Israel: Elections for an Ethnocracy

The Israeli legislative elections held in 2015 were a victory for Israel’s most extreme positions.

In March 2015, in the legislative elections held in Israel that marked the triumph of Benjamin Netanyahu, I argued that this victory implied the success of the most extreme positions of the Zionist entity.

Four years later, on April 9, 2019, this conclusion is in the same direction, without major variations, consolidating an increasingly fundamentalist society. No matter the surname of the Benjamin who presided over these new four years of government in Israel, Zionism will continue on its path of crime and extremism. The final figures show conclusively that Netanyahu, the most vociferous Benjamin, will occupy for the fifth time the post of prime minister of the Zionist entity.

It has been the prize for a constant effort to elevate warmongering as an irreplaceable conduct for any candidate seeking to preside over the destinies of the Israeli regime. An entity self-described as the “greatest democracy in the Middle East”, which is part of the myth woven by this society that has actually proved to be an ethnocracy. The votes obtained by Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud, 36 seats out of a total of 120 in dispute, in conflict with former general Benny Gantz, who presides over the center-right coalition Kajol Lavan, which reached 35 parliamentary seats, gives Netanyahu the option of forming a government with the sum of 65 parliamentary seats, four more than the 61 necessary to be a majority.

A Netanyahu, which in addition to its 36 seats includes the most extreme, ultranationalist and fundamentalist elected parliamentarians of Israeli society: 5 deputies from the United Right, 5 from Ysrael Beitenu (from the former Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman), the 7 seats of the UTJ (Yahadut Hatorá: ultra-orthodox Judaism), Kulanu (from the leader Moshe Khalon) who has 4 seats and finally the 8 from the ultra-orthodox Sephardic Shas movement. The parties of the Zionist extremists Naftali Bennett, who holds the post of Minister of Education of Netanyahu, and the Israeli Minister of Judicial Affairs Ayelet Shaked, known for suing in her time as a deputy, the death of mothers of Palestinian sons and daughters, were not represented. Otherwise, they will raise smaller snakes. In any case, a request for revision before the central election committee is pending, which could mean, if the allegation is accepted, that this party achieved the four minimum seats if it obtains parliamentary representation – surpassing the 3.26% threshold – which would mean a decrease in the Blue and White Alliance and a rise in the far-right alliance.

At some point the supporters of the Kajol Lavan Alliance and in general the opponents of Netanyahu, expressed their hope that the 36 seats in parliament obtained the alliance led by Gantz: formed: Resilience for Israel, the centrist Yesh Atid, of former minister Yair Lapid, and the Telem movement, would lead him to have a more than favorable option, given the high vote obtained, to preside over the Israeli government and overthrow Netanyahu. Depending on the Israeli electoral system, it needed to add votes from different political fronts: the centre-right, the left and even to stimulate the support of Arab political groups, which was clearly impossible. Netanyahu triumphed because he is a shrewd politician, without moral squeamishness, without qualms or apprehensions when it comes to offering even what seems contradictory among the objectives of his coalition. Anything goes to attract minority parties, which will allow this Zionist politician to assume the post of Prime Minister for the fifth time. You will see how he grants more houses in usurped territories. How he assigns benefits to Torah scholars and allows the ultra-orthodox not to do military service. He will already discuss with his American friends how to allocate more resources to the Army, as well as how to favor the 17% of the original Israeli population.

Let us remember that since 1948 (when the Israeli entity was born) none of the parties participating in the elections has been able to obtain the 61 seats that guarantee the majority in Parliament, so that after the announcement of the results it has always been necessary to form a coalition government. In this legislative election 2019 does not except such a situation and therefore the first calculations only gave way to speculation because what is really fundamental is the ability that Netanyahu and Gantz had to attract to their folds those parties and movements that guaranteed the majority required in the parliament of this entity. The only way out left to Gantz and in general to those who oppose Netanyahu is a procedure aimed at achieving his dismissal (impeachment) for the accusations, which activate without brakes the judicial instances, which bring this prime minister to trial for the accusations of bribery, corruption and traffic of influence, disqualifying him from exercising positions of popular representation, will the justice system of Israel be able to carry out such an action? I do not think so, and it is not feasible, although not impossible, for Kajol Lavan, Meretz or the Arab parties to define themselves in this way.

The rest of the parties and movements, without option, are Laborism, which following the electoral debacle (only obtained six seats with 4.46% of the votes, the worst result since the Zionist entity was born in 1948) in 2015 obtained in alliance with the small party Hatnuá de Tzipi Livni 19 seats. The results have him in the ICU discussing demanding the resignation of its president Avi Gabbay and promoting the union with the Meretz party, which is the only Jewish organization that raises the need for a negotiation process with the Palestinians and believes in the idea of two states.

The parties of the Arab community, on the other hand, which in the last elections won 13 seats, this time lowered their number to ten representatives, mainly due to poor attendance at polling stations. Four Arab parties entered the elections on 9 April with two lists: the Arab Democratic and Arab Front for Change list and the Arab Union list and the Tagammu Party, composed of the Islamic Movement of the South and the Democratic Party of the South, founded by former MP Azmi Bishara. A sector that sees its rights and participation constrained under the Jewish Nation State Act, a law that consolidates Jewish ethnocracy in Israel.

Last Wednesday, the Blue and White alliance of Benny Gantz (Kajol Lavan), which seemed to be on its way to victory, acknowledged its defeat when it realized that the total sum of parliamentary votes in the legislative election gave Netanyahu the first option when President Reuven Rivlin begins consultations with the parties that obtained parliamentary representation on Wednesday, April 17, in order to form a government. After this round of meetings, Rivlin will recommend one of the deputies elected as prime minister (who will be, if not there is a catastrophe, Benjamin Netanyahu). The elected deputy will have 28 days to form his cabinet, extendable to another 14 days.

For the Israeli daily Haaretz, the positive thing about this election is that Netanyahu did not sweep away his claim “As many have observed, this was not an election on issues, but a referendum on Netanyahu. He fought with his teeth and fingernails, using all the dirty tricks in the book, shamelessly mocking Gantz, whom he had actually named chief of staff of the Israeli army and relentlessly praised, before becoming a political rival, with false news and insinuations. And despite having two pulpits of massive harassment as prime minister and defense minister; despite pressing every panic button, telling every lie, blowing every racist dog whistle he could find and all the help he received from Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Jair Bolsonaro, and facing a poorly coordinated and often unfortunate opposition, it was only a narrow victory.

The votes are a masquerade.

The referred thing speaks of the formal thing, of votes, of recounts, of participation of Israeli citizens, where the Arab community was reduced massively (in comparison to the year 2015) and that in spite of the great number of names that were in the ballots and the diversity of parties and movements, in essence they represent exactly the same thing: to consolidate the vision and practice of a society, that normalizes the occupation and colonialism on Palestine. The racism and the daily violence exerted on the occupied territories, the reinforcement of an ethnocracy where the Law of Jewish Nation State, approved on July 19, 2018 proves that segregation is an inseparable part of political and social life in Israel. A law that specifies that “Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people” and leaves the status of second-class citizens to the Arab minority, as well as increases the apartheid character of a society overwhelmingly dominated by Zionism.

Having counted 99% of the polling stations, the electoral body – the central electoral committee – noted that with 3.9 million votes counted, Likud obtained 26.47% of the total votes validly cast while Benjamin Gantz’s Kajol Lavan accumulated 26.11%. voter turnout was around 68% four points less than the 2015 election as reported by the Times of Israel. The information regarding what is coming indicates that “within a week depending on the results and after consulting the representatives of the parties elected to the Knesset, President Reuven Rivlin will entrust one of the deputies to form this coalition government. The candidate for prime minister is usually the leader of the party with the largest number of seats. Once the commission is done, there is a period of 42 days to form a government. If not, the president would ask another politician to try. Within this framework, the 36 seats obtained by Netanyahu will make him seek allies with those who formed the government in 2015, with the classic offer of ministerial portfolios, subsidies, benefits, especially to parties and movements linked to fundamentalists and settlers, who in previous coalitions have sold their wills and support, foreseeing a profoundly fundamentalist future.

Four years ago I maintained that the war after the 2015 elections was a party and after the early elections held on April 9, 2019 that holiday has shown that it does not want to stop, becoming the essence of an Israeli society that gives carte blanche to its most extremist political and military leaders represented by Benjamin Netanyahu, who despite accusations of corruption had no qualms about running for these elections, knowing that impunity accompanies him. Another of the candidates, Benny Gantz, former chief of staff of the Zionist Army, responsible for thousands of crimes against the Palestinian people (he was in charge of the military forces that attacked the Gaza Strip in 2014 in the so-called “protective margin” campaign), did not lose his feet. A soldier who despite the attempts of the Western press could not change the vision of “hawk” that one has of him and his military actions.

This is the same Gantz who after the operations of war crimes against the Gaza Strip maintained “that we have returned parts of Gaza to the Stone Age” of which he boasted in campaign videos where he presented as “fruit” of his military labor the murder of 2,300 Palestinians, causing injuries to 10,000 and the destruction of much of Gaza’s infrastructure. This is the same former General who activated in August 2014 the so-called Hannibal Protocol, aimed at preventing the capture of Israeli soldiers in the campaign that meant, in a few days the death of 135 Palestinian civilians. In addition to ordering the indiscriminate whipping of entire neighborhoods in the city of Rafah on August 1 of that tragic year. A Gantz is neither less Zionist nor less criminal than Netanyahu, although the “liberal” press intended to show it as a kind of “necessary change. Both Benjamins have indisputably expressed the fundamentalist essence of Israeli ethnocracy.

A society such as Israel, where political options were candidates for the moral tasting of Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Naftali Bennett, Ayeled Shaked, Avigdor Lieberman or anyone whose statements and actions are aimed at embodying a policy of genocide of the Palestinian people, cannot be called a democracy. It is at best a mimicry, a caricature amplified by the media dominated by Zionism and which seeks to show Israel as a kind of beacon in a growing current of Islamophobia promoted by the great Western powers. The tale of considering Israel as “the greatest democracy in the Middle East” is for the unsuspecting, for those seduced by the mythification of an entity that has been consolidated by virtue of the crime, occupation and colonization of Palestine. An entity that has concretized an ethnocracy, where the condition of Jew grants rights and the rest of the goyim (non-Jews) are simply “excrement, cattle, servitude” with which Zionist politicians have described the peoples of the Middle East.

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