The “strongest woman in politics” is bullied by her former followers, who feel betrayed for abandoning Netanyahu
“Burn in hell,” reads one of the many threatening messages received by Ayelet Shaked since she announced a month ago that she was joining the government of change in Israel. The ultranationalist leader also had hundreds of calls and the security services recommended that she change her phone as soon as possible. The threats and insults came to him from his own voters on the extreme right, who felt betrayed by his decision to support Naftali Bennett in the opposition coalition that has removed Benjamin Netanyahu from power and where there is space for parties of the centers, left and even for Islamists, a red line that she had been in charge of building throughout her career.
Skahed and Bennett have been a political couple in Israel since 2010. The new Interior Minister, who will be in charge of Justice within two years in the rotating government agreed by the coalition, is considered “the strongest woman in Israeli politics”, according to the defined the newspaper ‘Haaretz’. The Executive has nine women, a record number in the Jewish state, and Shaked is the true shadow of the new prime minister, with whom he has worked since they met in the Likud under the command of a Netanyahu who at that time was in the opposition. Eleven years ago they undertook a first adventure on the networks with the My Israel platform, aimed at fighting against calls for a boycott of Israel, and since then they have not separated into the different political formations where they have taken part, always in the line of ultra-nationalism. Zionist, to form Yamina.
Shaked, 45, is a Tel Aviv native, a mother of two, a computer engineer and the wife of a fighter pilot. His name began to ring in the summer of 2014 when he posted on Facebook an article by a deceased settler activist describing all Palestinians as “enemies”, calling young Arabs who sought “martyrdom” in attacks on “snakes”. Israelis and said their mothers should “go to hell” with them.
In an electoral advertisement he even sprayed himself with a fragrance called ‘Fascism’ that had a “scent of democracy.”
The wave of protests pushed Shaked to withdraw the post, but everything is recorded online and when a year later she was appointed Minister of Justice of the 34th Government of Israel, the story made headlines. That ‘was a mistake. I make many mistakes like all human beings, “he apologized. From Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared her to Hitler.
When she was appointed minister at the age of 39, Labor politician Nachman Shai noted that “giving her this ministry is like giving fire service to an arsonist.” Her emergence also generated numerous sexist comments due to her beauty, and former conservative minister Yosef Parirtzky wrote: “For the first time in Israel a holder of the Justice portfolio can appear on the calendars posted in auto workshops.”
At the election ball that Israel has experienced in the last two years, Shaked did not hesitate to dress as an actress to record an advertisement for a perfume with the aim of winning the votes of the ultra-nationalist electorate. The fragrance was called ‘Fascism’ and, as it was sprayed in front of the cameras, politics said it “has the scent of democracy.” The ad went viral. His party defended it as “pure irony”, but from Meretz, a left-wing party that is now part of the governing coalition, it was harshly criticized.
On Monday, Shaked stated that one of his short-term goals is to return asylum seekers to their home countries or pressure them to leave Israel. The harshness of his speech, however, no longer consoles those who voted for him because they feel cheated.
Gaza’s incendiary balloons, a new front for Bennett
For the second day in a row, several incendiary balloons left Gaza, causing dozens of fires in the fields near the separation fence. The flag march organized by the ultranationalists on Tuesday in Jerusalem has raised the tension and poses a challenge to the fragile truce in force last month after eleven days of offensive. The Palestinians launched balloons in protest against a march that they consider a provocation and Israeli aviation bombed Gaza for the first time since the ceasefire. The objective was Hamas military positions and the Army claimed to be prepared “for all possible scenarios.” It was also the first operation in Gaza approved by the new government and it will not be the last if the balloons are not stopped.
Motion of censure
The fronts are multiplying for the new Executive, which is also facing its first motion of censure. The Likud, party of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s most voted force, presented a motion on Wednesday arguing that the Government “was established through lies and fraud.” The Likud considers that the cabinet “does not have a mandate from the population.”
The vote will be on Monday and is part of Netanyahu’s strategy of maximum pressure on a very heterogeneous government to overthrow it as soon as possible. The former prime minister will have to appear that same Monday also before the Justice in a new hearing of the trial opened against him for corruption. The court rejected his defense’s request to postpone the hearings until September.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel