Israel’s New Government: the Power of One
Israeli politics is damn screwy. During the campaign everyone believed Labor was going to win. Then Bibi shreyed gevalt and rallied the troops and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. He won a convincing victory and everyone tried to parse the many ways he could put together a ruling coalition. The possibilities seemed endless. Until they weren’t.
We should’ve realized when Bibi asked for an extension from the president that negotiations weren’t going swimmingly. But yesterday, at the last hour, Lieberman pulled the rug out from under Bibi. Instead of having a comfortable, relatively stable government with 67 votes, he was left with 53 and no easy way to get past 60. That put Naftali Bennett in the driver’s seat. He demanded the Justice ministry for Ayelet Shaked and got it. This is a woman who’s called for genocide against Palestinians and openly derided the Supreme Court. It’s like putting James Watt, an anti-environmentalist, in charge of the nation’s national parks. Only worse.
Netanyahu will be prime minister and foreign minister in the new government. The Guardian claims he’s holding onto that card to offer it to Isaac Herzog when the time is right. Were Herzog to accept it he should have his head examined. For this faux-left party to join the ruling coalition would likely mean the dissolution of the Zionist Union as currently constituted. This of course would suit Bibi just fine. He delights in co-opting and neutering his rivals.
But until that happens, Bibi rides on the razor’s edge with a single seat majority. This means that anyone among these four or five disparate parties can on a whim or on principle break up the government and force new elections. Should that happen, Bibi can also try to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic and bring a new party into the coalition like the Zionist Union or Yisrael Beitenu. Then Bennet will no longer be sitting in the cat bird seat. It will be his turn to be on the outs. But barring that happening it should be a wild ride.
We should spare a word about the implications of this new government for relations with Washington. It’s gonna be a long, dark, bleak winter as far as that’s concerned. Almost no one in this cabinet believes in a two-state solution. To a man or woman they’re not just tacitly opposed, they’re publicly opposed. And the U.S. is not pleased:
According to the State Department official who spoke to BuzzFeed News, U.S. officials have since been sending warnings to Netanyahu that should he choose to form a narrow, right-wing government that did not support a peace process with Palestinians, they would have “deep concerns.”
“The prime minister needs to show that he is still committed to a two-state solution,” the official said. “There were, and are, deep concerns that this is no longer the case.”
It puts Pres. Obama in an awkward situation. He’s promised to review U.S. policy and threatened to adopt a more muscular, independent approach in the UN and elsewhere. If this was spoken out of more than a fit of pique, then this new government will offer a test of his will. People said the last government was the most extreme in Israel’s history. That’s now no longer true. This current one is easily the worst. If there was any time for Obama to stand up against Israel for its extremism, it’s now.
24 thoughts on “Israel’s New Government: the Power of One – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
Quoting electronic intifada is like quoting Debkafile or Barry Chamish. Disingenious at best – ridiculous and silly at worst…
Try quoting former Justice Minister Dan Friedman (not exactly a raving right-winger) who supported her appointment.
Quoting EI? Now who’s being ridiculous. The EI article contains a long quote from the horse’s mouth, which can be found at any number of news sites. If you have a problem with the accuracy of the Shaked quote, let’s hear it.
Splitting hairs etc – she didn’t call for the mass murder of innocent civilians. She copied and pasted an article by the late Uri Elitzur.
In addition to which, the arguments set forth in this article are logically sound. War is a violent and disguting thing which should be prevented at all costs.
That being said, the good ol’ US of A and their allies flattened whole cities during WW2 as did the other side. She isn’t calling for that but she is pointing out the hypocrasy of those claiming the moral high ground against Israel time after time.
But don’t let historical facts get in the way of your prejudice and hate for the Jewish state.
I see. She quoted someone else called for the killing of women and the elderly, which is ‘logically sound’, although perhaps morally reprehensible and legally questionable. So if the Hamas fires white phosphorous shells at Israel, well, WWII. (And what happened to your allegation of bias by linking to AI, when, as you know, the same quote was published verbatim in numerous mainstream publications in the US/UK and Israel?)
Using his words, expressing her own views … a call for killing of civilians in Gaza!
○ Israeli Politician Declares ‘War’ on ‘the Palestinian People’
○ Op-ed Shaked: Gaza can no longer morally claim a special status for their own civilians
” She copied and pasted an article by the late Uri Elitzur. ”
The Uri Elitzur article was written 12 years ago and unpublished.
This is a borderline statement which violates the comment rules. I do not allow anyone to make such claims without supporting evidence. I see none that Marc “hates” Israel. Making such claims puts you in a category of stepping right up to edge. Follow the rules, carefully.
In fact, with all my quarrels with Ali Abunimah, he’s created one of the most important, credible publications on these issues. Debka is pure garbage.
I didn’t say that killing civilians is morally sound. And neither she they.
@Richardsilverstein doesn’t approve of long-winded discussions. I made a point. Your more than welcome to debate international hypocrasy another time. This is the end of this thread.
Listen to your hero Naftali Bennett.
Another hero, oui. I copied and pasted from EI though, so beware that it’s quotes of Yaalon are necessarily biased.
“Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon on Tuesday said Israel would attack entire civilian neighborhoods during any future assault on Gaza or Lebanon.
Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Yaalon threatened that “we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion … we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future.”
The Israeli official also appeared to threaten to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran, although he said “we are not there yet.”’
In response to a question about Iran, Yaalon said that “in certain cases” when “we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations” Israel might take “certain steps” such as the Americans did in “Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.”
I watched the video of that entire speech and, while it was boring, repetitive, & repulsive, I think Asa took thinks slightly out of context. Yes, he did say Israel would do the same thing it did in Lebanon & Gaza again the next time. But he did not focus on kids. He merely said that because fighters hide among civilians (a lie btw) Israel would have to attack civilians next time.
The portion dealing with nuclear attack was bizarre & disturbing. But I’m not as certain as Asa that he deliberately threatened a nuclear attack on Iran. It’s possible. But since he was answering a question when he said this, he may’ve just stumbled into a stupid reference to nuclear weapons.
That being said, Yaalon is a truly repulsive character capable of no real or original thought.
By your parenthetical “a lie btw” you violated your own comment guidelines. I hope you properly moderate yourself.
[comment edited to remove hasbara link: comments & links must be on-topic & directly related to the post on which they comment.]
@Yuval: any 10 second Google search will disprove yr lie. Now since you’ve decided 2 be snarky you will support yr claim with a credible source or I will moderate you. You have 24 hrs.
So now the independent Indian media is not a credible source, but a “hasbara link”. You’ve become a caricature of the caricature that you’ve been to begin with.
I don’t have any interest in ‘debating international hypocrisy’, just as you don’t apparently have any interest in responding to my question about your allegation of bias . . . just as you have no interest in providing any evidence to your support your slander that I am ‘prejudiced and hate the Jewish state.’ And, yes, there is absolute, unequivocal evidence of her intent regarding ‘women and the elderly.’ (If you have any interest, and I know you don’t, this is not the first time she has made stupid public comments, previously calling for the killing of ‘mothers of martyrs’ and referring to Palestinians as ‘snakes’.)
Might wanna remind your readers that the Oslo accords were passed during a 61-seat coalition (not even government, the Arabs supported with no cabinet seats) including a 3-MK party splintered from a pure right-wing one (Tzomet) for a ministerial bribe (for a future drug dealer). Or that Barak went to Taba offering Arafat 98% of Judea and Samaria with a government leaning on 30 (!!!) seats.
But no, only the Right is not allowed a razor-thin government.
You are truly a whack job! 98% of the West Bank? That’s a bald-faced lie. The next time you offer lies in place of truth I’ll moderate your ass. Just try me.
Way to address the main issue of my comment.
‘The main issue of your comment’? What, that ‘the right is not allowed a razor-thin government’? No one wrote that. And your mini-history of a corrupt process during an earlier ‘razor-thin government’, accurate or not, is proof of what? That Bibi might have to resort to bribery or blackmail to get things done? (I assume your not implying that another round of ‘peace’ negotiations are being planned.)
Yes, Marc. The de-legitimization of Netanyahu’s government-in-formation based on the number of supporters it has in the Knesset is precisely the main claim of this piece. And it shows a complete misunderstanding of the Israeli political system, which has known many such governments. Well, this together with the “everyone believed Labor was going to win” statement which is false on multiple levels: while many thought Labor is going to get a few more seats than Likud, a majority of Israelis (58% according to the last poll before the elections) and of political analysts believed Netanyahu will be called to form the next government. The surprise was the extent of Likud’s gains, not the fact that the right camp won.
Perhaps the good news is that this unambiguously right wing “fascist” government is unlikely to stir much sympathy in the EU. The exposure now of the true military political agenda of the Zionists is a welcome relief from the falsehoods, coverups, and corrupted language which Zionism has articulated for decades and which was sopped up by Western media. ZioSpeak is gone, the tendency to say the opposite of what you mean or intend. So, I expect BDS to find fertile ground among the European community at least, and later in the US. Obama may or may not kick off a new policy, but the EU “gets it”, they know what is happening and will not happily support the right wing regime. This is the plus side of obnoxious regime now running “the Jewish State.”
HRW report Aug. 2014 – Israeli Soldiers Shoot and Kill Fleeing Civilians in Khuza’a
OCHA report Aug. 28, 2014 – Palestinian fatalities of which 70% were civilians. In this number a third were children.
UN report April 2015 – Israeli military actions killed 44 Civilians in Schools in Gaza War
Breaking the Silence – Israeli military ‘fired indiscriminately’ in Gaza
Tikun Olam followed the casualties on a daily basis and the carnage was clearly one-sided.
All these years after the U.N. recognized the state of Israel, this country has managed to maintain it’s status of enemy amongst its neighbours. A young woman whom I knew as a teenager, a classmate of my daughter, visited The Netherlands shortly after the Gaza War. She married in Israel and raised a lovely family. She clearly lives in fear, even when she was in The Hague she lives by all the fearmongering of Israel’s PM office and the right-wing media. I was invited to the home of her parents where she stayed and I tried to open a discussion of her political views. I was astonished, she had no knowledge of domestic politics in Jerusalem. Most likely I could name more ministers in PM Netanyahu’s cabinet. She did have a world view of Arabs and Palestinians … she just had fear!
○ Gaza War: Bringing Out the Worst in Israeli Misogyny, Racism
I have no idea what claim of mine this is supposed to answer. Hey Richard, how about moderating people who agree with you when they’re being off-topic and propagandist?