at what some of those radicals have said about Iran and what actions they expect from Netanyahu in his response to Tehran’s aggression.

Itamar Ben-Gvir

The rightwing firebrand is the leader of Otzma Yehudit, a party formed through an amalgamation of the Jewish National Front and Hatikva in November 2012.

It’s known for its ultranationalism, anti-Arab racism and belief in Jewish supremacy.

Mr Ben-Gvir expressed strident and militant views on how Israel should respond to Iran’s attacks.

The political leader demanded a “crushing” counterattack, urging Israel to “go crazy” and ignore “restraint and proportionality.”

Bezalel Smotrich

The Finance Minister is the chairman of the Religious Zionist Party, which holds similar political views to Otzma Yehudit.

While not so extreme in his calls for retribution, Mr Smotrich urged a forceful response from the Israeli government that would send a very clear message.

He said it was the time for leadership that is “capable of returning deterrence, that has the courage to restore security to the citizens of Israel, not with slogans, but with action.”

“The eyes of the entire Middle East and the entire world are on the State of Israel,” he added.

“If our reaction resonates throughout the Middle East for generations to come – we will win.”

An expert in Israeli politics told the that Ben-Gvir’s extreme calls for retribution on Iran were a reflection of his religious beliefs in Armageddon and the idea that Israel will emerge victorious from a war between good and evil.

Professor Yossi Mekelberg, an analyst working at the Chatham House think-tank, explained: “Ben-Gvir has the strategic understanding of a five-year-old.

“He represents part of a population that tries to push Israel (to extremes) – going to Rafa, bomb the Iranians, do everything – because he ideologically and religiously believes in Armageddon and that Israel is going to come out winners (of Armageddon).”

Although Netanyahu depends on the support of his righting radicals, Professor Mekelberg ultimately believes that the more moderate voices in government will win out.

“There are other people in government who most likely will not heed what Ben-Gvir says,” he said.

“This does not mean there will be no retaliation, but going ‘berserk’ is definitely not the plan.”

Many security analysts have speculated that Israel will target Iran’s nuclear facilities in any retaliatory strike.

However, Professor Mekelberg said any such strike would be seen as the most provocative step Israel could take and only escalate tensions even further.

He argued Israel was more likely to go after a minor target such as some military air defence system.

Samantha Parker

By Samantha Parker

Samantha is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth behind the headlines. With years of experience in investigative reporting, she has covered a wide range of topics including politics, crime, and entertainment. Her in-depth analysis and commitment to factual accuracy make her a respected voice in the field of journalism.

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2 thoughts on “Bibi’s Diehard Fans Urging Him to ‘Step Up’ on Iran”
  1. Do the ultra-right wing politicians inside Netanyahu’s coalition truly represent the majority of Israeli citizens’ views on Iran? Will their demands for swift retaliation influence Netanyahu’s decisions significantly?

  2. Will Netanyahu take decisive action against Iran following the recent attack?

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