Thursday (April 30th): A good day for Netanyahu

Name? Benjamin Netanyahu

Westphalian identity? Israeli

Age? 70

Why is he in the news? He is not in the news, there is currently no news in the world of International Relations. Corona has paralysed the world of foreign policy and all that is happening are minor things of little to no importance. But Israel has had a streak of positive news culminating in Netanyahu being covered here today. First, Biden announced that if elected he would keep the US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, then Germany rated Hezbollah and Israel’s corona response as the most efficient by the London think tanks Deep Knowledge Group. 

Why do we care? When Trump announced two years ago that he would move the US embassy to Israel to Jerusalem, the world of IR analysts performed a synchronised facepalm. Not only was this decision purely aimed at his evangelical supporters, therefore motivated by campaigning, but it was also clear that this decision could not be reversed easily. Building an embassy is something long-lasting, a decision that cannot be changed no matter how fatal this was to the US’ role in the negotiating process between Israel and Palestine. Biden had no choice but to accept this. A win for Netanyahu. 

Why should you care? Israel has also been highly effective in fighting the coronavirus; they took very extreme measures from very early on. How much this will hurt them in the long term we will only see in two years when we can make a comparative study between Israel and Sweden. 

Who else cares? Germany does. For some reason, they only declared Hezbollah an illegal group today. Maybe they did not get the memo in time or were busy recycling their garbage? Today’s decision will benefit Israel a lot given that a considerable amount of Hezbollah’s funding is generated by Muslim communities in Germany. 

Any further comments? Gantz agreed to Netanyahu’s annexation plans for the West Bank. If he succeeds with that in the next one and a half years without getting tried for corruption, we will have to consider putting him onto the RAIA Group Hot or Not map.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator