Among the factors that drove the Joint List’s record 15 seats in this week’s election, and a 16-point increase in voter turnout from Palestinian citizens of Israel from the April 2019 election, was the proposal to transfer Palestinian citizens of Israel in the so-called ‘Deal of the Century.’
The big surprise of the Israeli elections was the lead that Likud got over centrist Blue White, 36 to 32. ALthough just short of a right-wing majority for Netanyahu’s bloc, the lead spells hope for Israeli rightists out from the deadlock of the past year.
The exclusion by Labor/Meretz of a Palestinian lawmaker in the next election list is a reminder of the racism in Israeli politics. The main reason Israeli politics are stalemated and the country is going to its third election in a year is Palestinians don’t really count in election totals; and the leading Jewish party is happy to cut a deal with other Jewish parties but refuses to deal seriously with the third largest party, the Joint List of Palestinian parties.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attacked publicly the possibility of a minority government of his rival Blue-White that would be dependent on the Joint List of Palestinians parties, crying that Blue White leadership “has lost its mind, stop this madness.” He reportedly told followers “Burn it all down,” if such a government is formed,
In the wake of the Israeli assassination in Gaza and the counter-attack by Islamic Jihad, a “convoy” of Netanyahu’s political allies in the Likud party have issued statements that Benny Gantz is not trustworthy because he will depend on the Joint List of Palestinian parties in order to become prime minister, says Moty Cristal, a former Israeli negotiator.
Benny Gantz’s best hope of becoming Israeli PM is to threaten to make a center-left minority government with outside help of Palestinians. The threat would cause Netanyahu’s defense line to crumble at last, and Likud members would join Gantz. So Palestinians are just a pawn in the game, never allowed near real power.
Some commentators are predicting Netanyahu is about to be betrayed by a “broad” coalition of Israeli centrists. But the race-baiting against Palestinian legislators continue unabated. And one likely replacement says Netanyahu has been soft on Gaza and Israel must speed up “targeted killings” of Palestinian leaders.
Watching the election results on Israeli TV this week was to see Zionism in all its racist glory. The Palestinian parties were big winners Tuesday, finishing third with 13 seats, and the experts all declare, No governing coalition can include Arabs!
The Blue White party gave Israelis who used to vote left the option of voting Likud-light with the pretense of being centrist. Blue White is essentially a rightwing party. And there was only one winner in this election, and it’s the one that has always won: Zionism.