Netanyahu Victory Lays Bare Israel as Racist, Colonial State

Hits: 1322

SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is elating after his right-wing Likud Party secured a firm victory in the Israeli elections on March 17. It was a very close race against the Zionist Union Party, led by Isaac Herzog. Our next guest, Shir Hever, in an interview he did with us last month, predicted that Prime Minister Netanyahu would win in spite of many strikes against him at the time. So, defying election polls leading up to the election, Prime Minister Netanyahu has won. To get his reaction to the results, I’m joined by Shir Hever. Shir is reporting from Göttingen, Germany. He is an economic researcher at the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit Sahur. Thank you so much for joining me, Shir.SHIR HEVER, ECONOMIST, ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER: Thanks for having me, Sharmini.PERIES: So, Shir, so let’s begin with your initial reaction to the results.HEVER: I have to admit, mostly relief. Of course, Netanyahu is nowhere near my political views. He is an extreme right-wing, racist, and neoliberal leader. But within the framework of the Israeli political system, the real danger doesn’t come from a head of state who embodies such opinions, but from a coalition that is compelled, in order to maintain its stability, to be extra aggressive against Palestinians and to go to wars. In fact, the most aggressive coalitions in the history of Israel were not the ones led by Likud, by the right wing, but by the so-called center or left, like the Labour Party, which is now calling itself the Zionist Camp. These governments have a right-wing opposition which will never criticize them if they use violence against Palestinians, and therefore they can go much further with their aggressiveness and brutality. But I want to correct you in one small thing. The race between Netanyahu and the Likud and the Zionist Camp was not very close, actually. It was only close in the polls. And then, when we finally get the actual result, we see that there’s quite a significant gap between the two parties. Likud has managed to get several seats in the parliament more than the Zionist Camp. And all of that was a big surprise for the various polling companies.PERIES: So then why were the pollings so wrong?HEVER: I think many people in Israel have completely underestimated Netanyahu’s skill and his deep understanding of how the political system in Israel works. Netanyahu is the master of short-term solutions, and he doesn’t have or hasn’t expressed any desire to have a long-term strategy to make Israel a better place to live in. But whenever it comes to political crisis, to political crises, he’s the master of getting out of it. And he has engineered, very, very cleverly, the situation that allowed him to appear as an underdog until the very last moment. In fact, he was the one who called for early election. And many people in the Israeli elite, in the newspapers, have said he’s made a terrible mistake, the public will punish him for calling for an early election, the election costs a lot of money, and they would punish them by voting for the opposition. But Netanyahu understood things much better. He understood that it’s not really an election about personalities. I think a lot of Israelis, probably the majority of Israelis, dislike Netanyahu on a personal level and see him as a corrupt person, as a very vain man who doesn’t care so much about their well-being. But Netanyahu understands that, on a deeper level, the Israeli society is very racist. And this racism he decided to exploit. On the very day of the elections, when the first reporting were coming out about turnout at the voting booths, they reported a slightly lower than usual turnout rate for the morning and afternoon hours compared to previous elections. At that moment, Netanyahu sent an SMS that reached many people in Israel–maybe most people in Israel got this SMS, in which he said uthe Arabs are voting in droves, the Arabs are rallying to vote in large numbers. And that caused–and he tried to create panic. I think he succeeded and convinced people to respond to that SMS. In fact, after that, the show-up in the polls has–in the booths have increased dramatically. And now, when all the votes are counted, it shows a higher voting rate than previous elections, because people wanted to make sure that the Arab parties, the Palestinian United Joint List, will not be represented in the parliament in a way that would give it significant strength.PERIES: And in addition, he also fueled those anti-Arab sentiment or anti-Palestinian sentiments here when he days before announced that he would not support a separate Palestinian state.HEVER: Yeah, because Netanyahu has already given his famous Bar-Ilan speech in which he said that he would accept a Palestinian state, a demilitarized Palestinian state, and that was used both by his critics and by his supporters to say that actually he’s compatible with the two-state solution. And he thought that before this election it would be a good chance to make it absolutely clear that he will not allow Palestinians to have their own state. I think this statement is beautiful, actually, I think it’s very good that he made that statement, first of all because it completely exposes the fact that there is no peace process, there is no two sides negotiating. This is just a state of occupation. Israel has no intention of recognizing the rights of Palestinians to freedom and independence. And everybody should know that. When the head of state says that openly, I think there is no more room for trying to cast any kind of illusions. The second reason that I find this statement encouraging is that in the history of Netanyahu’s political career, he has never made a single statement which didn’t turn out to be a lie. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I think when reality’s ridiculous, we have no choice but to acknowledge it. Every statement Netanyahu makes turns out to be a lie. And when he says he will not allow a Palestinian state, I am becoming quite encouraged. I think that we might see some real headway–not that Netanyahu will promote it, not that he would support Palestinians’ struggle for freedom, of course, but that he’s already realizing that when the time comes that Palestinians are going to raise their struggle to the next level with a lot of international support and solidarity, he will not be up to stop them. Everyone in the political system understands that this stage is coming. And that’s one of the reasons why nobody really wanted to challenge Netanyahu so much and there was no real attempt to replace the government with a vision of a different kind of strategy, different kind of political horizon for Israel. And that made it much easier for him to win.PERIES: So let’s look at how the Arab parties did in the election. And what was the Arab voter turnout like?HEVER: Yeah. So what every Israeli knows is that Palestinians are more than 20 percent of the population. There are 120 seats in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. So if all the Palestinians would vote for Palestinian parties–that is not, of course, what happens, because there are people with the political opinions, just like everybody else. But if that would happen, their representation would be 24 seats in the parliament. And yet, in reality we see that these parties only get ten to 12 seats, these Palestinian parties. And the reason for that is indeed that many Palestinians choose to vote for other parties, even for Zionist parties. But also the reason for this is that many Palestinians are very discouraged by the political system in Israel, which they see as an apartheid system in which they have no chance of influencing the political system. So they boycott the elections. They say, we are not going to legitimize the system that maybe gives us the vote, but creates various mechanisms to make sure that we will be completely marginalized and will not have a say in the political reality of Israel. Now, because there is now a new law to increase the minimum percentage for parties to enter the Knesset, the Palestinian parties had no choice but to unite, because otherwise they would all be wiped out by this minimum percentage. So they united. And they said, this is actually opportunity for us to call on the Palestinian people to change their historic tendency to boycott the elections and to vote in larger numbers. And they tried to convince people–especially Palestinian citizens of Israel, but there are also, of course, Jews that vote for this party, and they were expecting to get, to jump from 12 seats maybe as high as 15 seats. So they got 14 in the end. Fourteen is almost as high as what they expected, once seat short. However, what they did not manage to do is to get the second-largest party in the Knesset. It was not very likely that they would have succeeded. But what they thought they could do is, if there would be some kind of unity government between the Zionist Camp and Likud, then they would actually be heading the opposition. And that is a position that in Israel gives you some authority, some influence, to be the head of the opposition. That’s not going to happen, because Netanyahu has no reason now to take the Zionist Camp into his coalition. So the Zionist camp is going to head the opposition. And that puts the Joint List in a very disempowered position there. Now, they’re going to have very little impact within the upcoming Knesset. Now, they can try to have an impact anyway, they can try to use provocative measures and to show their solidarity with the Palestinians living under occupation, for example, and that would get a lot of noise in Israel, in order to try to convince their public that they didn’t make a mistake, but they shouldn’t have boycotted the elections. But if they don’t do that, then I think it’s very likely that many Palestinian voters in Israel would realize that within a Zionist political system, the participation is not going to lead to true equality.PERIES: What are the next steps, Shir, in terms of forming the government immediately and then also moving forward? What are some of the issues that Netanyahu promised his voters that he has to deliver on?HEVER: Well, according to the Israeli political system, the president, who doesn’t have a lot of authority–but in this case he has the right to choose which will be the first party that gets a chance to form the coalition. And traditionally he asks the biggest party. So he’s going to ask Likud. I think that’s quite obvious. And he tried to beg Likud and Zionist Camp to consider a joint coalition together, what is known in Israel is a unity government. I think that’s not going to happen, because the Zionist Camp are not willing to make the sacrifices to pay the price that Netanyahu will demand of them. And it will be rather easy for Netanyahu to assemble his coalition using parties that are anyway in his pocket and will not have any other options. So Netanyahu is actually going to have, probably, a very stable coalition. He’ll be able to cast aside various centrist parties that might still make demands of him and go for a very religious coalition using right-wing religious parties as the backbone of his coalition and leaving any party that could conceivably be considered a little bit lefty in the opposition. And I think that’s also not very bad, because when you have these lefties in the government, they are used as a fig leaf to try to legitimize the government, especially in the international community. It’s better not to have that. It’s better that everyone will see that the people who run the country are in fact the colonists from the West Bank, the commanders of the army who have attacked Gaza last summer. These are the people who run the country, and everyone should know this. So it’s going to probably be a relatively stable coalition. And, actually, a stable coalition has a very big advantage in terms of everybody living in that area, but it doesn’t have to prove itself. It’s not under a very strong political pressure, internal political pressure, to prove that it does something. So they can basically do nothing. And hopefully, that would mean that they will have less of an incentive to start additional wars and additional attacks against Gaza, or if they will start additional attacks against Gaza (because there is a pattern every two years, more or less, Israel does invade Gaza), that they will maybe do it on a smaller scale.PERIES: Shir, I thank you so much for joining us today.HEVER: Thank you for having me, Sharmini.PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End


DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Originally published on 2015-03-19

A source with video:

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=13457

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

Save

READ MORE!
Kosovo: Heroin Transport Corridor
US-NATO military control of Kosovo serves several purposes for Washington’s greater geo-strategic agenda. First it enables greater US control over potential oil and gas pipeline routes into the EU from the Caspian and Middle East as well as control of the transport corridors linking the EU to the Black Sea. It also protects the multi-billion dollar heroin trade, which, significantly, has grown to record dimensions in Afghanistan according to UN narcotics officials, since the US occupation. Kosovo and Albania are major heroin transit routes into Europe. According to a 2008 US State Department annual report on international narcotics traffic, several key ...
READ MORE
Pages Purged by Facebook Were on Blacklist Promoted by Washington Post
Media outlets removed by Facebook on Thursday, in a massive purge of 800 accounts and pages, had previously been targeted in a blacklist of oppositional sites promoted by the Washington Post in November 2016. The organizations censored by Facebook include The Anti-Media, with 2.1 million followers, The Free Thought Project, with 3.1 million followers, and Counter Current News, with 500,000 followers. All three of these groups had been on the blacklist. In November 2016, the Washington Post published a puff-piece on a shadowy and up to then largely unknown organization called PropOrNot, which had compiled a list of organizations it claimed were ...
READ MORE
America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group
Incisive article originally published by GR in September 2014.  Terror attacks in Western cities (Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Nice, Barcelona…) allegedly perpetrated by Al Qaeda-ISIS.          *     *     *Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during ...
READ MORE
The Other Side of John McCain
As the Cold War entered its final act in 1985, journalist Helena Cobban participated in an academic conference at an upscale resort near Tucson, Arizona, on U.S.-Soviet interactions in the Middle East. When she attended what was listed as the “Gala Dinner with keynote speech”, she quickly learned that the virtual theme of the evening was, “Adopt a Muj.” “I remember mingling with all of these wealthy Republican women from the Phoenix suburbs and being asked, ‘Have you adopted a muj?” Cobban told me. “Each one had pledged money to sponsor a member of the Afghan mujahedin in the name ...
READ MORE
Serbia’s Sovereignty as a Nation State: Serbia does not need a ‘Dialogue’ on Kosovo
“Now that the global circumstances have changed, and when the United States and NATO are losing their influence, and while the powers that are in favor of preserving Kosovo and Metohija – such as Russia and China – are strengthening, we are nevertheless pursuing a policy of complete surrender.”The aim of the internal dialogue conducted by the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, should be to distribute responsibilities and to be the cover for the final surrender of Kosovo and Metohija.The government constantly assures us that it will never recognize Kosovo as an independent State, but here we must point out the ...
READ MORE
Twenty-Six Things About the Islamic State (ISIL) That Obama Does Not Want You to Know About
This article was first published in November 2014. Recent developments confirm what is known and documented: Washington is behind the Islamic State (ISIS) and at the same time it is behind the moderate Al Qaeda terrorists, which the Obama administration is supporting as part of America’s campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). And they expect us to believe that they are committed to waging a campaign against terrorists. The Islamic State (ISIS) was until 2014 called al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Al Nusra is an al Qaeda affiliate which has committed countless atrocities in Syria.  It is now considered by the Obama administration as ...
READ MORE
The Entire Mainstream Warmongering Media is Fake
If the Trump phenomena showed anything, it showed the consensus reality the mainstream media attempted to create concerning Hillary’s certain victory, as well as the consensus reality erected for decades, is not omnipotent.In fact, the earliest days of mass print media were erected on a famous fraud known as the “Great Moon Hoax” of 1835 – something researcher Chris Kendall has long called attention to – wherein the “educated,” “elite” widely accepted the mainstream publications’ claim bat people inhabited the lunar surface.In our day, a similar hoax still reigns, as mainstream media is literally as credible as Weekly World News’ Bat Boy ...
READ MORE
Jamala’s 1944: Song for Nazi Tatars
In April-May of 1944, the Crimean Tatar battalions took part in battles against the Red Army in the Crimea. The units that were evacuated from the Crimea in June 1944, were compiled into the Tatar mountain-Jaeger three-battalion SS Regiment. A month later, the group became the first Tatar-mountain-Jaeger SS Brigade (2,500 troops) under the command of SS Standartenführer Fortenbah. On 31 December 1944, the unit was disbanded to become a part of the East Turkic branch of SS as the Crimea battle group: two infantry battalions and one hundred horses.German Field Marshal Erich von Manstein testified: "Most of the Crimean ...
READ MORE
Do We Really Want War with Russia?
War with Russia appears increasingly likely as the US and its NATO satraps continue their military provocations of Moscow.As dangers mount, our foolish politicians should all be forced to read, and then re-read, Prof. Christopher Clark’s magisterial book, ‘The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.’ What is past increasingly appears prologue.Prof. Clark carefully details how small cabals of anti-German senior officials in France, Britain and Russia engineered World War I, a dire conflict that was unnecessary, idiotic, and illogical. Germany and Austria-Hungary of course share some the blame, but to a much lesser degree than the bellicose French, ...
READ MORE
A Brief History of Fascism in the United States
“We could become the first country to go fascist through free elections.” — William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third ReichGenerally, we avoid using the word “fascism” in polite company, and until recently, a person pointing out parallels between Nazi Germany and the current United States would invite elevated eyelids along with the outworn charge of sounding like a “conspiracy theorist“. The current electoral cycle seems to be changing that, so I will trust that now is the right time to convey some ideas I’ve been marinating regarding fascism in my US Homeland. The ruling plutocrats are clearly ferrying the ...
READ MORE
RT’s Inappropriate WWI Revisionism
Somewhere in the 20th century — it is difficult to determine precisely when, but many point to the 1990s anti-Serb craze — historical revisionism on WWI that would have been laughed out of the room in the 1920s and 1930s became widespread in the western mainstream media.Nobody should be surprised to learn this is an ailment that therefore also affects RT. The Russian-funded outlet is staffed by westerners and modeled after western news channels – and is as such frequently only marginally less wrong on numerous issues than its western counterparts. (All the more so when it comes to the little-understood Balkans.)Covering ...
READ MORE
Pompeo the Warmonger Supports Authoritarian Regimes
On January 2 [2019, editor] US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Brazil, and his Department noted that in discussions with Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo they “highlighted the importance of working together to address regional and global challenges, including supporting the people of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua in restoring their democratic governance and their human rights.” Pompeo declared that the US and Brazil “have an opportunity to work alongside each other against authoritarian regimes.”From this we gather that Pompeo is a strong advocate of democratic governance and will always make it clear that the United States supports unfortunate people living in countries having “authoritarian ...
READ MORE
America’s Imperial Empire: The Sun Never Sets but the Mote Remains in the Emperor’s Eye
Post-colonial empires are complex organizations. They are organized on a multi-tiered basis, ranging from relative autonomous national and regional allies to subservient vassal states, with variations in between.In the contemporary period, the idea of empire does not operate as a stable global structure, though it may aspire and strive for such. While the US is the major imperial power, it does not dominate some leading global political-economic and military powers, like Russia and China.Imperial powers, like the US, have well-established regional satellites but have also suffered setbacks and retreats from independent local economic and political challengers.Empire is not a fixed ...
READ MORE
An Isolated Tyrannical Regime – Not Pyongyang, It’s Washington
If Pentagon chief James Mattis was seeking to reassure the world of American restraint in the North Korea crisis, he clumsily did the opposite. The US Defense Secretary was speaking after intense discussions with President Trump and other senior military officials in the White House Situation Room following the sixth nuclear test carried out by North Korea on Sunday.Mattis emerged from the meeting to say that any threat from North Korea to the United States and its allies would be met with an «overwhelming military response». He then added – with a weirdly presumed ethical tone – that the US «was not looking to ...
READ MORE
Authentic Video on the U.S. Democratization of Afghanistan
The US marines in the mission of democratization of the Afghan Talibans.An authentic video clip.No comment, except: Can you imagine reaction by the CNN in the case of the Russian marines are doing the same in Syria with the fighters of the ISIL?Enjoy 38 sec. of the documentary clip on democratization of Afghanistan.Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to ...
READ MORE
An Idea of the Yugoslav Unification (2)
The Slavic Congresses The idea of South Slavic political unification was surely a part of a broader pan-Slavic movement and ideology. If from nothing else, it can be proved from a very fact that the official flag of all kind of Yugoslavia (from 1918 to 2003) was, in fact, an insignia of the 19th century pan-Slavic movement, whose anthem was also used as an official state’s anthem of Socialist Yugoslavia (“Hey Slavs”). The first clear political expression of an idea of pan-Slavic reciprocity, solidarity, and possible unification was done at the First Slavic Congress held in Prague from May 5th to June ...
READ MORE
Kosovo is not Serbia’s Kurdistan, but Balkan’s IS/Daesh
In the article “Kurdistan – Turkey’s Kosovo” Prof. Sotirović compared different aspects of Turkish Kurdistan case to the Kosovo one, found some parallels and pointed out Turkey’s hypocrisy.While Prof. Sotirović is right in his assessment that Turkey is hypocritical to say at least, he failed to expose the fundamental differences between Kurdistan and Kosovo. His article contains some inaccuracies, misinterpretations and lacks in detail. Such an imprecise comparison may lead a reader who is not familiar with Balkans to acquire a false impression. A reader might come to conclusion that Kosovo Albanians had experienced the same level of suffering and ...
READ MORE
Mass Grave of History: The Vatican’s WWII Identity Crisis
The controversy over the canonization of Pope Pius XII concerns whether he spoke out enough against the slaughter of Jews during World War II. But that question is a red herring when trying to grasp the big picture of the Vatican's role during the war. The real question is whether the Vatican supported the world order, or at least aspects of it, that the Third Reich promised to bring, a world order in which dead Jews were collateral damage - which Pius indeed regretted. The answer can be found in a region of Europe that is generally ignored despite being ...
READ MORE
The Unspoken War on Yemen
Is your money that good? Will it buy you forgiveness? Do you think that it could?” (Bob Dylan, b. 1941, Masters of War) On Tuesday 6th of September, twenty-four hour monitoring by Yemen’s Legal Centre for Rights and Development (LCRD) recorded the bombings by the Saudi led “coalition”, armed by the US and UK and advised by their military specialists, thus collusion and co-operation of both countries render them equally culpable for the carnage. Yemen has a population of just 24.41 million (2013 figure) and according to the Rural Poverty Portal: “ … is one of the driest, poorest and least developed countries in ...
READ MORE
Israel: An Innocent Victim of Arab Imperialism?
For over 65 years, since the establishment of the State of Israel at the behest of the then American Zionist lobby, its successor has ensured that billions of US dollars in aid, grants, loans, guarantees, tax exemptions and ‘deals’ are funneled to the Israeli Treasury Secretary in order to give the satellite state an unprecedented economic and military advantage over any other country in the Middle East or Europe. All paid for by an unwitting American taxpayer.The total amount is sufficiently mind­-boggling that it is impossible to quantify. The current monies and ‘aid’ that flow openly from the US to ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: Heroin Transport Corridor
Pages Purged by Facebook Were on Blacklist Promoted by Washington Post
America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group
The Other Side of John McCain
Serbia’s Sovereignty as a Nation State: Serbia does not need a ‘Dialogue’ on Kosovo
Twenty-Six Things About the Islamic State (ISIL) That Obama Does Not Want You to Know About
The Entire Mainstream Warmongering Media is Fake
Jamala’s 1944: Song for Nazi Tatars
Do We Really Want War with Russia?
A Brief History of Fascism in the United States
RT’s Inappropriate WWI Revisionism
Pompeo the Warmonger Supports Authoritarian Regimes
America’s Imperial Empire: The Sun Never Sets but the Mote Remains in the Emperor’s Eye
An Isolated Tyrannical Regime – Not Pyongyang, It’s Washington
Authentic Video on the U.S. Democratization of Afghanistan
An Idea of the Yugoslav Unification (2)
Kosovo is not Serbia’s Kurdistan, but Balkan’s IS/Daesh
Mass Grave of History: The Vatican’s WWII Identity Crisis
The Unspoken War on Yemen
Israel: An Innocent Victim of Arab Imperialism?
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share