Widespread Anger Directed at Israeli Government for Disorganized Post-Attack Response

by Lucas Garcia
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Israeli Government's Response to Hamas Attacks

Over two weeks since the devastating attacks led by Hamas militants on a series of rural communities, a considerable number of Israelis have expressed outrage at the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The government is criticized not only for its inability to thwart the assault but also for its insufficient support in the aftermath.

As the military carries out incessant airstrikes on Gaza, causing a high number of Palestinian casualties, and hundreds of thousands of Israeli soldiers prepare for a potential ground operation, the government has been marred by internal conflicts. This has resulted in leaving emotionally distressed survivors to cope without state assistance, relying instead on volunteers, many of whom have been critical of the government for the past year.

Ruvi Dar, a clinical psychologist and professor at Tel Aviv University, remarked, “The government has exhibited utter incompetence.” He emphasized that the aid being received by displaced individuals is entirely a community effort, with no involvement from state resources. Notably, the costs for volunteers’ accommodations are being borne by non-governmental organizations.

Amid this situation, there is heightened public attention on the controversial plans by Netanyahu and his far-right administration to significantly weaken the judicial system. This has led to extensive national protests and has absorbed the focus of both the Cabinet and the nation. The government is accused of neglecting essential services in its pursuit to undermine the Supreme Court, which it labels as liberal and intrusive.

Arnon Bar David, the leader of Israel’s Histadrut trade union, said to Army Radio, “Due to their non-functionality for the past year, government offices are evidently unprepared to manage crisis situations. A whole year has been squandered on inconsequential matters.”

The government’s inefficient response was evident immediately after the October 7 Hamas attack, which resulted in over 1,400 casualties, primarily civilians. The military’s delayed counteraction exemplified the government’s dysfunctionality. Public resentment has prevented some ministers from entering the affected regions, and others have been confronted aggressively during hospital visits.

The disarray was palpable even after the initial catastrophe. With a noted absence of a comprehensive strategy and public communication, Netanyahu’s dwindling approval ratings have hit a new low. Although other officials have admitted fault, Netanyahu only recently acknowledged some responsibility, stating that investigations would ensue after the conflict ends.

Nevertheless, he has not visited any affected families or the wounded, even though he has made public appearances for diplomatic purposes and to boost military morale.

Meanwhile, internal squabbles within the government have further delayed aid to the displaced and affected families. “If the government doesn’t intervene, the crisis will intensify significantly,” cautioned Yossi Keren, the newly appointed head of the regional council in Sha’ar HaNegev, which was heavily targeted in the attacks.

Gideon Rahat, a political science professor at Hebrew University, attributed the current crisis to ineffective governance and the absence of competent bureaucrats who were pushed out due to divisive politics.

In this leadership void, organizations opposing the government’s judicial reforms have stepped in, garnering praise for their rapid transition from protesters to aid providers. They have mobilized a large number of volunteers to provide essential services that are ordinarily the responsibility of the state.

This report includes contributions from Big Big News reporter Julia Frankel in Jerusalem.

For more comprehensive coverage, visit Big Big News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Israeli Government’s Response to Hamas Attacks

What is the main issue discussed in the article?

The main issue discussed in the article is the widespread dissatisfaction among Israelis with their government’s inadequate response to the recent attacks by Hamas militants. The government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is criticized for not only failing to prevent the attacks but also for neglecting the needs of the affected communities in the aftermath.

Who has been criticizing the Israeli government’s response?

Various segments of Israeli society have criticized the government’s response, including academics like Ruvi Dar, a clinical psychologist and Tel Aviv University professor, trade union leaders like Arnon Bar David, and ordinary citizens who have been directly affected by the attacks.

What is the backdrop to the public dissatisfaction?

The public dissatisfaction comes against a backdrop of ongoing and contentious plans by the Netanyahu government to curtail the power of Israel’s judiciary. This focus has led many to believe that the government has neglected essential functions and services, exacerbating the crisis.

Are there any grassroots efforts to aid the affected communities?

Yes, due to the government’s inability to provide sufficient aid, grassroots organizations and volunteers have stepped in to help. These volunteers are largely funded by non-governmental organizations and have been essential in providing immediate relief to the affected communities.

What has been the government’s public statement regarding the attacks?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu only recently acknowledged some responsibility for the crisis and stated that a thorough investigation would be carried out, but only after the conflict ends. However, he has not visited the wounded or directly interacted with the affected families.

How has the crisis affected public opinion about the government?

The government’s inefficient handling of the crisis has led to a significant drop in approval ratings for Netanyahu and increased public resentment. Various government ministers have been prevented from entering affected communities, and some were confronted aggressively during hospital visits.

What internal conflicts within the government are exacerbating the situation?

The article mentions that the government has been consumed with internal conflicts, particularly regarding its focus on undermining the judicial system. This has left it ill-prepared to deal with the crisis effectively, causing delays in aid and recovery efforts.

How are international leaders responding?

The article does not extensively cover international responses, but it does note that U.S. President Joe Biden spoke to families of U.S. citizens being held captive, something Netanyahu did not do for Israeli families until more than a week after the attacks.

More about Israeli Government’s Response to Hamas Attacks

  • Israeli Government’s Official Statement on the Hamas Attacks
  • Profile of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Overview of Israel-Hamas Conflict
  • Report on Grassroots Efforts in Post-Attack Recovery
  • Public Opinion Polls on Government Approval Ratings
  • Background on Israel’s Judicial System and Controversial Plans
  • Information on the Role of Israeli Trade Unions in Crisis
  • Analysis of Internal Government Conflicts Affecting Crisis Response

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