Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The existence of Israel is considered by some parties to be illegitimate or illegal. This is due to the formation of the Jewish State which expelled millions of Palestinians.
In its history, Israel is known to be very expansive in expanding its territory. This was driven by several Prime Ministers (PM) of that country who had a tough stance towards the existence of Palestine.
The following is a list of the 5 Israeli PMs who are the harshest towards Palestine, quoted from various sources:
1. David Ben Gurion
Ben Gurion was Israel’s first PM when the country was only founded in 1948. At that time, Israel finally established the state by displacing 750 thousand Palestinians, which in the Arab world is known as the Nakba, which means disaster.
Ben Gurion once stated that Palestinians should not be able to return to their homes. He also issued a controversial statement stating his intention to take over Lebanon and Syria.
“We must do everything to ensure they (Palestinians) never return,” he said as archived Progressive Israel.
“We must be prepared to carry out attacks. Our goal is to destroy Lebanon, Trans-Jordan and Syria. The weak point is Lebanon, because the Islamic regime is a fake regime and is easily damaged by us.”
“We will establish a Christian state there, and then we will destroy the Arab Legion, wipe out Trans-Jordan, Syria will fall into our hands. We then bomb and move on and take Port Said, Alexandria and Sinai.”
2. Golda Meir
Meir led Israel from 1969-1974. When commemorating the second anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, the female PM once stated that she thought Palestine did not exist.
“There is no such thing as a Palestinian,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times.
3. Shimon Perez
Peres led in 1984-1986 and 1995-1996. Quoting Time magazine, Peres was part of the government that established the first illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank after the 1967 war that had swallowed up so much Palestinian land, and he opposed handing over any territory he conquered throughout the 1970s.
The Israeli invasion then resulted in the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut, Lebanon. In 1996, as prime minister of Israel, he led a disastrous Israeli attack on the UN base at Qana, killing 106 civilians sheltering there.
4. Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is known as a military and political leader who prioritized Israel’s security above all else. This position is what earned this controversial figure the nickname “the bulldozer” because of his fearless leadership in getting things done.
For many Israelis, he is a hero. To some in the Arab world, he is a murderer.
Sharon, who rose through the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces, first gained hero status among Israelis during the Six Day War of 1967 when Israel invaded Egypt, Jordan and Syria to counter what they saw as an impending attack from Arab states.
Under Sharon’s command, Israeli forces defeated Egyptian troops in a night battle to capture Um Cataf, an important road junction in the Sinai. The victory is considered a major factor in Egypt’s loss of the Sinai to Israel.
During the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Sharon earned the nickname “Lion of God” among Israelis for encircling the Egyptian Third Army and leading 200 tanks and 5,000 troops across the Suez Canal.
During the Lebanon war in 1982, Sharon was held indirectly responsible by an Israeli investigation for the 1983 massacre of Palestinians by the Lebanese Christian military in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
Many in the Arab world have dubbed Sharon the “Butcher of Beirut,” and Palestinians have attempted to file war crimes charges against him in European courts.
5. Benjamin Netanyahu
Netanyahu is Israel’s longest-serving PM, having led for 13 years in 1996-1999, 2009-2021 and 2022 to date. During his leadership, Netanyahu was recorded as having invaded Gaza, Palestine, several times under the pretext of destroying the Hamas militia which was hostile to Israel.
Under his leadership, Netanyahu did not stop the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and revived the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian people. This even made the President of the United States (US) at that time, Barack Obama, reject Israel’s settlement action in the West Bank.
“This development violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop,” Obama said in a speech in Cairo in 2009.
On November 14, 2012, Israel initiated Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip with the aim of stopping indiscriminate rocket attacks originating from the Gaza Strip and disrupting the capabilities of militant organizations. The operation began with the targeted killing of Ahmed Jabari, head of Hamas’ military wing.
According to Palestinian sources, civilian homes were hit and Gaza Health Officials stated that 167 Palestinians had been killed in the conflict as of 23 November.
In 2021, another war between Israel and Gaza occurred resulting in more than 250 casualties. This was due to the steps of Jewish settlers who took over the Sheikh Jarrah area in the West Bank from Palestinians.
The moment Israeli troops are ready to enter Gaza, the situation is tense