Annexation was advanced in the U.S. “peace plan” by Ambassador David Friedman, says Palestinian member of Knesset Ahmad Tibi: “The most dangerous figure pushing for this annexation is the American ambassador… Friedman.. He is the most dangerous, and he is to the right of Netanyahu, he is much more Yemina and Settler Council than Likud even. He is playing a very, very dangerous role.”
Israel’s year-long political stalemate appears to be over. Netanyahu was saved by coronavirus and racism. The virus made him popular. Racism stymied Benny Gantz’s efforts to form a government with Palestinian support.
The Israeli hospital system would collapse without Palestinians, who make up a sizeable percentage of doctors, nurses and pharmacies, but the Jewish politicians who are trying to form the country’s next government exclude the 15 Palestinian legislators from any real role in that future. And they call that a democracy?
Netanyahu has adopted a fatherly tone in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, trying to present himself as the indispensable Prime Minister, even as he runs a racist campaign against rival Benny Gantz’s effort to build a coalition to put him out of office.
Blatant racism by three Israeli pols, including one allied with the leftwing party Meretz, has stymied the effort to knock Netanyahu out of the premiereship. Sadly, American liberal Zionists are too busy pushing a “progressive” slate to the World Zionist Congress to denounce the racism among their allies. magine if a Democratic Party politician refused to work with black leaders?
Israel’s third election inside a year shows the rightwing continuing to gain ground. This is what Jewish nationalists want. A society governed by an authoritarian leader, no matter how corrupt. Just so long as there are no Arabs anywhere near power. The only hope politically is the burgeoning Joint List of Palestinian parties, which reject apartheid and discrimination.
The governing coalitions that are likely to come out of the Israeli election are all absent the third largest party, the Palestinian Joint List, because it’s not Jewish and Zionist. “We will not invite a party that does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” Blue and White leader Gabi Ashkenazi says. So what does that say about Israel’s claim to be a democracy?
The unprecedented criticism of an Israeli prime minister by AIPAC and the splitting of the Palestinian parties into two lists may represent Israeli centrist Benny Gantz’s only road to knocking off Benjamin Netanyahu in April elections. Netanyahu is already calling Gantz an “Arab-lover” while Gantz has criticized Netanyahu for endangering Israel’s crown jewels, its ties to the U.S. government.