Tag Archives: Prime Minister


BLOG 520

June 7, 2021


Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.


There’s an old saying. “Two Jews; Three opinions.” Today in Israel there appears to be a hundred different opinions. It is not clear whether Benjamin Netanyahu is still the Prime Minister of Israel. The struggle is intense and not fully decided. Prime-minister-designate Naftali Bennetti appears to have forced a new government. (Only so it appears).

On Friday, counter-protesters also showed up to support the new coalition which will first be led by Bennett and then, from August 2023, by Lapid. Netanyahu’s Likud is also to meet Sunday. Netanyahu has urged all right-wingers in the “change coalition” to abandon it, and instead back him.

“We are of course fighting until the last moment,” Likud minister and close Netanyahu loyalist Tzachi Hanegbi said on Friday afternoon. “It’s not only about Netanyahu. We are a political camp with vast public support.  If the government s sworn in, we’ll of course act, in opposition, according to all the well-known rules. We’ll be] a fighting opposition. But until then, if there is a chance to prevent the establishment of a government based on votes that were stolen from the right, we of course will act to try to prevent it.”

Knesset speaker, Levin can legally delay a vote on the new government for a week or more, giving Netanyahu’s Likud party more time to try to peel away rebels from the right-wing factions of the unity coalition.  

Hundreds took part in the rallies, a day after Lapid officially declared that he can form a government, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing religious bloc are seeking to pressure lawmakers from Yamina and the fellow right-wing New Hope party to oppose. If formed, the government would end the premier’s run of 12 consecutive years in office and relegate his Likud party and allied factions to the opposition.

The demonstrations against the so-called “change government” have been particularly intense in recent days, taking place outside the homes of prospective ministers, including Bennett, the Yamina lawmakers and Meretz’s Tamar Zandberg. The hecklers have included pro-Netanyahu activists, right-wing families of terror victims and young members of the national-religious camp.

On Thursday morning the Shin Bet security service said its unit that protects the top officials of the state, Unit 730, had placed a security detail around Bennett, the coalition-to-be’s first prime minister.

All this make sense to you? Probably not unless you are an Israeli and then you’d probably be confused. The recent war with Hamas demonstrated that after three elections with a fourth coming ups, the current government is vulnerable.  This political weakness is a major reason why there is a current push to remove Netanyahu. Will the Bennett coalition succeed?

Stay tuned.

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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Filed under Elections, Israel, Jews, The Middle East


“T’was the week before Christmas and all through the Middle East

              Every creature was hiding, even the beast.

When what should appear up in the sky, but 12 scud rockets and

a helicopter filled with bombs…”

Sorry. It ain’t funny Santa. It seems almost every other year that at Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity where the Prince of Peace was born, people are keeping one eye on where the nearest bomb shelter might be. This year is no different.

Syria appears on the brink of collapse. President Bashar al-Assad seems to have figured out that releasing chemical weapons will send him before the International Court of Justice in the Hague – if he doesn’t get killed first. At least, at the moment he hasn’t gone forward. While Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallen blames international sanctions for their problems, in Jordan the defecting former Prime Minister is now forming a new government in exile. The truth is that even the Russians have finally figured out that Assad’s days are numbered and they don’t want to give him exile. Russia is now backing away. In Syria, bread is scarce and lack of flour is shutting down bakeries. An online cartoon shows Santa Claus receiving letters from Syria with a request for bread. The price has shot up from 25 Syrian pounds to more than 200 pounds for bread and fluctuates like the stock market. Because the West has done virtually nothing, there is a growing suspicion in the country that they are being deliberately starved. There is certainly nothing under the Christmas tree this year.

Egypt continues in turmoil as droves of Egyptians flood to the polls to vote on the new constitution. Early reports seem to indicate that the Moslem Brotherhood got out the vote in their favor. However, even if the constitution is forced through, dissention will remain high. Approximately 10% of the population are Coptic Christians who remain deeply offended by new rules pressing Egyptian further into becoming a Moslem state. They believe they were steam rolled by their Moslem opponents. At Friday Prayer services, the imams urged members to vote yes “in the name of religion.” Some Moslems voted no because they disapproved of this pressure.

Those who have studied the new constitution note many flaws in the document rushed through the assembly to prevent the judiciary from ruling them out of order.  One clause tied wages to productivity instead of prices. Other provisions would grant President Morsi and his Moslem functionaries the right to denigrate the role of women.

During this past week 35 Muslim Brotherhood’s offices were attacked, including its Cairo headquarters. In the streets, the conservative Muslim group and its opponents battled openly. Riots continued in Alexandria. No matter how the election is concluded by this Saturday, dissension will continue. Regardless which sides wins, the opponents will still consider the opposition to be virtually criminal. Many Egyptians are seriously discontented with both sides.           Dissension in the Middle East can be deadly.

So. our Christmas poem might end…

He sprang to his helicopter with a whistle.

Then flew away like a guided missile.

But I heard him exclaim as a bomb bust into flame

“Sure hope you have a merry whatever

And try to get some sleep whenever!”

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Filed under Egypt, middle east, Muslims, Syria