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No Palestinians need apply to new Israeli government– and American liberals don’t notice

US Politics

How would black Americans feel if they voted and knew that no black person would serve in the U.S. Cabinet?

Well, Israel is undertaking just such an exclusion with an even larger segment of its population and the Obama administration is celebrating the process.

We’re talking about the Joint Arab List, the coalition of four parties that are chiefly Palestinian, with some Jewish support. The List won a historic 14 seats in the Knesset last March, and back then everyone was talking about it as a sign of a healthy democracy. The New York Times even likened the List’s charismatic leader Ayman Odeh to Martin Luther King Jr in his commitment to “coexistence with the Jewish majority.”

But as Benjamin Netanyahu scrambled to form a government coalition in the last couple of weeks, with all kinds of combinations, no one has mentioned the Joint Arab List. Today the New York Times has a big article about Netanyahu’s coalition. There’s not one word in it about the parties that represent nearly 20 percent of Israel’s population. The big question mark in the story is whether the rightwing government can attract Yitzhak Herzog of Zionist Camp to become Foreign Minister.

Why is Herzog a prize and Odeh chopped liver?

Simple. Because Herzog is Jewish and Odeh is Palestinian.

So Israel tells 20 percent of its population that even if they vote, they will never have even minority representation in government. This is why many regard Israel as an apartheid system, and why we have compared the Israeli political system to Mississippi’s famously-segregated delegation to the Democratic convention in 1964. And by the way, Palestinians are a larger percentage of the Israeli population than blacks in the U.S. population.

You’d think that liberal Zionists would at least mention this flaw in the Jewish democracy when they were attacking the new government. They don’t notice either.

The New Israel Fund is devoted to “Advancing democracy and equality for all Israelis,” but its long editorial attacking the new government for undermining the “soul of the country” leaves out the racism: “the most right-wing and ultra-religious in the history of the state.”

J Street has retweeted this criticism from the JTA:

“For first time in over a decade, no parties in Israel’s governing coalition support two states”

And J Street has called on the government to make clear its commitment to two states, but again, not a mention of the Joint Arab List or Palestinians not being included in the government.

Israel calls itself a Jewish democracy. Critics and some supporters too say this means it’s actually an “ethnocracy.” In an ethnocracy, Palestinians just don’t count to make up the government leadership. Only once has an Israeli government depended on Arab parties, Yitzhak Rabin in 1992, but when the next Labor Government formed, in 1999, Ehud Barak made it a point not to include Palestinians.

Shouldn’t the press in the United States — which desegregated the military in 1948 and broke up southern Jim Crow in the 1960s — be telling us about this? Only our colleague Allison Deger has even brought up the question.

The State Department has welcomed the new government. The White House fell over itself to congratulate Netanyahu:

the United States does congratulate the Israeli people, the Prime Minister, and the new governing coalition on the formation of Israel’s new government.  The President does look forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his new government.

The Israeli people. Yes, and how many are left out by this government?

James North and Philip Weiss
About James North and Philip Weiss

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29 Responses

  1. just
    just
    May 8, 2015, 12:49 pm

    You’re right, gentlemen~ Allison’s is the only article I’ve found that mentions the Joint List. From your link:

    “Head of Israel’s third largest party and leader of the Joint Arab List Ayman Odeh told Mondoweiss, “The Netanyahu-Bennett coalition is a social disaster and danger for democracy. This coalition buries down all hope for a peace agreement and solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.” He said the new government would cause deep rifts between Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel, promoting “racist laws which will harm the most the Arab citizens in the country.”” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/netanyahus-coalition-whos#sthash.TNf3Gm1t.dpuf

    It’s all rather part and parcel of US enabled Apartheid though, isn’t it?

    As for the WH reaction, I read this from Shalev today:

    “It’s true that the White House announced on Thursday that Obama was “looking forward to working with Netanyahu and his new government” but given the perception in Washington that Netanyahu has put together a narrow right wing coalition that would be even more unmanageable than the outgoing government, Obama’s “looking forward” was probably meant in the same sense that one anticipates root canal.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/west-of-eden/.premium-1.655539

    The NYT is worse than fish wrap, birdcage liner, bog paper…

  2. dx
    dx
    May 8, 2015, 1:27 pm

    I noticed that the Arab List was never mentioned in any of the newspaper, magazine, or wire service articles I read about all the machinations of trying to get a majority in the new government. I noticed it, and it was especially obvious in the American press where the big headlines are about racial strife and and the police. Also, considering that the Arab List was the third biggest winner in the election, it’s hard to explain why they were ignored by the new government and why the press failed to point this out. I guess the racism is just assumed and accepted by reporters and it’s not worth mentioning.

  3. Krauss
    Krauss
    May 8, 2015, 1:33 pm

    Just me or has the NYT veered from centrist to right-wing on Israel?

    They had a left-wing phase around 2009-2011. Then came the centrist phase.

    Those days are long gone. Now you get much better coverage from even the supposedly right(ish) Washington Post from their Jerusalem correspondent.

    Can you imagine the Pinkwashing Op-Ed that ran in the NYT a few years ago to run today? Impossible, right? That’s how far right the NYT has shifted. It’s like the whole Sodastream affair. When the heat goes real, the masks are slipping and the true face reveals itself. All those “liberal” Zionists all lined up for Sodastream, one by one.

    P.S. For those unfamilliar with the Pinkwashing Op-Ed, here’s what I mean:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/23/opinion/pinkwashing-and-israels-use-of-gays-as-a-messaging-tool.html

    Again, it’s very hard to imagine that Op-Ed to run in today’s Times. That’s how far right – or even hard-right – that they have moved in defence of Jewish apartheid.

    Just four years. Amazing how fast it changed. What explains it?

  4. Kay24
    Kay24
    May 8, 2015, 2:43 pm

    Here is the usual show of condemnation from the US regarding those East Jerusalem ILLEGAL settlements, the usual blowing of hot air, a pretense, when we all know nothing much will be done to stop these ridiculous land thieves from Hell.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-condemns-planned-construction-in-east-jerusalem/

  5. ritzl
    ritzl
    May 8, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Heh. On the bright side, and I do believe it IS a bright side, this chaotic crumbling of Israeli politics is akin to building a giant hollow rabbit (yes, Monty Python allusion), filling it with massive political firepower (Herzog as pig lipstick), directing that firepower to attack whatever it sees when it comes out of the rabbit, and hauling it into your own city.

    A) If Herzog, the Prize, joins the coalition, Odeh is opposition LEADER. Somebody posted here a few months ago that that confers very specific legal rights and responsibilities to him to meet with foreign reps (including Kerry and Obama) and to get policy/security briefings. By law.

    Maybe that will magically change if Odeh becomes opposition leader. As of now he may be excluded from coalition deliberations, but if Jewish-Israeli pols succeed in making the GoI look less fascist to the world by including Herzog as the “rational Face of Israel”, Odeh gets fronted internationally, right along side Herzog. Even to Obama and Kerry. An embedded paradox. Decisions, decisions.

    B) Who cares what Liberal Zionists think? Given the above scenario, it’s a done deal. Their thinking has been done for them, not that they did much of it anyway. Their irrelevance is nearly solidified. Odeh may well become the other, non-Jewish face of Israel — officially.

    I suppose the question becomes (with some thinking involved), will J Street and the like invite Odeh to speak in his official capacity (should this unity effort unfold) or will they simply ignore him. Will Obama insist of briefing him during state visits? TBD.

    Interesting stuff.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      May 8, 2015, 4:39 pm

      Of course all manner of creativity could ensue to make sure Odeh is excluded in any scenario. Herzog could be designated Foreign Minister AND Opposition Leader.

      Who knows?

    • just
      just
      May 8, 2015, 4:53 pm

      Well said, ritzl.

      I’m gonna dream. btw, Gideon Levy wrote this back in March:

      …”Just imagine: The Joint List is the third largest party in the Knesset. The coalition belongs to Netanyahu, Herzog and Yair Lapid. Odeh is selected leader of the opposition – the heir of Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Shamir, Ehud Barak, Netanyahu, all prime ministers who held the position at one point.

      The prime minister is obligated to brief him on security and diplomatic matters, “no less than once a month,” by law. The law requires him to address the Knesset after every speech by the premier. Foreign heads of state meet with him and listen to his views. As a symbol of government, he is protected by the Shin Bet security service. Perhaps for the first time in its history, Israel has a true leader of opposition.”…

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.645750

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        May 8, 2015, 5:03 pm

        Thanks just. Great memory. And apologies I didn’t remember it was you who brought it up in the first place.

      • just
        just
        May 8, 2015, 5:38 pm

        Aw, ritzl. ;-)

        I just remember because Gideon Levy’s columns are a veritable treasure trove of searing honesty and genuine humanity. They stick in my mind. I can only continue to hope that this will happen.

        iirc, Allison Deger also brought information re the Opposition Leader’s position and legal rights.

  6. Neil Schipper
    Neil Schipper
    May 8, 2015, 4:53 pm

    A deeply inane article, rife with tanker sized logic holes, shallow analogies, and utter denial of the challenges Israel faces.

    Three things jump out: (1) denial that the 1947 war isn’t over. (2) Fatuous presumption that 100% of Arabs are dumb (i.e. that none voted for parties other than “their” one ethno-party), a presumption that should be profoundly embarrassing to you “anti-racists”. (3) Since you guys are humiliated — yet again — that Israel demonstrates orderly transition of government flowing from a deliberative coalition building process — sans shooting and imprisonment — and demonstrates this before an Arab world whose nearly every nation is either in flames or in lockdown (and yet somehow — in your mind — is on the very brink of offering “social justice” to its masses), you.. how to describe it?.. flail? yelp? divert?

    You guys are truly the Al Sharptons of Israel-Palestine journalism!

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      May 8, 2015, 5:34 pm

      There’s been plenty of shooting and imprisonment in the West Bank, you know that place under Israeli control where the untermensch can’t vote. No, the war that began in 1947 is not over since Israel continues its ethnic cleansing to this day. But the thing that really bothers me about you is the sneering disrespect you have for a people who had their country taken out from under them. It’s not enough that Zionists like you can kill, imprison and steal without hindrance you have to add ridicule to your vices. You’re pathetic.

      • just
        just
        May 8, 2015, 5:41 pm

        +1, abc.

        Too bad Neil can’t bring himself to do anything but ridicule, unlike these people:

        “Last Friday, a long line of people wound its way along the narrow trail that leads up a hill that is adjacent to Golani Junction in the north. A few carried the flags of Palestine. Others held yellow signs with the names of places that no longer exist: a school, a cemetery, a neighborhood. The village’s displaced persons walked into the forest under which the remains of their homes are buried. Their visit has become a ritual.

        This time, though, the DPs were accompanied by what, in terms of current reality in Israel, was a rare, unexpected, almost inconceivable sight: a group of 14 Jews from South Africa, who came to apologize and ask forgiveness for donating money to the Jewish National Fund, which used it to create The South Africa Forest here in 1964, on what remains of the village of Lubya.

        The group felt cheated. They were told they would help make the wilderness bloom. As children they deposited their allowance in the iconic blue-and-white JNF boxes, and afterward contributed to the purchase of “tree certificates” at bar mitzvahs, birthdays and weddings. Then they found out where the money went.

        It emerged that the JNF’s aim was to cover up the destruction of such villages, to conceal the blame and consign the memories to oblivion.

        In 2012, in the wake of a documentary film by Mark J. Kaplan, “The Village Under the Forest,” about what happened to Lubya, the group founded a South African branch of an international organization calling itself Stop the JNF.

        So it was that its representatives climbed the hill to the ruins of the village and, in a symbolic ceremony, handed letters of apology and solidarity to the village’s DPs and to descendants still living in the country; a few exiled refugees arrived from Sweden and Denmark. However, most of the Lubya DPs are beyond the hills of darkness: Until recently, they lived in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp. Last month, however, it was overrun by ISIS and they were evacuated to camps in Lebanon.

        Although these second- and third-generation refugees still have relatives in Israel, no one in authority considered the possibility of rescuing them and bringing them back to their homeland.

        Lubya was abandoned on July 16, 1948, after its inhabitants were left to face the Israeli army almost alone, following the fall of Shfaram and Nazareth. Most of them fled to Lebanon that night, while a few made their way to Deir Hanna, in Lower Galilee. Lubya fell without a fight, and the route to Tiberias was thus opened. The village’s 600 homes were blown up in the 1960s. On their ruins the JNF planted trees. Welcome to South Africa Forest….

        ….The protester from South Africa fell silent and the line of pilgrims continued to climb the hill, silently, pausing occasionally to catch their breath and look around. Amid the pine needles were heaps of stones.

        There were once 600 homes in the village. Prickly-pear cactus are scattered about. The 800 wells dug into the hill bear witness to the lives and memories the JNF sought to erase. Only the cemetery remains intact, rows of neglected graves surrounded by barbed wire, which the DPs say the Israeli authorities have forbidden them to repair. The South African group cleaned them before the ceremony, in an act of purification and atonement.

        Other than the faded headstones, no monument stands over Lubya, in Yevtushenko’s words, nor is there a single sign that exists as a reminder, at least, that not so long ago a village stood here. Only the names of the Jewish donors from South Africa, who contributed to the village’s deletion from consciousness.

        One of the participants climbed onto the stone dome of what is presumably a grave in the center of the cemetery, named for a commander in the army of Salah a-Din, and hoisted the flag of Palestine.

        Among those at the forgiveness ceremony was architect Shmuel Groag, author of a long and detailed essay about the need to reconstruct the village. “Ignoring the heritage, denying and repressing it, turns these sites into gaping wounds in the Israeli collective space and memory,” he wrote.

        Also in attendance was Michal Weitz, great-granddaughter of Yosef Weitz, a leading official in the JNF, who was known as the “father of the forests.” He was one of those who conceived the idea of covering ruins of Palestinian villages after 1948 with trees; he also headed a body known at the time as the “transfer committee” (referring to population transfer). Michal Weitz is now trying to make a documentary film about her great-grandfather, who was responsible for this festering afforestation.

        On hand as well was my Haaretz colleague Oudeh Basharat, who brought his 11-year-old daughter on a “heritage” tour. One of the DPs, Mahmoud Hajo, 75, inserted the yellow signs into the rock-strewn soil of his village.

        Umar Ighbarieh, from Zochrot, who led the tour, explained, from experience at other sites, that within a day Israeli hikers will uproot all the signs. Kibbutz Lavi, Givat Avni, Kfar Nahar Hayarden, the Golani industrial zone and the Golani Brigade’s memorial site – all of which lie on the village’s land – constitute the new landscape here.

        “They duped us,” said Merle Favis, from South Africa. “They told us they were working to make the desert bloom. They took our money and planted trees to erase the memory of the people who lived here. It’s fraud.”

        In their statement of apology and solidarity, they wrote, “As a Jewish South African, I wish to declare that whether as a child or an adult, I have made a donation to the JNF… Such contribution was made prior to my understanding the true and hidden role that the JNF has played in Israel/Palestine… I wish to record my condemnation of such acts by the JNF and distance myself from the erasure of these villages and any inadvertent contribution I unknowingly made to this process… We apologise for what has been done in our name…”

        The group hopes that many more Jews will sign the letter and that other Jewish communities will take similar action.”

        For the rest of Gideon Levy’s article: http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/twilight-zone/.premium-1.655422

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        May 9, 2015, 5:24 am

        Just – could not reply to your comment about SA Jews pilgrimage to Lubya. I thought what a spiritual cleansing that must have provided to the SA Jews and the honor and recognition it gave to the Palestinians of Lubya.

        Could something like this work on a “state” wide level? I don’t want to believe that all Jews outside of the zionist state have the blind allegiance of some of the regulars paTROLLers here. The adult zios and worse, the milquetoast “liberal zios”, were duped and scammed from childhood on up to help with the fundraisers for the JNF, all the tzedaka boxes that must be filled, etc., to help the poor defenseless zios in the “state” live their lives, be safe, blah, blah, blah. The SA Jews had a hallelujah moment it seems, and HALLELUJAH! they are attempting to atone for their involvement in the attempt to make Palestinian history in this land a rumor, a folktale, a lie. For all the bluster of the regular paTROLLers on MW, safe in their armchairs in Brooklyn, Skokie, LA, wherever – you should come and visit Lubya, Akko, Haifa among others and spiritually cleanse yourselves like these SA Jews. It certainly takes a lot of courage and strength to make that journey. When you are informed on a daily basis of the crimes that are being committed in your name in the ziostate and then continue to defend the ziostate as if you live on the moon or something, YOU ARE A CRIMINAL.Your attempts to besmirch, belittle and obfuscate the truths that are printed on these pages is a joke. You know what the N’Yahoo govt is doing here and what every government has done here since 1948 and you defend, justify and uphold this criminality knowing full well the murderous intentions of these monsters running this freak show. What would that make you?

      • just
        just
        May 9, 2015, 9:58 am

        “Could something like this work on a “state” wide level?”

        Marnie~ I think that it could. They could start with what David Sheen wrote about the other day:

        “Over the course of Israel’s 67-year-history, many of its municipalities have established strong bonds with their American counterparts, with some forging formal alliances to become twin towns and sister cities. Associations with Israeli cities are so popular in America that some are willing to double- and even triple-up for the privilege. Such is the case with Baltimore, whose link to Ashkelon is also shared by Portland, OR and Sacramento, CA.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/baltimore-confronting-unchallenged#sthash.CGDc3M9b.dpuf

        Thanks for your wonderful comment. Hallelujah, indeed.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      May 8, 2015, 5:51 pm

      This is like requesting a participation of Jewish people from Poland or France or Netherlands in the Reichstag in 1941. The request has some unmasking value, directed at cave-dwellers and slowpokes; I am sure the author of this piece never intended to impress Zionist propaganda agents.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      May 8, 2015, 6:03 pm

      1) Remind me, what valid instrument is there that ends the war of aggression started by the Zionist entity against the Palestinian population in November 1947, like for example a general uncoerced vote to accept the invasion and partition?
      2) Traitors are not necessarily dumb. Ethnocentric parties, even if some get accepted in the List as minority partners, are not necessarily the good choice. The leading partners are communist and anti-Zionist resistance, not ethnic in the least.
      3) There is no legitimate government and no legitimate action of such government in the absence of a general vote in all of Palestine (possibly all illegal immigrants on a racial basis should be excluded anyway.)

    • just
      just
      May 8, 2015, 6:14 pm

      Do you know that Israel violates the “ceasefire” that they agreed to nearly every day, Neil? Only today:

      “GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A 17-year-old Palestinian is in critical condition after he was shot in the head by Israeli forces in northern Beit Lahiya in the Gaza Strip on Friday, amid reports that Israeli forces also shot and injured a Palestinian fisherman.

      Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said the 17-year-old boy had been shot in the head and had been moved for treatment.

      An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the shooting.

      She said that a group of Palestinians had been seen “approaching the security fence” and that Israeli forces arrived shortly afterwards.

      She alleged that the Israeli soldiers called them to halt, and fired warning shots when they “refused to comply.”

      Israeli forces then fired at their “lower extremities” and hit the “main instigator” of the group, she said. Asked what he had been instigating, she said the group had been “attempting to breach the security fence.”

      A Palestinian fisherman was also reported to have been shot by Israeli forces while fishing in the sea off Gaza.

      The army spokeswoman said that Israeli forces fired on his boat when it went beyond the designated fishing zone.

      She said that the naval forces “fired warning shots,” but opened fire when the “suspects continued to advance.” She said the vessel then returned to shore.

      The shooting of the 17-year-old comes less than a month after another teenage boy, 14-year-old Fadi Abu Mandil was critically injured by a stray Israeli bullet while studying in his home in the central Gaza Strip.

      Abu Mandil was moved to Ramallah on Tuesday last week to undergo surgery in his spine, as his family said the boy was unable to walk.” …

      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=765301

      OK with you?

      • Kris
        Kris
        May 8, 2015, 8:01 pm

        @just: “Do you know that Israel violates the “ceasefire” that they agreed to nearly every day, Neil?”

        I’m sure Neil knows that Israel violates the “ceasefire” almost every day, just. It’s just that he thinks Israel is justified, just as jon s thinks the Holocaust justified the Nakba.

        Holidays seem to be even worse. Sunday is Mother’s Day, and that fills me with dread, because Israeli Jews seems to amp up their pointless cruelty on holidays, just to show that they can.

      • just
        just
        May 8, 2015, 8:13 pm

        Wasn’t it JeffB who did that heinous justification thing?

        You’re right about dreading the holidays… last Ramadan/Eid was the nightmare.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/08/malak-remember-forever

        Christmas 2014:

        “We want Christmas without occupation’: Israel attacks Bethlehem protesters dressed as Santa with tear gas”- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/12/occupation-bethlehem-protesters#sthash.pUEtTjW6.dpuf

      • Kris
        Kris
        May 8, 2015, 9:26 pm

        You’re right, just, it was JeffB who said “The Holocaust justifies the Nabka completely.”

        I’m trying to think of a single Zionist poster here who probably wouldn’t agree with JeffB’s argument; no luck, yet.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 9, 2015, 3:05 am

        Kris,

        Apart from giving away a psychopathic murderer, that genius statement of the Holocaust(TM) that justifies the Nakba would be a problem for any other Zionist with half a brain cell. There was no trademarked Holocaust in the early-mid 1920s when the genocide was announced, there was no Holocaust yet in 1937 when the Greater Israel area to be emptied from its owners (and the tolerated maximum percentage of local people) was announced. Not only the “justification” is pure insanity, it is also a postdated check.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 10, 2015, 12:25 pm

        “I’m trying to think of a single Zionist poster here who probably wouldn’t agree with JeffB’s argument; no luck, yet.”

        Yes, “JeffyB” described the basic moral and ethical transaction of Zionism perfectly. But I suspect the Nakba is just a down payment on what the Zionists think they are due.

    • weiss
      weiss
      May 9, 2015, 1:47 am

      Another Fascist chirps but fails to grasp the FACT that Israel has LOST the PR war…

      Meanwhile, All these dirty backdoor deals between the Fascists make me feel like I need to take a shower, but the stink just won’t go away no matter how hard I scrub…

      Just Plain Disgusting….

  7. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    May 8, 2015, 7:10 pm

    RE: “And J Street has called on the government to make clear its commitment to two states” ~ Weiss & North

    MY COMMENT: What commitment? ? ? *

    * SEE: “A Boy Called Bibi ~ Netanyahu on the Couch”, by Uri Avnery, May 1-3, 2015

    [EXCERPTS] . . . If it is true that the character of a person is shaped by his early childhood, we must examine the background of Netanyahu in order to understand him.

    He grew up in the shadow of a strong father. Benzion Millikowsky, who changed his foreign name to the Hebrew Netanyahu, was a very dominant and very unhappy person. Born in Warsaw, then a provincial town in the Russian Empire, he immigrated to Palestine as a young man, studied history at the new Hebrew University in Jerusalem and expected to become a professor there. He was not accepted.

    Benzion was the son of an early adherent of Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky, the extreme rightist Zionist leader. He inherited from his father a very extremist outlook, and passed it on to his three sons. . .

    . . . So who is this Netanyahu? Contrary to popular opinion, he is a man of very strong beliefs – the beliefs of his far-right father. The entire world is out to kill us at all times, we need a powerful state to defend ourselves, all of the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan has been given us by God (whether he exists or not). Everything else is lies, subterfuges, tactics.

    When, in a famous speech at Bar-Ilan university near Tel Aviv, Netanyahu embraced the principle of “Two States for Two Peoples”, those who knew him could only smile. It was as if he had recommended the eating of pork on Yom Kippur.

    He dangled this statement before the eyes of the naive Americans and let his Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, lead endless negotiations with the Palestinians, whom he despises. Whenever it seemed that the negotiations were nearing some goal, he quickly put up another condition, such us the ridiculous demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People. He would not dream, of course, of recognizing the Palestinian territories as the Nation State of the Palestinian People – a people he does not really believe exists at all.

    On the eve of the last election, just now, Netanyahu announced that there would not be a Palestinian state as long as he was in power. When the Americans remonstrated, he repudiated himself. Why not? As his Likud predecessor, Yitzhak Shamir, famously said, “It is permitted to lie for the Fatherland.”

    Netanyahu will lie, cheat, repudiate himself, raise false flags – all for the purpose of achieving his one and only real goal, the Rock of our Existence (as he loves to say), the heritage of his father – the Jewish State from the sea to the river. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/01/netanyahu-on-the-couch/

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      May 8, 2015, 7:16 pm

      P.S. RE: “. . So who is this Netanyahu? Contrary to popular opinion, he is a man of very strong beliefs – the beliefs of his far-right father. The entire world is out to kill us at all times, we need a powerful state to defend ourselves, all of the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan has been given us by God (whether he exists or not). Everything else is lies, subterfuges, tactics.” ~ Uri Avnery (from above)

      JOEL KOVEL (1-20-13):

      [EXCERPT] . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, [Thomas] Friedman assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states.
      The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

      SOURCE – http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/israel-nominaton-hagel.html

  8. GJB
    GJB
    May 8, 2015, 8:24 pm

    Honestly, even if Netanyahu and his coalition weren’t flaming racists, I wouldn’t expect the Joint List to either be considered to join the coalition, or to have any interest in joining it. A right wing government would never be expected to include a truly progressive party. Now, if Herzog had won more seats, and had he been in a theoretical position to form a so-called “center left” government, the failure of the press and of Herzog and his other potential partners to consider them would be a different story. Personally, I am hoping that somehow Netanyahu and Herzog form a “unity” government. The idea of the Joint List being the official opposition, with all the perks that are involved, is quite delicious! As it is, they are already making people take notice of the plight of the Palestinian citizens of Israel.

  9. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    May 8, 2015, 11:56 pm

    The Joint Arab List is a nonZionist or anti Zionist party.

    They are not natural allies to the right wing government of Netanyahu and to highlight this issue at this time is a bit tone deaf. (Or more precisely, what a great time to highlight this issue even if it is really irrelevant in this dynamic.)

    But it is a real issue and the key media moment portraying this racist attitude towards the Arab parties by the central parties was enunciated by Lapid in 2013 with his “we’re not joining the Zoabis”. Comparisons to apartheid or Jim Crow 1964 are modes of mobilizing energy against Israel, but not real attempts at analysis. As long as Arab citizens are considered a demographic threat, Israel has a real racism problem and there is no covering that up. Real problem, superficial analysis.

  10. OyVey00
    OyVey00
    May 9, 2015, 9:36 am

    That’s a rather unfair comparison tbh. The main reason why the Arab List is an impossible coalition partner for Likud is that they’re – obviously – antizionist and pro-Palestinian, not that they’re Arabs.

  11. NickJOCW
    NickJOCW
    May 9, 2015, 11:43 am

    The only way to encourage people to change their behaviour is to demonstrate the benefits of doing so or the disadvantages of not doing so. As far as Israelis are concerned they are advancing nicely without giving two figs what others think, after all they have vastly extended their population and territory, become significant exporters of the produce of one of the most fertile areas on earth, and built a lucrative market for their well tested armaments. Meanwhile they preserve a symbiotic relationship with the world’s superpower, maintain a place in the UN whose laws they despise, and participate in international forums, scientific conferences, sporting and entertainment contests while their high profile critics likely find themselves unemployed and ostracised, and lesser critics humiliated, incarcerated or eliminated. It’s up to the rest of the world to turn on the pressure but, apart from bantustans of worthy opposition, the rest of the world remains somnolent, stirred to open an eyelid only for a Muslim adulteress or 5 thieving murderers sentenced in accordance with ancient Islamic laws.

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