On the surface, it would appear to conservatives in and out of Israel that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is right to resign his position in protest to a ceasefire deal reached between Israel and Hamas over the Gaza Strip. Then again, he may not have the complete picture. We certainly do not.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims he was not “giving into terror” as Liberman has accused because there are things he knows that the general public, and possibly Liberman, do not know.
“Our enemies pleaded for a ceasefire and they well know why. Together with the heads of the security services, I see the overall picture of the security of Israel and I cannot share with the public,” Netanyahu said.
By most public accounts, this appears to be a move strictly driven by the desire to stop the rocket attacks without further escalating military engagements. That would appear to favor Liberman’s assertion that Netanyahu is giving into terror. The only real question is what is happening behind the scenes?
At this point we have to trust Netanyahu’s judgment. This is a politically polarizing move that most believe do not favor him. It reduces his coalition to a bare minimum, meaning he cannot afford to lose anyone else and still keep the government intact.
The fact that he was willing to do this against political expediency tells us there are elements to the story that compelled him to make the deal. Whether those elements are internal or external, we don’t know and possibly will never know. Is it a precursor to a broader peace agreement? Was there pressure from the United States? Is he trapping Liberman and his right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party?
Whatever Netanyahu has planned, the resignation didn’t seem to come as a surprise. He knew the political ramifications and made the deal anyway. That tells us we don’t know what we don’t know.