In an increasingly insecure Israel, Uriel Kashi, a historian and tour guide with political connections, sharply criticizes the government for its perceived failure to respond to Hamas attacks. After he and his neighbors sought refuge in the basement as the sirens blared, Kashi told “ZDFheute“his fears about further terrorist attempts to penetrate the Israeli heartland. In a worrying move since the conflict began, more than 100 Israelis have been kidnapped by Hamas. Kashi stressed that an immediate security-focused response from the government was pending.
The explosiveness of the situation in Israel is now shifting to the actions of the Israeli army. When asked by ZDFheute, Kashi said that in the coming days the army would aim to destroy Hamas’ infrastructure in the Gaza Strip and bring those responsible for the recent tragic events to justice. This reveals Kashi’s great concern about the possibility that Hezbollah will intervene in the conflict in Lebanon and drag the country into a two-front war. Israel has already fended off attempts by Hezbollah to sneak into the heartland in the past, and yet the current infiltration and brutality of over a hundred terrorists is proving shocking and unexpected for the population.
ZDFheute continues to report on Kashi’s personal fears and concerns, including the relocation of a 19-year-old relative from the Lebanese border to the south and the strain of the widespread insecurity in the country. There is a clear shift in Israel’s political discourse, with Kashi being pessimistic about developments and pointing to the cruel actions of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. He emphasizes the need for a clear Israeli deterrent and speculates that ground troops may be deployed in Gaza to destroy Hamas’ infrastructure.
In addition to the military crisis, Israel’s political landscape is equally turbulent. Kashi tells ZDFheute that the current government was surprised by the events and reacted slowly. Another discussion that has so far been underrepresented in German discourse is the formation of an emergency government. Opposition politicians Jair Lapid and Benny Gantz have signaled their willingness to work with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during this crisis. However, the composition of the current government, particularly with some right-wing and, in Kashi’s view, incompetent ministers, continues to raise questions and concerns. Here he emphasizes the urgency of more competent structures and a proactive strategy to prevent future fundamentalist takeovers, with many pinning their hopes on a more effective emergency government in which opposition politicians could potentially fulfill their roles more efficiently than is currently the case.
Hope for competence
This condensed look at Kashi’s statements to ZDFheute illuminates a landscape filled with uncertainty and criticism over the Israeli government’s handling of the current crisis, while the country is simultaneously in the midst of a brutal and unpredictable conflict.