It all began with the "National Bill for the Jewish State", an attempt by conservative members of the Knesset to redefine Israel from "Jewish and Democratic" to "the homeland of the Jewish People". Many international commentators, Israeli leftists, and moderate members of the Knesset argued that such a drastic change to the constitution would effectively erode its democratic core, and would legally classify non-Jewish people as second-class citizens. The highly-polarizing bill caused an uproar both in the Cabinet and in the Israeli civil society. When the bill caused a schism in the cabinet, former Justice Minister Tzipi Livini immediately voiced her concerns that it was being used as leverage by Netanyahu to fire the uncooperative members of the cabinet, and to force early re-elections.
Although Netanyahu vehemently denied these claims, it appears that Livini was eerily accurate in her prediction. Shortly after that statement, in fact, Netanyahu fired the dissenting ministers, dissolved the parliament, and called for new elections. Riding on a wave of Zionist propaganda of fear, based on the developments around the world that favour a Palestinian state and a peaceful solution, Netanyahu managed to seize an even larger segment of the Knesset than he previously held, consolidating his power for another term.
Shortly after his landslide win Netanyahu appointed his Cabinet of Ministers. At least five of these are known to have called for the extermination of the Palestinian people or for having made similarly racist remarks. It seems that Netanyahu has gone out of his way to reward his party members (or other members of the Israeli right) for their dehumanizing attitudes towards Palestinians. Among the most controversial is the new Justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, who promises to limit the role of the Supreme Court, and became notorious for justifying the burning alive of a Palestinian teenager by Israeli youths in East Jerusalem.
On one of her Facebook posts, she declared that "the entire Palestinian people are the enemy" and justified its destruction, "including the elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure." She also called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to "little snakes". Recently, Minister Shaked allowed for the forceful seizing of over $120 million of Palestinian tax revenue as well as that of over 900 Palestinian owned businesses in Jerusalem, and is overseeing their transferral to Jewish ownership.
But, as previously mentioned, Minister Sheked is not alone. The new deputy defence minister is quoted as saying that the Palestinians "are beasts, they are not humans" and "a Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile". Bear in mind that the Israeli Defence Force dubs itself "The most moral army in the world". Even higher in the Defence Ministry, and quoting an AlterNet article, "To the all-important Foreign and Defense Ministries, Netanyahu appointed the two religious Zionist lawmakers who have been the most outspoken opponents of so-called mixed marriages between Jews and non-Jews.".
In addition to changes in the Defence Ministry Netanyahu has also appointed Naftali Bennett, who has set up the Jewish Identity Administration, which intends to enforce the teaching of Orthodox Judaism onto secular Israelis, as the new Minister of Education.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also came out of this election with a series of carefully picked Zionist extremists at its helm. Keep in mind, this is the wing of the government that is supposed to work towards a peaceful resolution of the occupation with the Palestinians and the International community at large. The institution, gained infamy under the guidance of Avigdor Lieberman, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, for being staunchly anti-Palestinian, as well as unyielding to any diplomatic attempt to reach a two-state solution. Lieberman, on many occasions, has explicitly called for or implied his wish for the genocide of Palestinians, alluded to the necessity to behead the Arab population that "stands against us" and implied a threat to drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza. Furthermore, he is an avid opponent of seeking a political and diplomatic solution under international law, having stated that he "will not support any peace deal that will allow the return of even one Palestinian refugee to Israel". Under Netanyahu's government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assumed a staunch anti-compromise hard line, expanded its illegal settlements onto illegally seized Palestinian land, and expressed its disdain for the Palestinian people.
Netanyahu seems to want to continue this tradition, having appointed as Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely. Hotovely was recently quoted as saying that "...between the sea and the Jordan River, there needs to be one state only - the State of Israel, which has an Arab minority. There is no place for an agreement of any kind that discusses the concession of Israeli sovereignty over lands conquered in accordance with law and custom in the war of 1967". From this statement it is clear that Israel's continued insistence on acquiring the whole of Palestine is now official government policy. When will the world begin to act accordingly and stop believing that the state of Israel is even remotely interested in a two-state partition? Settler states, such as Israel, all share some common aspects to a varying degree. The first is their independence from settler's lands of origins (the metropolis) in the exercise of political and coercive power, the second is their ability to consolidate control over the indigenous population, while the last is their ability to maintain settler unity and cohesion.
The rise of the BDS movement and its erosions of Israeli economy undermines Israel's ability to be dependent in its enforcement of coercive power. As Israel relies on both cultural promotion for political support, as well as economic activity to fund its ever-marching war machine, the BDS movement must be destroyed. The newly appointed ministers of Justice and Economics have both pushed laws to persecute both national and international entities that support the Boycott movement in any way.
The continued resistance and tenacity by the Palestinian people threaten Israel's control of the indigenous population. Although it cannot be said that Israel has shied away from using violence as a tool of political, economic, and social repression, the new-found international support for the Palestinian people furthers the paranoia of dissolution of the Zionist enterprise (or, at least, the ceasing of its expansion). This leads said entity to react even more violently in curtailing the rights and liberties of the oppressed indigenous Palestinian population. This is intended to be achieved not only militarily, but by further increasing the double standards of justice which almost exclusively privilege the settler class while further oppressing the Palestinians. With Minister Sheked at the helm of the Ministry of Justice, this is an almost inevitable outcome
Internal political tension is perilously close to creating a radical schism within the Israeli population. Although the great divide is between settlers and the indigenous population, settler unity is never a foregone conclusion. Internal conflicts within the state can be dangerous "insofar as they compromise the state's capacity to deliver repression or if cracks in the settler monolith present an opportunity for natives to mobilize". In their ideologies settler regimes such as Israeli Zionism make use of disparaging and demeaning language, such as pointing out the "paganism" "barbarism," "animalism," "untrustworthiness," and "subversiveness" of the natives, to accentuate communal difference and dehumanize the indigenous population. This is one of the potential explanations for the recent flurry of racial epithets purposefully being publicly tossed around by Israeli government officials: by allowing such language to enter the common political sphere, it becomes naturalized which, in turn, allows for such attitudes to be more widely accepted and supported. Even more insidious is the potential infiltration of such explicitly racist attitudes in the institutionalized educational system, particularly in the formational years of children.
Palestinians are not the only people who suffer segregation and discrimination in Israel. In the past few years, racial incidents against Africans, including Jewish Ethiopians, have sky-rocketed. Numerous anti-African rallies have taken place, chiefly in Tel-Aviv, and there have been accusation of forced sterilization policies being carried out on Ethiopian migrants by the Israeli government. This has recently culminated in protests by Jewish Ethiopians in early May 2015 which turned violent after confrontations with Israeli police. Recently, even Christians of different ethnicities have been targeted by Jewish settlers, and there have been incidents of Israeli lawmakers tearing up the new testament in public, further escalating religious tensions.
If one carefully considers which ministers have been appointed to which posts and their public statements on the rights of Palestine and the search for a diplomatic solution to the conflict, it becomes apparent that Netanyahu intends to comprehensively reinforce the three pillars that sustain the settler entity that is the State of Israel. This will be achieved by attempting to enforce a far-right agenda on the most important institutions to allow the continuation of the Zionist project:
Education, to infiltrate the public educational system and indoctrinate the youth in order to maintain social cohesion. Demonization of the Palestinians as beastlike non-humans is further promoted by the extremist position of the Ministry of Interior regarding mixed marriages.
Defence, to ensure the continued brutality, repression, and illegality of the military occupation and defence of the illegal settlements in the scheme of oppression of the indigenous Palestinians;
Justice, to ensure that a double standard of law is imposed on the classes which are deemed undesirable, chiefly the Palestinians, and to prosecute any entity that is seen as complicit with the interference in this project.
If one carefully takes the time to compare this technique to other historical examples it becomes obvious that Netanyahu is not in great company - most totalitarian and theocratic-ethnocratic regimes, such as South Rhodesia, Liberia, Apartheid South Africa, and others have often enforced their ideologies in precisely the same way. This kind of attitude of ethnic supremacy and ideology has been at the core of the greatest acts of cruelty in human history. Whether the "White Supremacy" philosophy of European colonialism, the German superiority complex fomented by the NAZI party, or the criminal Zionist agenda promulgated by all Israeli governments since the nation's founding, it has always resulted in the annihilation and subjugation of one particular ethnic group or another. Israel's newest cabinet has been hand-picked by Netanyahu to affirm his power as well as to ensure the continuation of the extremist Zionist project: the complete expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian population and the establishment of a Jewish ethno-theocracy.
The question that begs asking at this point is: is Israel headed for the point of no return? Is the political class of the state of Israel finally reaching its crystallization point at which it will be able to enact its plan of ethnic cleansing? The direction in which Israeli public opinion is headed should be of concern to us all. As the Zionist right continues to advance Israel's expansionist politics, supported and condoned by its western allies, it is bound to destabilize an already volatile area. From migration and refugee considerations, to violent regime change, to the moral imperative of defending the victims of racism, occupation, and persecution, this issue affects us all worldwide. We are at a turning point, past which there will be no return. The national and international political pressures put upon Israel have made it realize that the Palestinian people benefit from a huge worldwide support. The more this support intensifies, the more extreme Israel's reaction will be in the oppression of the Palestinians, and the longer it takes for it to intensify the more time Israel will have to do so. This is the perfect time to capitalize on this support, not shy away from it. Will we allow for the extermination of the Palestinian people and their bid for sovereignty and self-determination, or will we fight in solidarity with an occupied people? Our action or silence could be the decisive factor. Should we fail to act, we will have signed the death sentence of the Palestinians. #News