Yesterday, Israel’s new Judeo-fascist governing coalition was sworn in and ministers assumed their new portfolios. I’ve profiled the most troubling of the bunch here. Here I want to focus on the most problematic “principles” of the new government:
“These are the fundamental principles of this national government: the Jewish people has sole and inalienable right to all territory of the Land of Israel. The government will advance and develop Jewish settlement in all parts of Israel–the Galilee, Negev, Golan, and the West Bank…
In other words, Israel seeks to settle, by many accounts, as many as 1-million Jews in majority-Israeli-Palestinian regions: the Triangle area in the Galilee. The Bedouin region in the Negev. Palestine to the east. And the Syrian Druze in the Golan. The goal of Judeo-supremacist ministers is to “Judaize” those areas and erase the preponderance of the “Arab” population. It plans to do this by a combination of incentivizing Jewish settlement, and suffocating existing Palestinian residents in these areas. Among the tools will be denial of housing permits, destruction of individual Palestinian homes, and wholesale eradication of Bedouin communities like Al Araqib and Palestinian villages like Maaser Yatta.
This should be a crushing rejection of US policy. How has the Biden administration responded? The statements from the president and Tom Nides, US ambassador are toothless, hapless and embarrassing. First, Biden trots out the old “two-state solution,” by now a doddering old fool of a concept:
“…The United States will continue to support the two state solution and to oppose policies that endanger its viability.”
How, in the name of Allah, El Shaddai or God, can you continue to feebly offer two-states as a viable concept? How long can you wander through this House of the Dead with a sputtering candle seeking its corpse?
Speak about “opposing policies”–this too is clueless. We are not talking just about ‘policies.’ We are talking about an entire government; indeed an entire Knesset which wholly rejects the concept. Not only does it reject it, it has slapped Biden in the face with the most maximalist vision of Judeo-supremacist territorial sovereignty.
What does Biden offer in response? N-O=T=H-I-N-G. A big fat zero.
Not to be outdone, Nides offers this utter banality:
“We want to work closely with him [Netanyahu] on mutual values we share, and at this point not get distracted by everyone else [Smotrich, Ben Gvir et al]. So the focus is on the prime minister and the prime minister’s office.”
What “mutual values” does the US share with Israel? Ethnic cleansing? Desecration of holy sites? Mass murder? Apartheid? Are these our values? And if not, why pretend that we have any in common? Aside from the fact that a powerful Israel Lobby ensures that administrations toe the line, thus acting as enforcers for Israel.
Further, Nides claims all other ministers aside from Netanyahu don’t matter. He plans to “ignore” Smotrich, who will control virtually everything happening in Palestine (West Bank). His agenda includes a massive increase in new Jewish colonies and accompanying infrastructure, destruction of Palestinian homes, confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land, obstruction of Palestinian travel and access to farmland, etc.
The US ambassador will also “ignore” former terrorist, Ben Gvir, who will command not only the national police force, but the Border Police. They routinely invade Palestinian villages (along with the IDF), and assault and kill Palestinians, Ethiopian Jews and African refugees. These are the very same forces who’ve incited a mass national uprising and near civil war two years ago. Not to mention an Israeli military assault on Gaza which left 250 dead. These are some of the “distractions” Nides proposes to ignore.
He claims he wants to focus solely on Netanyahu as his interlocutor, as if the incoming prime minister is the “responsible adult” of the bunch. In fact, Netanyahu favors most of the agenda of the theo-fascists. He can’t explicitly acknowledge this. But these are the very extremist views which brought him to power and maintain him there.
Netanyahu is a master of stabbing his political partners and rivals in the back and pulling the political rug out from under them. The road is paved with the headstones and epitaphs of those who accepted his invitation to form a government, only to be outmaneuvered and cast aside at an opportune moment. This is one of the reasons why the “centrist” political parties wanted nothing to do with Bibi in forming this new government. They’d been burned too many times to mention.
So it’s possible he will outfox his own new-found allies and neuter their extremist proposals. After all, he’s been at this for over 40 years. And most of these new extremist ministers have no previous ministerial experience. But why would he when he agrees with them, as noted above?
Our toothless Jewish communal mandarins are little better. They meet with Israeli diplomats clutching their pearls and moan about how hard it will be to schnorr more hundreds of millions from US Jews with an avowedly fascist, misogynist, homophobic government. They cajole and whine while doing nothing of any substance. They are more than an embarrassment.
Another troubling statement from the coalition statement of principles:
“The government will take steps to ensure governance and restore the proper balance among the legislative, executive and judicial branches.”
This is code for passing an Override Law that would dismantle an independent judiciary and destroy the rule of law. It would not “restore” balance since there never was the type of balance to which this refers. Israel has always had a judicial system that permitted courts to rule on laws passed by the Knesset. It was within its purview to disallow them if they violated the Basic Laws, which serve–in many cases, haphazardly–as a quasi-constitution. The proposed plan would permit the Knesset to eliminate any court ruling via majority legislative vote. It is essentially a hit-and-run assault on an entire branch of government. A destruction of the delicate balance of governance. A power-play by the theo-fascists, who know they cannot transform the nation into a Judeo-theocracy unless they eliminate an essentially secular institution of the judiciary.
So I’d like Biden and Blinken to explain to the American people, or anyone for that matter, precisely what it is that we’re affirming and protecting when they give Israel a pass at this crucial juncture of its history.