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No Policy Changes following Israeli Elections

Israel enters a prolonged and complex process of coalition-building following the failure of Likud’s Bibi Netanyahu or Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party’s to gain, yet again, an outright majority in the latest election.

The incumbent Netanyahu, in a devious and frantic attempt to rally his supporters, resorted to fear mongering warning on Facebook “The Arabs want to annihilate us all – women, children and men” and “The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves.”

An election loss could leave Netanyahu at risk of prosecution without the shield of parliamentary immunity following the attorney general’s announcement to charge him with fraud and bribery.

Netanyahu even used the tried and tested method to boost his re-election by bombing three countries. This unprecedented attacks on Syria, Lebanon and Iraq on alleged Iranian military bases was meant to boost his macho image.

He further promised his voters to annex the Jordan Valley and immediately apply Israeli sovereignty over it. This should come as no surprise, given the fact that Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem since 1967 with impunity, and without consequences.

Netanyahu helped pass the Nation-State bill thereby enshrining into law the exclusively Jewish nature of the state of Israel. He brazenly stated that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the nation-state law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people — and not anyone else.”

Not to be outdone, Netanyahu’s rival, Benny Gantz, the former Israeli army chief, bragged about how much killing and destruction he committed in Gaza in a series of campaign videos posted on YouTube and social media.

One of the videos showed drone footage of a devastated neighbourhood in Gaza in August 2014, following Israel’s 51-day assault on the territory. The video’s title includes the words “Parts of Gaza were returned to the stone ages.”

Other politicians’ campaign rhetoric emulated the extreme right-wing racists exclaiming that a right-wing government was needed to neutralise the Arabs from their desire to “annihilate” the Jews of Israel. Kahanists, led by the rabid racist Otzma Yehudit, politicians Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennet have a long record of denigrating and dehumanising Palestinians.

Before the Gaza invasion in 2014 Shaked called the Palestinians “little snakes” and advocated murdering their mothers on Facebook. Bennet boasted that he has “killed many Arabs in [his] lifetime, and there’s no problem with that”.

There has been a marked shift in Israeli politics further to the right where increased Settlements, forced evictions, home demolitions, home takeovers by settlers, administrative detention, torture, killing civilians and collective punishment is no longer regarded “tough enough”.

Israel’s collaboration with other right-wing racists, fascists and despots such as American president Donald Trump, India’s Narendra Modi, Egypt’s Abdul Fattah al Sisi and the Gulf Sheikhdoms Saudi prince Mohamed bin Salman and Emirates Mohamed bin Zayed, spawned a chaotic world order sowing destruction, murder and mayhem.

Netanyahu was triumphant when White supremacist Trump moved the American embassy to Occupied Jerusalem and recognised Tel Aviv’s sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights, which were captured by Israel in 1967 and annexed in 1981. Both actions are considered in direct contravention of international law.

In Modi’s embrace of Netanyahu we see the marriage of two evil ideologies, Hindutva and Zionism. Modi is the leader of  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) an offshoot of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ( RSS), a right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary organisation that is widely regarded as the parent organisation of the ruling party of India. Ironically, the RSS were great admirers of Hitler.

Zionism is a Jewish supremacist ideology and the Zionist movement underpins the colonial, rogue, apartheid state. It is this rogue nation that India is embracing. It is in Israel that the BJP/RSS has found a natural ally and a role model who put their grand vision to fruition, declaring India a nation of Hindus and posing a challenge to its multi-faith constitutional commitment. About a fifth of India’s 1.27 billion people identify themselves as belonging to faiths other than Hinduism.

Under the de facto rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh and Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi, the Saudi, Emirati and Israeli security, military and intelligence coordination aided General Abdel Fattah el Sisi to launch a military takeover in 2013 to oust Egypt’s first and only democratically elected leader, President Mohamed Morsi.

The triad has also destabilised, displaced, blockaded, maimed and massacred millions in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Qatar, Turkey and Sudan. It’s no secret that Israel, since its creation seven decades ago, has consistently cooperated with and armed despotic regimes around the world. From supplying arms to right-wing, repressive regimes in Latin America, engineering coups to cooperating with South Africa’s apartheid regime, Israel has a long history of such nefarious activities.

Iran is now the target of a relentless diplomatic onslaught by the Israeli-Saudi-Emirati triad, backed and encouraged by the US. But the failure of the triad to lure America into attacking Iran must be distressing. The corrupt, despotic and racist regional regimes fearfully watch as their castles slowly seep into the desert sands, as the regional resistance movements Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad grow stronger.

Netanyahu, tasked with the responsibility to guard the crowns of the illegitimate Gulf Sheikhdoms, must have been shocked at the drone attack that set ablaze on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities. If the Houthis from impoverished Yemen are indeed responsible, the future of Israel and ruling Arab elite is bleak indeed.

Palestinians are aware that all the Zionist parties oppose the legitimate rights of the Palestinian rights, reject the two-state solution and the right of return, and oppose Palestinian self-determination. An end to the Netanyahu era will not bring about a significant change in Zionist policy which is based upon colonialism, expansionism and racism.

Dr Firoz Osman is an executive member of Media Review Network, and advocacy group based in Gauteng. He is the co-author of Why Israel? The Anatomy of Zionist Apartheid-A South African Perspective.

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