“In the end we’ll have to conquer Gaza, after all, Hamas will not change its nature and will continue to grow stronger. It does not want us here,” the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset, Knesset member Zeev Elkin of the Likud, told Al-Monitor in an interview on the end of the campaign in Gaza and its political ramifications.
Elkin also said similar things to the prime minister in the course of Operation Protective Edge, when the two met one-on-one. He argued to Netanyahu that the powerful ground operation should have started at an earlier stage. But despite the criticism, Elkin, a member of the ideological right flank of the Likud party, said that he’s full of admiration for the prime minister. In his view, Netanyahu succeeded in putting political calculations aside in his decisions, even when he knew he would be hurting himself and the Likud in the electorate. “I was witness to debates where some participants told him that he would be hurt among the political right by his conduct, but he always knew to put aside the immediate political interest,” he said. Alongside the praises for Netanyahu, Elkin announced at the beginning of the week on Aug. 3 that the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee “will work as a commission of inquiry” into the fighting in Gaza. This, the prime minister liked less. What’s certain is that Elkin, appointed to the position three months ago, intends to do more than just keep the seat warm.