Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Why Israel is Struggling to Find a Way Out of its Political Deadlock

Likud, the Blue and White party and Yisrael Beiteinu are ideological bedfellows – but other fears have prompted a stalemate

By Jonathan Cook – The National – September 30, 2019

It would be a grave mistake to assume that the continuing political deadlock in Israel – with neither incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main rival Benny Gantz seemingly able to cobble together a coalition government – is evidence of a deep ideological divide.

In political terms, there is nothing divided about Israel. In this month’s general election, 90 per cent of Israeli Jews voted for parties that identify as being either on the militaristic, anti-Arab right or on the religious, anti-Arab far-right.

The two parties claiming to represent the centre-left – the rebranded versions of Labour and Meretz – won only 11 seats in the 120-member parliament.

Stranger still, the three parties that say they want to form a “broad unity government” won about 60 per cent of the vote.

Mr Netanyahu’s Likud, Mr Gantz’s Blue and White party led by former generals, and ex-defence minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu secured between them 73 seats – well over the 61 seats needed for a majority.

All three support the entrenchment of the occupation and annexation of parts of the West Bank; all three think the settlements are justified and necessary; and all demand that the siege of Gaza continue, view the Palestinian leadership as untrustworthy and want neighbouring Arab states cowering in fear.

Moshe Yaalon, Mr Gantz’s fellow general in the Blue and White party, was formerly a pivotal figure in Likud alongside Mr Netanyahu. And Mr Lieberman, before he created his own party, was the director of Mr Netanyahu’s office. These are not political enemies; they are ideological bedfellows.

There is one significant but hardly insumountable difference. Mr Gantz thinks it is important to maintain bipartisan US support for Israel’s belligerent occupation while Mr Netanyahu has preferred to throw Israel’s hand in with Donald Trump and the Christian religious right.

Reuven Rivlin, Israel’s president, has pressed the three parties to work together. He has suggested that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Gantz rotate the role of prime minister between them, a mechanism used in Israel’s past.

But after Mr Gantz refused last week, the president assigned Mr Netanyahu the task of trying to form a government, although most observers think the effort will prove futile. After indecisive elections in April and September, Israel therefore looks to be heading for a third round of elections.

But if the deadlock is not ideological, then what is causing it?

In truth, the paralysis has been caused by two fears – one in Likud, the other in Blue and White.

Mr Gantz is happy to sit in a unity government with the Likud party. His objection is to allying with Mr Netanyahu, who is days away from hearings with the attorney general on multiple counts of fraud and breach of trust. Mr Netanyahu wants to be in power to force through a law guaranteeing himself immunity from prosecution.

Blue and White was created to oust Mr Netayahu on the basis that he is corrupt and actively destroying what is left of Israel’s democratic institutions, including by trying to vilify state prosecutors investigating him.

For Blue and White to now prop Mr Netanyahu up in a unity government would be a betrayal of its voters.

The solution for Likud, then, should be obvious: remove Mr Netanyahu and share power with Blue and White.

But the problem is that Likud’s members are in absolute thrall to their leader. The thought of losing him terrifies them. Likud now looks more like a one-man cult than a political party.

Mr Gantz, meanwhile, is gripped by fear of a different kind.

Without Likud, the only solution for Mr Gantz is to turn elsewhere for support. But that would make him reliant on the 13 seats of the Joint List, a coalition of parties representing Israel’s large minority of Palestinian citizens.

And there’s the rub. Blue and White is a deeply Arab-phobic party, just like Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu. Its only civilian leader, Yair Lapid, notoriously refused to work with Palestinian parties after the 2013 election – before Mr Netanyahu had made racist incitement his campaign trademark.

Mr Lapid said: “I’ll never sit with the Zoabis” – a reference to the most prominent of the Palestinian legislators at the time, Haneen Zoabi.

Similarly, Mr Gantz has repeatedly stressed his opposition to sitting with the Joint List.

Nonetheless, the Joint List’s leader Ayman Odeh made an unprecedented gesture last week, throwing the weight of most of his faction behind Mr Gantz.

That was no easy concession, given Mr Gantz’s positions and his role as army chief in 2014 overseeing the destruction of Gaza. The move angered many Palestinians in the occupied territories.

But Mr Odeh saw the Palestinian minority’s turn-out in September leap by 10 percentage points compared to April’s election, so desperate were his voters to see the back of Mr Netanyahu.

Surveys also indicate a growing frustration among Palestinian citizens at their lack of political influence. Although peace talks are off Israel’s agenda, some in the minority hope it might be possible to win a little relief for their communities after decades of harsh, institutional discrimination.

In a New York Times op-ed last week, Mr Odeh justified his support for Mr Gantz. It was intended to send “a clear message that the only future for this country is a shared future, and there is no shared future without the full and equal participation of Arab Palestinian citizens”.

Mr Gantz seems unimpressed. According to an investigation by the Israeli media, Mr Netahyahu only got first crack at forming a government because Mr Gantz blanched at the prospect.

He was worried Mr Netanyahu would again smear him – and damage him in the eyes of voters – if he was seen to be negotiating with the Joint List.

Mr Netanyahu has already painted the alternatives in stark terms: either a unity government with him at its heart, or a Blue and White government backed by those who “praise terrorists”.

The Likud leader might yet pull a rabbit out of his battered hat. Mr Gantz or Mr Lieberman could cave, faced with taunts that otherwise “the Arabs” will get a foot in the door. Or Mr Netanyahu could trigger a national emergency, even a war, to bully his rivals into backing him.

But should it come to a third election, Mr Netanyahu will have a pressing reason to ensure he succeeds this time. And that will doubtless require stepping up incitement another dangerous gear against the Palestinian minority.

The reality is that there is strong unity in Israel – over shared, deeply ugly attitudes towards Palestinians, whether citizens or those under occupation. Paradoxically, the only obstacle to realising that unity is Mr Netanyahu’s efforts to cling to power.

October 1, 2019 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. You cannot “fix” a belief system built on hate.
    I am offended when I see the “Star of HATE””.
    Judaism is neither a race or a religion, it is Xenophobic Tribalism.
    XENOPHOBIC: n.A person unduly fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or foreign peoples.
    TRIBALISM: n.
    1. The organization, culture, or beliefs of a tribe.
    2. A strong feeling of identity with and loyalty to one’s tribe or group.
    For 3,500 years Israel has practiced eugenics …. Jewishness is based on: Jewish mother determines that you are Jewish …. Jewish father determines the Tribe (cohen, levite, dan, benjamin) They are a TRIBE …. a family based GANG. If you are not an active member you are NOT part of the GANG. No more than having a cousin in the Hell’s Angels makes YOU a Hell’s Angel.
    ALL people of Good Will should oppose the ORIGINAL nazis.
    From the reign of Nero to that of Antoninus Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives, and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind…………….- Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776)
    Never FORGIVE, Never FORGET, the SHOAH of 1.5MILLION Armenian Christians under the crypto-Jewish “Young Turks”
    Never FORGIVE, Never FORGET, the SHOAH of 66MILLION Christians under the Jewish COMMUNIST Bolsheviks
    KATYN FOREST & the Ukrainian Death Camps where the JEWISH Bolsheviks slaughtered the Educated Elite CHRISTIAN Leaders.
    Never FORGIVE, Never FORGET the ongoing SHOAH of the PALESTINIANS.
    The sight of the “STAR of DEATH” sends a frightening and offensive message to ALL NON-Jews.
    Israel does not have a ‘right to exist”, because Israel is born of genocide and war crimes.
    The “STAR of DEATH” represents the ORIGINAL “Nazis”, the perpetrators and braggarts of the FIRST holocaust: FUNNY that everything they claim the nazis did is an EXACT COPY of what THEY BRAG about doing to the original PALESTINIANS.
    Deuteronomy 7:16, 20:16 “And thou shalt consume all the peoples which the Lord thy God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them…thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth.”

    KILL THE SICK and CRIPPLED
    Numbers c.5 v.2-4
    KILL HOMOSEXUALS & UNDESIRABLES
    Leviticus c.20 v.13 well, really the whole chapter
    KILL ALL DISSIDENTS:
    Exodus c.32 v.27
    Numbers c.11 v.1-2
    Numbers c.16 all
    Numbers c.21 v.5-6
    Numbers v.26 v.10
    KILL anyone who engages in “DIVERSITY” or “INTEGRATION”
    Numbers v25 v.4-8
    Deuteronomy c.14 v.2
    DEHUMANIZE and then EXTERMINATE ALL NON-MEMBERS:
    SEXUALLY ENSLAVE any females “who have not KNOWN a man”
    a very brief selection, many more in THEIR book.
    Numbers c.21 v.03 Canaanites
    Numbers c.21 v.24 Amorites
    Numbers c.21 v.33-35 Bashan
    Numbers c.31 all Midianites
    Numbers c.32 v. more Amorites
    Deuteronomy c.2 v.34 People of Heshbon
    Deuteronomy c.3 v.6 really the whole chapter. threescore cities
    Joshua c.12 A list of victims of Israeli GENOCIDE
    OCCUPY YOUR VICTIM’S DWELLINGS/LAND
    Numbers c.21 v.25
    Numbers c.32 v.39
    Numbers c.33 v.53
    (just to name a FEW)
    GENOCIDE CODIFIED IN THEIR RELIGION
    Numbers c.33 v.31-34
    Deuteronomy c.7 v.2
    Deuteronomy c.12 v.28-30
    Deuteronomy c.20 v.11-16
    TERRORISM CODIFIED IN THEIR RELIGION
    Deuteronomy c.2 v.2
    Deuteronomy c.7 v.1
    Jews SELF-anointed “The CHOSEN People of GOD”
    Nazis SELF-anointed “The CHOSEN People of GENETICS”.
    TODAY Israel states that it is creating “A PURE Jewish State”
    YESTERDAY the Nazis were creating “A PURE German State”
    And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword . . . (Joshua 6:21)
    For modern day reinforcement of these “rules” research/google “the KINGS TORAH”

    Comment by william chan | October 1, 2019 | Reply

  2. Bebe really wouldn’t like jail. He might take his dual loyalty and encamp to Brooklyn. He was born in the US, he could run for president here,

    Comment by GGH | October 1, 2019 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.