הכרעת העם ברורה: 58 מנדטים למחנה הציוני-ימני ו-47 מנדטים למחנה הציוני-שמאלני. אזרחי ישראל נתנו לי קולות יותר מלכל מועמד אחר בתולדות המדינה. גנץ מנסה לגנוב את הבחירות – אנחנו לא ניתן לזה לקרות! pic.twitter.com/ocRzlOCFq6
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) March 4, 2020
UPDATE: My latest Middle East Eye piece, Israel election exposes a political system in disarray, has been published. Please give it a read and promote it via social media.
Bibi Netanyahu, tearing a page from Donald Trump’s 2016 playbook, declared before a post-election meeting of his right-wing bloc that Benny Gantz would try to “steal” the election from him by linking the Israeli Palestinian Joint List to his Blue and White Party in order to create a left-wing ruling coalition. Unfortunately, Gantz has already ruled this out. Bibi’s strategy here is to launch a shot across his bow to warn him of what might befall if he should waver on this commitment. If Gantz did include the Joint List and Avigdor Lieberman also joined him (Lieberman too bared his racist fangs and declared Gantz would create such a coalition of his dead Zionist body) the center-left would have a 62-seat majority. The other purpose of Netanyahu’s performance is to frighten his own bloc into remaining united in the fear that Gantz will take over the state and give it to the Arab ‘mongrels.’
This encapsulates perfectly the fatal flaw in Israel’s racist political system. The Palestinians are nearly 25% of the population. Yet they are emasculated by having all avenues to power shut off to them, since they are excluded from such coalitions and denied cabinet ministries, which is where power is truly wielded in the Israeli system.
I feature this passage from Bibi’s speech because it represents his racism exposed in all its viciousness and ugliness:
“Gantz is allying himself with the supporters of terror in the Joint List in an attempt to negate the decision of the people. The decision is clear: the Right-Zionist bloc has 58 seats. The Zionist-Left bloc together with Lieberman who is allied with it has 47 seats.
The Joint List–which opposes and slanders the IDF [a reference to efforts to hold the army accountable for war crimes], and opposes the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state, the state of the Jewish people; and who certainly oppose me as as prime minister who promotes our sovereignty in all parts of our homeland, the state of the Jewish people–it is clearly not included in this equation.”
This is classic Netanyahu: he goes from telling Israeli Palestinians before the election, just as Trump told African-Americans, that the Joint List had done nothing for them. What did they have to lose in turning to him as their savior? Then after the election, he turns on them like Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll and declares they aren’t worthy of being considered a part of the nation.
First, it’s important to say clearly that if the Joint List were part of a governing coalition this would prove Israel was a functioning healthy democracy. Its exclusion marks Israel as a racist apartheid state. Second, Israeli Palestinians do not oppose the existence of their state. On the contrary, all polls show that they are exceedingly loyal to the state. Far more than the state has any right to expect considering how the Jewish majority mistreats them. They do not, however, accept that this state is exclusively Jewish or that it privileges Jews over them. And that is only natural.
American Blacks never accepted that they should be second class citizens in this country. For over a century they rebelled against Jim Crow, demanding their full rights. Israeli Palestinians have every right to expect the same. Those Israeli Jewish politicians who speak like Netanyahu, assume the mantle of the worst Southern white demagogues who celebrated their ‘white heritage’ with the slogan: “Segregation now, segregation forever!”
The most egregious element of this tirade is Netanyahu’s attempt to render the entire Israeli Palestinian vote treif. In essence, he’s performed a bit of electoral ethnic cleansing. It is a truly disgusting, but typical, performance.