Debunking The Conspiracy Theory That Netanyahu Wanted Last Weekend’s Attacks To Happen
Observers can still be opposed to the border barrier in particular, Israeli policy towards Palestine in general, and Netanyahu personally while also acknowledging that he’s such a security-obsessed leader that it doesn’t make sense to claim that he’d let Hamas powerfully undermine all three for any reason.
Hamas’ sneak attack on Israel over the weekend prompted speculation among some on social media that the latter knew about these plans in advance but allegedly had an interest in letting them happen. According to proponents of this conspiracy theory, embattled Prime Minister Netanyahu wanted to unite his politically divided people and/or establish the pretext for destroying Hamas, ergo why he supposedly let these attacks unfold. That doesn’t make much sense though if one really thinks about it.
It's fashionable nowadays to claim that leaders sometimes provoke foreign conflicts to distract from domestic political problems, but that’s arguably not the case with the latest Israeli-Hamas war. In fact, Netanyahu was pursuing the exact opposite approach up until last weekend as suggested by credible reports over the months that he was engaged in secret talks with Saudi Arabia over recognizing Israel. This was aimed at uniting Israelis around him and unlocking their country’s geo-economic potential.
Had these efforts borne fruit, then not only would his fiercest opponents have been forced to praise him for this diplomatic achievement, but Israel could then have profited from its central role in the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) that was unveiled last month. Both goals required Saudi recognition of Israel, which Netanyahu hoped to obtain without recognizing Palestine’s independence, but that’s now in doubt since Riyadh might freeze these talks after Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
Those who claim that he knew about Hamas’ plans in advance but still let them happen are either unaware of his secret talks with Saudi Arabia, downplay their grand strategic importance, or think that they were all a ruse in preparation of this convoluted plot to establish the pretext for destroying Hamas. About that dimension of their conspiracy theory, it’s difficult to imagine that security-obsessed Netanyahu would let his country’s enemies inflict such unprecedented damage to Israel for that purpose.
He could always have simply exploited comparatively minor rocket fire to justify a disproportionate bombing campaign against that group without having to first lose literally hundreds of civilians and soldiers. Hamas’ breaching of the border barrier was also a strong blow to the Israeli psyche from which its people might never recover after having assumed that its construction would forever protect them. The same goes for that group doubling the territory under its control during the climax of its attacks.
Observers can still be opposed to the border barrier in particular, Israeli policy towards Palestine in general, and Netanyahu personally while also acknowledging that he’s such a security-obsessed leader that it doesn’t make sense to claim that he’d let Hamas powerfully undermine all three for any reason. He looks extremely weak after what happened, Israeli policy towards Palestine is now questioned from both sides like never before, and the border barrier is no longer deemed to be a credible defense.
These three outcomes represent the sum of Netanyahu’s worst nightmares, not to mention the likely failure of his plans to obtain Saudi recognition of Israel that would in turn unlock his country’s geo-economic potential via IMEC, all of which indisputably contradict Israeli interests. It remains unclear exactly how all of Israel’s security systems failed at the same time during last weekend’s attacks, nor has anyone explained the intelligence failures up until then either, but that’s indeed what happened.
The conspiracy theory speculating that Netanyahu knew about all this in advance but still let it happen doesn’t stand up to scrutiny as proven in this piece and is pretty much only predicated on the false perception that Israel’s intelligence services are omnipotent. They’re run by humans though and are therefore naturally imperfect, yet those who claim otherwise impart godlike power to the Mossad. This gives Israel too much credit while denying Hamas’ independent ability to organize attacks of this scale.