Israel’s leading governing party, Likud, is secular, but its leaders parrot biblical statements about the Jewish people’s supposed right to lands in Palestine as history, such as that Abraham bought land in Hebron. These religious nationalist claims underlie the government’s desire for annexation, though the U.S. press never talks about this zealotry.
Israeli media reported on Monday that Netanyahu and Gantz agreed on a plan to begin formally annexing parts of the West Bank, as early as this summer. “The coronavirus pandemic has been the biggest gift to Netanyahu,” Palestinian political analyst Dianna Buttu told Mondoweiss. “If there’s any time to go forward with annexation, it’s now, when everyone is focused on something else.”
Netanyahu was quick to declare victory Monday, but a fractious anti-Netanyahu coalition is quickly cohering – and Netanyahu has now gone full Kahane. “The Arabs are not a part of this equation. This is the people’s will.”
Benjamin Netanyahu called off his idea for a snap Likud Party primary after Gideon Sa’ar, a rival, tweeted two words: “I’m ready.” That moment reveals Netanyahu’s essential political character: he operates out of fear and paranoia.