The chaos emerging in Israel due to the moving forward of the judicial overhaul and the decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to fire Yoav Gallant as defense minister has been keenly observed from Tehran.
Iran’s own pro-regime media have been reporting on it. Iran is intensely interested in what might happen in Israel, and in taking advantage of this unique opportunity. However, the regime, which is still facing its own protests that haven’t stopped for seven months, is also skeptical of what might come next.
Tasnim News, considered close to the IRGC, profiled Netanyahu’s current policies on Monday. The stance it has taken is that it assumes Netanyahu will “suppress” dissent, especially among reservists. It terms the current chaos as a “crisis” that creates a “gap” in Israel, apparently one that Iran would like to fill with chaos by exporting threats to the West Bank and taking advantage of Israel’s internal problems to continue its entrenchment in Syria and its support for Hezbollah.
Al-Mayadeen News, considered sympathetic to Iran, has also covered the issue extensively, including Gallant’s comments.
The overall context of the reports is to present what is currently happening in Israel without much commentary; a “watch and see” approach. Iran’s regime and its allies in the region, like Hezbollah, have often toed the IRGC line that Israel is always about to implode and fall apart.
Iran knows it can’t confront Israel militarily, so it can only hope for internal chaos or a Deus ex machina that will break Israel apart. Apart from commentary such as “Israel is eroding” appearing in pro-Iranian media, the regime in Tehran is waiting to see what happens next.
General region is interested in the judicial reform protests
The region in general is interested in the protests in Israel, with Gulf media reporting on them extensively. Some social media users have even linked the mass protests in Israel to the Arab Spring protests that began in Tunisia and spread to Egypt back in 2011.
Considering the fact that those protests were widely seen as bringing chaos that subsequently brought Tunisia and Egypt away from protests and into an era of authoritarian governance, one could conclude that those watching Israel in the region will merely think that Israel is following that model.
Israel has largely weathered the chaos that has overshadowed the region in the last decade, which means it was seen as a strong, dynamic and more cohesive country in the region, a strength Netanyahu mentioned in his characterization of his policies.
This shift from projecting strength to tipping into political chaos is an issue of immense concern in the region. States linked to the Abraham Accords and various cross-regional diplomatic initiatives, such as the Negev Forum and I2U2, will want to know that Israel will continue to economically advance and produce dynamic contributions to innovation – which has underpinned Israel’s success in the past.
And regarding Iran’s “watch and see” policy, it had done this before, such as back in May 2021 when Iran used Ramadan tensions over Sheikh Jarrah to help spark a war in Gaza. That war also took place amid the context of numerous elections in Israel.