Chaos has become the norm in Israeli politics

Chaos has become the norm in Israeli politics

Elected Israeli officials voted on June 27, in the first reading, on a bill to dissolve parliament, a major step toward calling for early elections, the fifth in less than four years in Israel – Image: via Al-Manar

by Ramzy Baroud

The collapse of the short-lived Israeli government headed by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid reinforces the idea that the political crisis in Israel was not only provoked and encouraged by the former Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Bennett’s coalition government was made up of eight parties, which formed probably one of the most intriguing alliances in the chaotic history of Israeli politics.

The highly diverse treasury included groups from the far right to fascism such as Yamina, Yisrael Beiteinu, and Nouvel Espoir, as well as centrists. [au sens israélien du terme – NdT] Yesh Atid, Blue and White, Meretz – presumably leftist – and even an Arab party, the Joint List (Joint List).

The coalition also included representatives of the Labor Party, which was once the dominant Israeli political camp, and is now almost completely out of the loop.

When the coalition was formed in June 2021, Bennett was described as a kind of political messiah, ready to rid Israel of the grip of a power-hungry, self-centered and utterly corrupt Netanyahu.

But confidence in the Bennett government was misplaced. The millionaire politician was a subject of Netanyahu and on several occasions appeared to stand to the right of the Likud leader on various issues.

In 2013, Bennett proudly said: “I’ve killed a lot of Arabs in my life—and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

In 2014, Netanyahu was harshly criticized for failing to achieve Israel’s goals in one of the bloodiest wars against besieged Gaza.

Moreover, Bennett’s main support comes from the most extreme and right-wing groups in Israel.

Many wished that all this could be ignored, hoping that Bennett would succeed in overthrowing his former boss. This possibility became very real when Netanyahu was formally indicted in November 2019 on various serious corruption charges.

When the Bennett-Lapid government was officially sworn in on June 13, 2021, it looked as if a new era in Israeli politics had begun. It was understood that the political camps in Israel had finally found their common denominator.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has been pushed back into the ranks of the opposition. His place in the media began to fade, especially as he delved deeper into the corruption prosecution.

However, some analysts continue to blame Netanyahu for the various crises that have plagued Bennett’s coalition – for example, when Edith Silman resigned from his position on April 6, leaving the coalition government with only 60 seats in the Knesset. But there is little evidence and respect. The short-lived Israeli government collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions.

Would the government that dominated Israel between June 2021 and June 2022 have acted differently had Netanyahu remained prime minister? not at all. Illegal Jewish settlements continue to expand without restrictions. The house demolitions, the looting of Palestinian communities in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, and the many routine attacks that Israel wages against its Arab neighbors have never stopped.

According to UN data, 79 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank by the Israeli army between June 2021 and May 2022.

The Masafer Yatta area, with an area of ​​36 square kilometers and located in the south of the Hebron Hills, has been designated for complete annexation by the Israeli army.

The expulsion of 1,200 Palestinians from the area has already begun.

When it comes to occupied Jerusalem, particularly in the case of the so-called Flag March, Bennett has proven to be more extreme than Netanyahu.

Bernard Avishai wrote in the New Yorker that in 2021, the “Netanyahu government changed the path of the march, moving it away from Bab al-Amud to reduce the risk of violence,” while the “government of change” — referring to Bennett’s coalition — “returned the course, allowing even more than Alfie, an orthodox and fascist nationalist fighter, including the leader of the National Knesset camp Itamar Ben Gvir”, made provocative “visits” to the Haram al-Sharif, an Islamist. The holiest sites.

This does not mean that Netanyahu’s return, after elections now scheduled for November – Israel’s fifth general election in less than four years – would be a welcome change. On the contrary, experience has shown that no matter which side leads Israel, the political position of the state, especially towards the Palestinians, will certainly remain unchanged.

It has long been known that Israeli politics is unstable, but this instability has worsened in recent decades.

Since 1996, the average length of the Israeli government has been no more than 2.6 years. But since April 2019, that average has fallen dramatically to less than a year.

The argument has long been used that Netanyahu’s authoritarian and authoritarian stance was to blame, but last year it was seen as merely a symptom of Israel’s chronic political malaise.

Some Israeli analysts suggest that the political crisis in Israel can only end when the country implements electoral and constitutional reforms.

However, this would be a false solution because a lot of parliamentary and electoral laws in Israel have been in force for many years, when governments were relatively stable.

For Israel to change, the language of peace and reconciliation must replace the current atmosphere of incitement to hatred and war. Israeli politicians – who are currently fanning the flames of conflict, vying for office and fueling the violent rhetoric of their supporters – must turn into something completely different, almost impossible in the atmosphere of hatred prevailing across the country.

Chances are that Israel’s political crises will continue to have a major impact: coalitions will form, but they will soon collapse, and politicians will continue to slide to the far right even though they claim to belong to other ideological camps.

Political instability in Israel is now the rule rather than the exception.

In an interview with CNN, former Knesset member Johanan Plesner said the problem was Israel’s need for “electoral and constitutional reforms, such as making any attempt to hold early elections based on a two-thirds majority in parliament and amending the existing law that requires new elections when the budget is not passed.” . »

What Israelis refuse to consider is the fact that governments based on right-wing voters, far-right and other extreme extremists are inherently unstable.

Even if a supposedly “centrist” or even “left” prime minister ends up at the helm of the government, the results will not be different when the Knesset – in fact, most of the country – rules with a militaristic and chauvinistic mindset. colonizer.

July 14, 2022 – Realities of Palestine – Translation: History of Palestine – Lotfallah

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