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Netanyahu, forever! Gantz abandons his opposition

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There’s stunning news from Israel this morning. The country’s year-long political stalemate appears to be over. The leader for the last year of political opposition to Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, has folded and joined forces with Netanyahu to make a government with Netanyahu continuing as prime minister.

Gantz is breaking up his “Blue White” alliance of three center-right factions and bringing 15 seats over to Netanyahu’s bloc of 58 or 59 seats to make a strong majority, according to reports.

“Benjamin Netanyahu will be Prime Minister… Benny Gantz will be Foreign Minister,” says Ellie Hochenberg of i24 News. She says Netanyahu stayed loyal to his rightwing base and political allies, while Gantz did not.

Netanyahu is already Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, at four terms and 14 years, including 11 straight since 2009. He has been saved by his former army chief of staff — General Gantz pummeled Gaza in 2014, killing more than 500 children.

Netanyahu appears to have been saved by two factors: Coronavirus crisis boosting his numbers in Israel, and making Israelis reluctant to replace him, despite the fact that he is under indictment for corruption charges and due to go on trial. And outright racism.

It appeared that Gantz was going to remove Netanyahu just a week or so back. But then racism blocked any hope of doing so. Gantz’s Blue and White (33 seats) had been dedicated, along with Avigdor Liberman’s rightwing party (7 seats) and the remains of the Israeli left (7 seats) and the Palestinian Joint List (15 seats) to make a majority to knock out Netanyahu. The Palestinians would not be part of the resulting government, but then, that’s how a Jewish state works.

Then the defections began: three rightwing Jewish legislators refused to even work with the Palestinian legislators on a provisional basis. Gantz went from 62 to 59. Once again he and Netanyahu were virtually deadlocked, and there was talk of a fourth election, following three in the last year (April 2019 to March 2).

The new government is not official: what is official is that Benny Gantz is about to become Knesset Speaker, replacing Netanyahu ally Yuli Edelstein and reopening the Knesset, which had been shuttered. “The move is supposed to be temporary until a unity government is formed,” writes Lahav Harkov of the Jerusalem Post.

Gantz’s move betrays a lot of his allies. Palestinians legislators will vote against Gantz, Palestinian political leader Ahmad Tibi says.

Another Palestinian leader, Ayman Odeh, writes acidly (Hebrew google-translated), “They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” A play on the Abba Eban line that Arabs never miss such opportuniteis.

The Jewish left has been utterly discredited by these events. It played a part in elevating Gantz and praising him. One of their own number refused to vote for Gantz if the Palestinians were in the bloc.

Tibi writes at CNN that the Joint List is the true opposition to Israel’s rightwing government.

But Harkov says there will be a political battle between the Joint List and the remains of Gantz’s Blue White alliance — the 18 or so seats of Moshe Ya’alon’s and Yair Lapid’s parties — for the role of opposition. Raviv Drucker says that Moshe Ya’alon’s rightwing party will head the opposition.

Some observers say Gantz will be played by the political magician, Netanyahu.

“Benny Gantz with 15 seats is completely in Netanyahu’s hands. It would not be surprising if Netanyahu’s promises started to fade now that he was on his main mission – he managed to disassemble the Blue and White,” opines Raviv Drucker. Chemi Shalev of Haaretz is of the same opinion (per google translator): “If I’m Bibi, a minute after Gantz is sworn in [as speaker], I blow the agreement on unity. He crushes the opposition without paying a penny.”

Shalev likens Gantz to a short-lived German vice-chancellor, Franz von Papen, who enabled Hitler’s rise to chancellor in 1933. Who said Nazi metaphors are illegitimate about Israel? More Shalev (per google translator): “Inconceivable… As if Corona was not enough, Gantz came and shit on the heads of half the civilians. Is it to raise morale?”

Shalev also says that “the only safe votes against Netanyahu were Lieberman – and the Joint List.” Another sign that the Jewish left is reduced to feathers in the age of Netanyahu. While the Joint List is the only address for the left in Israel. And it is rising to a role of leadership in crisis.

Arabs and Jews fight coronavirus together but Jews don’t want Palestinians in the politics, Odeh writes. “I guarantee that whether you are Arabs or Jews, whether you voted for us or not, whether they took you out of the USSR, cut you percentages or get fired – you have an address in the Knesset. We are here for you.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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34 Responses

  1. andrew r on March 26, 2020, 9:42 pm

    Shalev likens Gantz to a short-lived German vice-chancellor, Franz von Papen, who enabled Hitler’s rise to chancellor in 1933.

    As much as we all love breaking the taboo of Nazi Germany comparisons, this is disingenuous because Papen served as Chancellor before Hitler without running for office, period, and didn’t even attempt to beat him in an election. Hitler and the three Chancellors before him were hand-picked by the President (Hindenburg) using emergency powers. Whatever democracy there was in the Weimar Republic had already been dismantled by the time H got into office.

    Gantz had a chance to show Israel could be a democracy for at least its non-Jewish citizens but chose to reveal the true colors of the Zionist state. He validated Netanyahu’s rhetoric that the votes for Joint-List don’t count.

    • echinococcus on March 26, 2020, 11:13 pm

      “Gantz had a chance to show Israel could be a democracy for at least its non-Jewish citizens”

      Wrong by definition; he had no such “chance”: he is a Zionist.

      Also wrong by definition; a Zionist entity cannot be a democracy except, if ever, for the Master Race.

      • andrew r on March 26, 2020, 11:50 pm

        That kind of was my point. However, Israel did technically give its non-Jewish citizens the right to vote. It’s the process of showing how that was empty window-dressing I’m interested in.

      • echinococcus on March 27, 2020, 7:10 pm

        Exactly, Andrew,and thank you for opening that discussion. The Joint List tactics this time were masterful. And exposed not only the Zionists, but all their Western accomplices who, like the kin of our “secular-democratic Israel” propagandists here, try to continue helping them under the pretext of following colonialist “legality”.

    • Eva Smagacz on March 27, 2020, 5:21 am

      Andrew r, How on earth did you manage to sneak this comment past the moderators? What is your secret?

      • Mooser on March 28, 2020, 2:42 pm

        “What is your secret?”

        It’s no secret. Everybody knows the first rule of the Moderation Club. You break it at your peril.

    • eljay on March 27, 2020, 7:58 am

      || andrew r: … Gantz had a chance to show Israel could be a democracy for at least its non-Jewish citizens but chose to reveal the true colors of the Zionist state. … ||

      Gantz is a Zionist. While he might have put on a better show than King Bibi, the “true colors” of Israel wouldn’t have changed: Israel would have remained a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews.

      • andrew r on March 27, 2020, 2:38 pm

        I understand that but Gantz’s heel turn here made it clear Palestinian-Israelis have no rights within the system, since there’s no end of gymnastics to ensure their votes won’t amount to anything.

  2. wondering jew on March 26, 2020, 10:43 pm

    Gantz had an opportunity to force Likud to replace Bibi as its leader. (By convening the Knesset for the sole purpose of passing a law outlawing the Prime Ministry from a person under indictment.) But to establish a government (which would have to have a foreign policy or a policy regarding the West Bank and Gaza) would be a tricky business when the foreign policy of the right wing of Blue White is barely distinguishable from Likud and such a government would require support from advocates of the “Right of Return”. It is disappointing that Gantz did not choose to depose Bibi. It is not a surprise that a government cannot believe in two contradictory ideas regarding the West Bank at one and the same time.

    • echinococcus on March 27, 2020, 7:12 pm

      Who gives a shit about Zionist disappointment and the details of your intestinal processes? Any Zionist is indistinguishable from another Zionist when it comes to theft and invasion; get the hell out, period.

  3. Kay24 on March 27, 2020, 5:01 am

    So Gantz will be eating his own words and going to have a cozy relationship with Bibi, despite stating vehemently he will not have anything to do with a corrupt leader. Bibi wins again. Israelis seems to love their corrupt PM. They keep voting for him again and again. They had numerous chances to vote against him, but they only made it harder for his opponents.

    He has got away with all his manipulations, lies, and soon, corruption.

    • echinococcus on March 29, 2020, 4:11 pm

      “It is my belief that no state should be a supremacist state of any kind, and that every state should be the secular and democratic state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.”

      So we have it on the record, yet again for the umpteenth time, that you support the continued occupation of Palestine by its invaders, no matter the express wishes of its owners the Palestinians. That you totally ignore the basic rights of the Palestinian people and hold its invaders and colonizers to have “equal” rights to it.

      Obviously you have not obtained approval from the collective Palestinian people; neither can you or have you dared say that you assumed that authorization as granted.

      “I’ve never said or even suggested that I “plan to implement secularism”.”

      Inept. You strongly support ramming down the throat of the Palestinian people a “solution” that continues and validates Zionist invasion and genocide, by giving the colonial invaders equal rights with the owners of the whole territory, without a valid consultation of the Palestinian people. Suggesting and defending such a colonialist support in the name of your own imagined standards of “democracy” (whatever that is) and “secularism” day in, day out, or rather at least once daily as you do it here, is material support to, as malicious propaganda on behalf of, those who act directly to impose “solutions” without regard to the express wish of the Palestinian people. Your diktat is different in the details only but not different in principle from any Zionist-American imposed “solutions”.

      “Let me try: If the majority does want secularism, then secular and democratic are not contradictory.
      Wow, that was easy.”

      Sooo easy. If it was that easy to bring proof of a general plebiscite of all Palestinian people and their heirs, counting as of the time of the Zionist declaration of intent of colonial invasion, no doubt that proof would have been produced.

      So it’s on the record: you are just a colonialist tool supporting making permanent a right of conquest and a right of shared sovereignty over Palestine of the Zionist colonial invaders. You never answered these charges because you cannot: it’s fact.

      And you continue your daily propaganda — in the form of “debates” with Zionists as to the amount of “secularization” or “democratization”, but not the principle, of Zionist invader rule over Palestine.

  4. Mayhem on March 27, 2020, 9:28 pm

    It is not racism to be preventing Arabs, whose underlying agenda is to undermine Israel as a Jewish state, to be given the power to potentially destroy the country. It is racism though to not accept Zionism as the legitimate liberation movement of the Jewish people.

    • eljay on March 27, 2020, 10:17 pm

      || Mayhem: … It is not racism to be preventing Arabs, whose underlying agenda is to undermine Israel as a Jewish state … ||

      “Jewish State” is a religion-supremacist construct. No state has a right to exist as a supremacist state of any kind.

      It is unjust and immoral of Israel to exist and function…
      – not as the Israeli state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally; but, rather,
      – as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews.

      || … It is racism though to not accept Zionism as the legitimate liberation movement of the Jewish people. ||

      Zionism is the supremacist belief that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to embrace it the “right”:
      – to be supremacists;
      – to have as large as possible a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”; and
      – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality (a.k.a. “necessary evil”) they would not have others do unto them.

      There’s nothing “legitimate” – or just or moral – about Zionism, and there’s nothing unjust or immoral about opposing and rejecting it.

      • Mayhem on March 28, 2020, 1:21 am

        @eljay, you harp on incessantly about Israel being a so-called religion-supremacist state but you never muster even a whimper of concern about the abundance of other religion-supremacist states around the world. Your sole focus on Israel means that you are one of those hypocrites who is constantly finding excuses to not be rubber-stamped as an anti-semite.

      • eljay on March 28, 2020, 9:38 am

        || Mayhem: @eljay, you harp on incessantly about Israel being a so-called religion-supremacist state … ||

        That’s because it actually is a religion-supremacist state. A man who actively rapes women isn’t a “so-called rapist”.

        || … but you never muster even a whimper of concern about the abundance of other religion-supremacist states around the world. … ||

        Zionism 101: Murderers exist, so it’s OK to rape. Imagine that.

        But let’s try a simple test: Name a few religion-supremacist states and I’ll give you my opinion on them.

        || … Your sole focus on Israel ….

        The state under discussion here on MW, yes.

        || … means that you are one of those hypocrites who is constantly finding excuses to not be rubber-stamped as an anti-semite. ||

        No, it means you’re an idiot and a Zionist hypocrite.

        But let’s try a simple test to see which one of us is the hypocrite.

        I believe that Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel:
        – should not be “Islamic States” or “Jewish States” or supremacist states of any kind; but, rather,
        – should be the secular and democratic states of and for their respective citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

        Do you agree? Yes or no.

      • echinococcus on March 28, 2020, 6:00 pm

        Well, that insane NaZionist of a “Mayhem” can see the defect in Eljay’s strange system.
        Of course Zionism is not “religion-supremacist”. Zionism and the either Zionist or Jewish-religious definition of “Jew” are totally independent of religion; they are entirely tribal and racist.

        Ignoring the original reality of mass conversion of entire populations and even countries, be they Ibero-Berber, Turko-Slavic, Germanic, Arabic etc., the official pretense has always been racial, as in by birth only, their only accepted definition of “Jewish” insists on being hereditary per via vaginalis — with the rare exception of adoption into the tribe, no possibility of signing off peacefully. Period.

        So Zionism is a racial-supremacist political movement and a thoroughly racist type of fascism, with no necessary relationship to religion or to religious supremacism (independently from the fact of the actual Zionist entity being officially a theocracy, too.)

        So yes, Mayhem, you may now continue to be proud of your racist invader dictatorship. No wussy religion here.

      • RoHa on March 28, 2020, 11:23 pm

        Mayhem, let us suppose, for one glorious, fun-filled moment, that Eljay actually is an anti-Semitic hypocrite.

        So what?

        Israel is a Jewish (racial? religious?) -supremacist state.

        That fact has nothing to do with Eljay’s status.

        If Eljay changes his mind, and becomes a staunch philo-Semite and supporter of Israel, it won’t change Israel. (Sorry, Eljay. You just aren’t that important.)

        Israel will still be a Jewish-supremacist state.

      • eljay on March 29, 2020, 9:10 am

        || RoHa: … (Sorry, Eljay. You just aren’t that important.) … ||

        No worries. Per catalan I’m also not that smart so I don’t feel too bad about being insignificant. (Or maybe I do but I’m not smart enough to know it.)

        Anyway, I’m waiting for Mayhem to swagger back in and put me in my place. I simply cannot imagine that he, a Zionist, would hurl accusations (ref. March 28, 2020, 1:21 am) and then just run away.

        Have at it, Mayhem!

        Simple test #1: Name a few religion-supremacist states and I’ll give you my opinion on them.

        Simple test #2: I believe that Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel:
        – should not be “Islamic States” or “Jewish States” or supremacist states of any kind; but, rather,
        – should be the secular and democratic states of and for their respective citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

        Do you agree? Yes or no.

      • catalan on March 29, 2020, 9:43 am

        “Per catalan I’m also not that smart so I don’t feel too bad about being insignificant.” Eljay
        I don’t know if you are smart because you always repeat the same two paragraphs; your analysis of Jewish identity is not needed as a) there are plenty of Jews including me that know what it is like and b) the subject is discussed at length in many articles including popular ones on Wikipedia. Also, it seems you are confusing identity (which is from the self) and ethnicity (which is how others perceive you).
        But no, I don’t think that your opinion of what the world “should” be is extremely smart. Just another guy that thinks that if he was king of the world everything would be wonderful. I am not at all sure that a “secular” and “democratic” world is the answer to all problems or even a desirable outcome. To point the obvious, if the majority does not want secularism, then secular and democratic are contradictory (since typically democracy is majority rule).

      • eljay on March 29, 2020, 10:27 am

        || catalan: … I don’t know if you are smart … ||

        But you strongly suspect that I’m not smart. And that’s okay.

        || … because you always repeat the same two paragraphs … ||

        That’s because the truth is simple to tell. Fabrications require a lot more work and creativity – witness the overly-verbose and ever-morphing paragraphs of Zionists.

        || … I am not at all sure that a “secular” and “democratic” world is the answer to all problems or even a desirable outcome. … ||

        But you are sure that the answer involves Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism. Huh.

        || … To point the obvious, if the majority does not want secularism, then secular and democratic are contradictory … ||

        That looks like fun! Let me try: If the majority does want secularism, then secular and democratic are not contradictory.

        Wow, that was easy.

      • catalan on March 29, 2020, 10:49 am

        “If the majority does want secularism, then secular and democratic are not contradictory.”
        Correct. But majorities in most of the Muslim world, India, and many other countries do NOT want full secularism. How do you plan to implement secularism in the places where people simply do not want it. More on point – neither Hamas nor the Palestinian authority envisions a secular state (based on the Hamas Charter and the Palestinian constitution). It is pretty clear that a majority of the Palestinians wants a strong role of religion in whatever state they end up living. You advocate imposing secularism on unwilling populations: not democracy. Another problem: the majority of the population may not actually want “democracy” as understood in the west (Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, North Korea). How do you impose democracy when people do not want democracy? Basically the system you have built in your head is irrelevant in actual reality where 9 billion people live.

      • eljay on March 29, 2020, 11:16 am

        || catalan: “If the majority does want secularism, then secular and democratic are not contradictory.”
        Correct. But majorities in most of the Muslim world, India, and many other countries do NOT want full secularism. How do you plan to implement secularism in the places where people simply do not want it. … ||

        It is my belief that no state should be a supremacist state of any kind, and that every state should be the secular and democratic state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

        I’ve never said or even suggested that I “plan to implement secularism”.

        But you already know this, so I’m beginning to suspect that Mayhem has sent you in to deflect and divert.

        || … More on point – neither Hamas nor the Palestinian authority envisions a secular state … ||

        It’s truly a shame that Palestinian leadership seems willing to follow Israel down the path of supremacism. I sincerely hope:
        – that the people of a future Palestinian state wisely choose not to emulate Israel; and
        – that Israel changes its supremacist (and colonialist and (war) criminal) ways.

        || … You advocate imposing secularism … ||

        Nope. That is a (deliberate?) lie on your part.

        || … How do you impose democracy when people do not want democracy? … ||

        Beats me. But I’d rather have secular and democratic than supremacist.

    • RoHa on March 28, 2020, 12:52 am

      “Zionism as the legitimate liberation movement of the Jewish people.”

      1. What makes Zionism “legitimate”?

      2. What do “the Jewish people” need to be liberated from?

      3. Liberation movements typically free the natives of an area from foreign rule. Zionism is a movement to impose foreign rule over an area, and drive out the natives.

    • oldgeezer on March 28, 2020, 11:25 am

      @Mayhem

      Do tell. I’m all ears.

      How will a minority party holding some positions as a minority in a coalition government have the power to potentially destroy the country?

      Your suggestion is absurd and is based solely on rank racism. Of course as you’re a zionist there is no surprise in that.

      • Mayhem on March 28, 2020, 6:22 pm

        Even some of Gantz’s supporters balked at teaming up with Arab politicians, saying that a state established to protect the Jewish people, and still in conflict with the Palestinians, cannot entrust weighty policy decisions to people whose sympathies may be with the other side.

      • oldgeezer on March 28, 2020, 11:28 pm

        @Mayhem

        Well just like you those supporters are diehard racists to the core.

        A minority in government won’t have the power to make decisions.

        give it up. your excuses for being a nasty racist don’t hold any water.

    • andrew r on March 28, 2020, 10:51 pm

      It is not racism to be preventing Arabs, whose underlying agenda is to undermine Israel as a Jewish state, to be given the power to potentially destroy the country.

      Then don’t call Israel a democracy if you support preventing non-Jews who clearly got enough votes to bring down the current govt. from exercising their mandate.

      p.s. If any member of Joint-List was a danger to Israel, the Knesset Basic Law could prevent them from running for office. Why was it not enforced against them?

  5. Mooser on March 28, 2020, 2:53 pm

    “How will a minority party holding some positions as a minority in a coalition government have the power to potentially destroy the country?”

    Oh, Yossi Gurvitz , in this article gave a very probable explanation, detailing how the Palestinians could ‘destroy the country’ :

    “Because equality also means sexual equality. And this is the greatest taboo of rabbinical Judaism: Marrying the foreigner. Rabbinical Judaism has a pretty sound fear of merging with other populations. History teaches it that it has precious little to offer; wherever and whenever Jews were given a choice, they left rabbinical Judaism behind. Most Jews over the centuries left Judaism, mostly on their own volition. In order to prevent such merging, you need fences; the gentiles were good enough to create such fences over the years – and once they were removed, most Jews escaped.”

    And once the Jews escape, where’s your “Jewish State”?

    • oldgeezer on March 28, 2020, 3:29 pm

      @Mooser

      I’d say the odds are pretty good that the purity war was lost over the last couple of thousand years. In fact I’d bet on it given human nature!

      • catalan on March 28, 2020, 3:39 pm

        “In fact I’d bet on it given human nature!” Old geezer
        Are Palestinians OK with marrying Jews?

      • Mooser on March 28, 2020, 7:56 pm

        “Are Palestinians OK with marrying Jews?”

        I don’t think Palestinians have a Rabinnate telling them who they can and can’t marry, and what their ‘personal status’ will be as a result of it.

        And a Jew who wants to get married can be very persuasive. Look at the US.

      • Mooser on March 28, 2020, 8:06 pm

        “I’d say the odds are pretty good that the purity war was lost over the last couple of thousand years.”

        “The purity war was lost”? No way. And we have the battle-honors to prove it.

  6. oldgeezer on March 28, 2020, 3:17 pm

    Just a reminder.

    Israel is not a democracy by any definition of the word.

    Israel is an ethno-centric tyranny that engages in tokenism in order to provide a very thin facade of being a democracy. Perhaps even to themselves.

    At the end of the day it is a deeply racist state and another stain in the history of mankind.

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