The Israeli government is unfreezing a controversial construction project in the occupied territories in retaliation for the Palestinian success at the UN. But the harsh stance is drawing criticism even from most loyal foreign allies of the Jewish state, including America. Meanwhile at home the hawkish prime minister faces resurge of opposition forces that can put his re-election prospects in doubt.
Netanyahu is enjoying a rise of popularity following the week-long war in Gaza, with his personal approval rating bouncing 11 percentage points, according to post-offensive polls. Together with his ally Avigdor Lieberman and ultra-orthodox and ultra-nationalist parties, he has a convincing lead two months ahead of the early election in January.
While maintaining domestic support, the Israeli PM is increasingly at odds with foreign friends. At the UN General Assembly vote on Thursday which granted Palestinians an upgraded status of non-member observer state, only nine countries voted against the proposition. Even nations that usually support Israel on most issues like Germany and Britain chose to abstain, and just one European nation, the Czech Republic, voted against.
“For Netanyahu to find himself all alone, with only a reluctant partner in Washington and seven other countries by his side, must surely have come as a shock,” wrote Foreign Policy magazine. It argues that Israel’s brief war with Hamas may have pushed Europeans to demonstrate approval for their Palestinian non-violent rival Fatah and its leader Mahmoud Abbas. The elected president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) champions the statehood bid, while Israel didn’t offer any tangible alternative, the magazine says.
Read More: Netanyahu cops flak for hawkish response to Palestinian UN success — RT