“Panic Room” is a 2002 film directed by David Fincher about a divorced woman and her diabetic daughter taking refuge in their newly-purchased house’s safe room, where three men break in looking for a missing fortune. Its title accurately describes the Israeli cabinet meetings led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
With severe domestic and foreign policy tensions, Netanyahu’s sixth term appears all the more difficult, with controversial cabinet picks, rash decisions, and a distance kept even from his closest ally such as Germany.
According to various news agencies, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock condemned on Tuesday Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Her comments came during a joint press conference in Berlin with her Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen.
Baerbock was also concerned about Israel’s planned judicial overhaul, as well as plans to execute Palestinian prisoners.
“I will not deny that we abroad are concerned about some of the legislative plans in Israel,” she told the media during the press conference.
“Among the values that unite us is the protection of constitutional principles such as the independence of the judiciary,” Baerbock said.
Avi Maoz, the president of the Noam Party, announced his resignation from his role as deputy minister in Netanyahu’s government, citing the Israeli premier’s tardiness in executing coalition agreements that provide Maoz influence in the ministries of education, health, and social welfare, marking the first resignation in Netanyahu’s cabinet so far.
This comes as Israeli forces intensified their grip over towns in the West Bank on Monday night and Tuesday morning, while settlers resumed their attacks on Palestinians throughout the occupied territory amid heightened domestic tensions. On Wednesday, Israeli police fired stun grenades in Tel Aviv as scuffles erupted around the country in a “day of disruption,” as lawmakers pushed through judicial measures that opponents see as a danger to democracy.
As traffic built up, Tel Aviv police on horseback attempted to stop demonstrators from breaching barricades. Protesters yelled “shame” and “We are the majority and we are out on the streets,” as police dragged them off the road, as recorded in live footage. According to authorities, at least nine persons were apprehended.
Based on all indications, Tel Aviv is on the verge of collapse. The Israeli president can call this collapse “constitutional,” but it is not the only thing that is failing.
The name “Panic Room” aptly describes Israeli cabinet sessions these days.