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writing for godot

The Insanity of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Right

Written by David Starr   
Thursday, 17 June 2021 02:38

Israel has increasingly been afflicted by the influence of the Israeli right-wing.

The general tone reflects the objective of establishing the Kingdom of Israel, a desire based on Judaic myths; that it is destined by their god that the Israelites would have a homeland, at any cost. While the yearning for sovereignty is justifiable, the Israeli right-wing has gone beyond that.

The "Chosen People" of the right have had Benjamin Netanyahu as the prime minister of Israel for 12 years. But in Israel's last election, Netanyahu lost to Naftali Bennett, another right-wing ultranationalist who is a member of the Yamina Party. Like Donald Trump with the U.S. presidential election in 2020, Netanyahu didn't accept the results. Netanyahu claimed that it was "the greatest fraud in the history of [Israel]."

Netanyahu's defiance is a lightning rod for violent acts committed by other right-wingers. Members of Likud, Netanyahu's own party, have already taken matters into their own hands. Roger Cohen wrote in the New York Times (6/08/2021) that "attacks by Likud against Yamina have been so vicious that some Yamina politicians have needed security details. Idit Salman, Yamina representative in the Knesset [parliament] said in an interview that a demonstrator told her he was pained by what her family is going through, 'but don't worry, at the first chance we get, we'll slaughter you.'" This underlies the insanity present in Israeli politics. Both Likud and Yamina have a similar goal, yet one wants to tear the other apart. Of course, with Netanyahu and the right, the insanity is shared all around given the right's totalitarian behavior.

Netayahu established a right-wing coalition which includes the Religious Zionist Party,  which has a Kahanist movement within it that has committed violence against Arabs. The Kahanist movement was founded by Meir Kahane, a racist, ultranationalist fanatic who had a rabid taste for violence against Arabs, Palestinians, and Jews who disagreed with him. Kahane was born in Brooklyn, NY. He was assassinated by an Egyptian-American in 1990. Also included is the Jewish Power Party, which strongly backs Jewish settlements and also supports annexation. The coalition is far from an alternative, but symbolizes what the right has wanted all along: getting rid of the Palestinians, many wanting to impose strict religious doctrine, and brandishing a superiority complex. In the Nation magazine (3/23/2021), James Zogby equated Netanyahu and his coalition of fascist parties with Trump brokering "a formal agreement with the Ku Klux Klan or neo-nazis in exchange for their electoral support."

Netanyahu is also intolerant with Israelis who want a fair peace agreement with the Palestinians. Writing in Newlines magazine (3/24/2021), Rula Jebreal put forth how Netanyahu behaved in the 1990s when he was an opposition leader, "launching a vicious campaign of incitement against then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, accusing him of treason for having signed the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Liberation Organization." And "for seeking a peaceful solution with the Palestinians, Rabin was branded a traitor to Jews and to Israel." Netanyahu's appeals to fear and hate fired up religious fanatics. One example is Yigal Amir, "a Jewish extremist who had embraced Netanyahu's narrative that Rabin was a traitor." In 1995, Amir assassinated Rabin at a peace rally. Nowadays, Amir is considered a hero by ultranationalists and religious fanatics. Another "hero" is Baruch Goldstein, a member of Kahane's Kach Party. In 1994, Goldstein murdered 24 Palestinians who were praying in Hebron.

Ironically, Netanyahu has developed friendships with world leaders who are not only ultranationalists, but are also anti-semitic. Victor Orban, prime minister of Hungary, is one example. But the reasons for it don't matter as Likud member of the Knesset Anat Berko concluded, "They may be anti-semites, but they're on our side." Similar to the Republicans in the U.S., this is how low Netanyahu and the right in Israel have gone. Principles, tolerance, respect, justice, equality and democratization have been thrown under the bus by the right.

The tragedy of the right-wing's influence is that it's poisoning the minds of Jewish Israelis. And in the future, Israel may suffer from the consequences. your social media marketing partner
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