Of all of the contemporary world leaders, it is certainly arguable that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the most troubling. Not only does Netanyahu display the aggressive, reactionary disposition of many others on the far-right, but he also has nuclear warheads at his disposal, and the USA at his back almost unconditionally. And in around a hundred days, we have been presented with our best chance yet of removing him from power.
Even given the volatile situation of the Near East generally, Netanyahu has not held back whatsoever on his Liberal Zionist agenda, pursuing what could be best described as “Manifest Destiny with Israeli characteristics”. Netanyahu’s Israel has largely replaced the ‘Roadmap to Peace’ with the aggressively nationalistic “Blue Line” plan, including funding Israeli settlement in strategic areas to further limit and reduce the areas to be set aside for Palestinian self-determination.
Netanyahu has also repeatedly sought to coalition with a right-wing bloc including the “Jewish Power” party, which in turn descends from the Kahanist movement of the banned “Kach” party, which in turn is condemned by most Western countries (and even AIPAC) as a terrorist organisation, for its support for ethnic cleansing. This has resulted in the “Nation-State Bill”, a law that declared Israel to be a state first and foremost for Jews, by proxy declaring the Arab Israelis to be second class citizens.
Palestinians have been up in arms about Netanyahu and his Liberal Zionist policies
Is it any surprise, therefore, that the Palestinians have been up in arms about Netanyahu and his Liberal Zionist policies? Whilst obviously terror is hardly an optimal way to respond, is it really that surprising that certain Palestinian groups had been provoked to take more destructive action? And now, Bibi has promised to finally do what he’s been preparing for over the last few years, and formally annex many areas of the West Bank with settlements, including East Jerusalem.
Netanyahu is currently going through a corruption scandal, on counts of bribery and fraud, and is facing potential criminal charges. There have even been claims of body cameras at polling stations in areas with a large proportion of Palestinians in this election itself, as well as the disappearance of ballot boxes in many places in the election earlier this year.
The only way to assuredly stop Netanyahu is to make sure that Likud do not get the most seats in the Knesset – and as we have seen in April it would seem only the “Blue & White” coalition, led by Benny Gantz, is able to do such. Whilst hardly being the answer to Israeli politics their aim seems clear: to keep Netanyahu as far from the red button as possible.
Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons.