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The end of the Netanyahu era doesn't mean the end of the occupation

If Netanyahu is replaced, things might actually get worse for Palestinians.

A giant portrait of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a protest against the Jewish Nation-State Law in Tel-Aviv on July 30, 2018. (Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

A giant portrait of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a protest against the Jewish Nation-State Law in Tel-Aviv on July 30, 2018. (Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

As election results started pouring in Tuesday night, one could hear a sigh of relief – and even some cries of joy – among Israelis who identify with the center-left.

According to near-final results, the right absorbed a serious blow. Its voter intimidation campaign failed to deter Palestinian citizens of Israel from going to the polling stations, and may have actually backfired, giving the Joint List additional mandates. Meanwhile, the Zionist left parties held on to the same number of seats as in the previous election.

The Netanyahu era is probably coming to an end. His options are limited: he might join a unity government with Blue and White, which means the latter would backtrack on its campaign promise not to sit with Netanyahu; his own party might oust him; or there might be a third election. In any case, Netanyahu won’t be able to prevent the Attorney General from issuing criminal indictments against him; he will soon be forced to step aside.

This is no small matter. Given political patterns in Israel over the past decade, the departure of Netanyahu might signal a shift in a new direction. We might be seeing the last days of a decade-long, Trump-like style of leadership based on racist rhetoric toward Palestinian citizens, left-wing NGOs, the media, and the judicial system. This is indeed a reason to rejoice.

The occupation, however, is not going anywhere. Israeli military control over the day-to-day lives of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank, the siege on Gaza, and the structural discrimination against hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in East Jerusalem are all here to stay. None of these three aforementioned groups were allowed to vote for the government that decides their fate.



Likud, which is likely to play a central role in the next government (with or without Netanyahu), will not end the occupation or the siege. Neither will Avigdor Liberman, a settler who has historically incited against Palestinians. Nor will Blue and White, a party run by a group of former IDF generals who presided over the occupation, and who have already made a career out of planning to bomb Gaza “back to the stone age.” The end of the Netanyahu era does not mean the annexation of the Jordan Valley or the settlement of Kiryat Arba — which the prime minister promised in the last few days of his campaign — but it certainly is not the dawn of a new peace process. Far from it.

The occupation not only not going anywhere, but might actually become even more deeply entrenched. Apart from the Joint List, not a single party in these elections offered any solution for ending the occupation. As Meron Rapoport previously wrote, Jewish rule and supremacy throughout Israel-Palestine has become so thoroughly etched into the political consensus that it’s actually fracturing the right, which has lost its unifying ideological pillar.

Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinians at Qalandiya checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 9, 2009. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Illustrative photo of Israeli soldiers firing tear gas at Palestinian protesters at Qalandiya checkpoint. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

In spite of this, we could be entering a new phase in the way the international community treats Israel. Liberal forces such as the Democratic Party in the U.S., and particularly its voter base, who have become more critical of Israel’s occupation policies, might mistakenly see the fall of Netanyahu and the rise of the so-called “moderate” Blue and White party as a sign that things are about to change. They might be fooled into thinking this “new Israel” deserves a second chance at peace negotiations. That would be bad news for Palestinians; outside of international pressure on Israel, they have very little leverage. Meanwhile, Israelis prefer to maintain the status quo.

Trump has postponed the unveiling of his “Deal of the Century” until after the elections. It will likely aim to further entrench Israel’s control over the occupied territories, while trying to “buy off” Palestinian resistance with financial benefits, and normalizing relations between Israel and Arab countries. These developments will only embolden Israel to commit further human rights violations and war crimes.

While we celebrate the possible end of Netanyahu’s rule, we must continue to remind the world about the silenced voices of our political environment. Millions of Palestinians living under Israel’s boot are not going anywhere, and it’s our responsibility to put an end to that reality.

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    1. Bernard Bohbot

      Ignorant journalist: the Palestinians have rejected three peace plans that would have allowed them to recover virtually all the occupied territories in 2001, 2008, and 2014. They would’ve had a state a long time ago if they wanted to. It doesn’t justify Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, but arguing that the Palestinians are blameless victims shows how ignorant (or biased) Haggai Matar is.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @Bernard Bohbot: “…the Saudi crown prince announced an initiative to reach a diplomatic agreement between the Arab nations and Israel…it called for full Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories, including east Jerusalem, in accordance with the U.N. resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The decision also proposed a ‘just solution’ to the refugee problem. In return, the Arab nations would fully normalize their relations ‘in a context of peace’. The Arab League adopted the [2002] initiative, which thus became the formal position of the Arab world….the proposal was not without problems from the Israeli perspective…but Israel did not request clarifications or propose changes to the agreement; neither did it use the proposal as a basis for diplomatic discussions. Its leaders preferred simply to ignore the initiative…”

        – page 208, “War Over Peace: One Hundred Years of Israel’s Militaristic Nationalism” by Uri Ben-Eliezer.

        But what now?

        Reply to Comment
      • Bernard Bohbot

        The Arab League peace initiative is problematic, as it does not say clearly that the refugees will have to settle in the future Palestinian state. Still, you guys can’t disregard the fact that Abbas rejected the 2014 Kerry/Obama framework.

        Reply to Comment
      • Eliza

        But Bernard, Haggai Matar is not ‘arguing that the Palestinians re blameless victims’ at all. He is stating that the demise of Netanyahu (if that actually happens) may allow those in the international community who have been critical of Israel and the occupation/siege to fool themselves into thinking that the election results signal a re-set within Israel and that Israel should be given the benefit of the doubt. That is, minus Netanyahu we can expect Israel to somehow self-correct.

        Except it won’t in relation to the occupation/siege. The real electoral battle going on is that between the religious and secular forces within Israel. The electoral battle was never over the continuing occupation and there will be no change for the better here. Whether or not the power of the religious within Israel over Jewish Israelis is diminished, remains to be seen.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Reality Check

      Correct, it does not bring peace. For peace the Arab side has to come to terms with Israel’s right to exist and to choose to coexist.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        @Reality: Let me try to explain how reality works: diplomatic agreements are detailed, boring lists of rights and responsibilities – you get to build a 3,000 square foot consulate here, I get to build a 3,000 square consulate in a similar place, and on and on. ( the cure for insomnia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Treaties_of_Israel ).

        The demand to recognize Israel’s “right to exist” might make sense if it was presented as part of a complete package of rights and responsibilities, but it isn’t presented that way – it’s simply some weird stand-alone demand that has no real content. As far as I can tell Israel hasn’t proposed any peace agreement with the Palestinians in the last 20 years.

        Reply to Comment
      • Rivka Koen

        “If Jews would just accept Jesus, antisemitism would end.”

        Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      @Bohbot and Reality Check: With you guys I feel like I’m listening to Flat Earthers. Yet again. They keep repeating things long exposed as untrue, and a certain percentage of them really believe the untruths and no amount of reasoning will persuade them otherwise, and another percentage of them just get a kick out of repeating provocative falsehoods for their own private reasons.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Ben

      Eli Valley yesterday:
      “Dramatic Israeli election results; too early to say whether an explicit-apartheid coalition will win or if it’ll go to the implicit-apartheid camp.”

      Yousef Munayyer yesterday:
      “BREAKING: Pro-Apartheid Party wins Israeli election.”

      Reply to Comment
      • itshak Gordine

        According to a study published today, 65% of Israeli Arabs are proud to be citizens of this country. All of this contradicts what some leftists claim.

        Reply to Comment
    5. itshak Gordine

      It should be noted that the right-wing blo has more votes than the center and the left united. So Mr. Netanyahu is far from being beaten. Then, as usual, 972 mag occults the Jewish History which considers Judea and Samaria as part of the historical heritage of the Jewish people.

      Reply to Comment
      • Rivka Koen

        The center and the left united (Labor and Meretz, respectively) has only 11 seats – obviously no coalition is being formed without the right (Blue and White), and it remains to be seen whether the extreme right will end up forming yet another coalition.

        Reply to Comment
    6. Ben

      Lisa Goldman via twitter:

      “One of the striking aspects of post-election political analysis in Israel is the reluctance or inability of the liberal Zionist left to grapple w the implications of the party that represents Arab-Palestinian and non-Zionist citizens becoming the third largest in the Knesset. Not only the third largest party in the Knesset, but potentially the official opposition. This is the big conundrum for liberal Israelis and for liberal Jews who identify as Zionists. On the one hand, they are emotionally (and sometimes ideologically) attached to the idea of a state for the Jews. But this can clash with their liberal values. Ultimately it’s not really possible to maintain a liberal state defined as a state for the Jews, while claiming that the native-born minority is both equal but not equal enough to sit in the government or head the IDF (for example). And we still haven’t talked about the nearly 5 million Palestinians living under varying degrees of statelessness and/or military occupation — for 52 years now. There’s never going to be a two-state solution, so according to liberal values they should be enfranchised. So this is a conundrum. Values versus loyalty. Emotional connection versus detached intellectual analysis. This generation of Palestinian citizens of Israel are much more confident than their parents’ generation (the second generation after 1948). They’re Palestinian and they’re citizens of Israel and they aren’t letting anyone else define their identity for them. There’s a cultural and political shift coming. No one knows how it’s going to play out, though. I’ll leave it there for now. Might pick up again later.”

      Reply to Comment
    7. Ben

      Yousef Munayyer via twitter:

      “If Netanyahu is done, and that is a big if, it will be very interesting to watch how US liberal Zionists will continue to defend the status quo without Netanyahu to hide behind.
      Israeli politics is in the same place today as it was yesterday and as it was in April. Neither Netanyahu and his allies, or his challengers, can form a government on their own. Netanyahu continues to drag entire polity right-ward. Whatever govt emerges will back Apartheid.
      Liberal Zionists have argued against any real pressure on Israel, favoring instead seeking a domestic political alternative to a Netanyahu led govt. Pressure, they believe, would make that harder to achieve. This is wrong for several reasons.
      First this approach is morally wrong because it puts progress toward achieving the human rights of Palestinians in the hands of Israeli voters; perpetually giving them a veto on the humanity of Palestinians. There is no defense for this.
      Additionally it’s strategically flawed and counterproductive. Failure to hold Israel to account only incentivized the takeover of the Israeli polity by right wing ideology. Today there’s opposition to Netanyahu the personality but no significant opposition to Netanyahu’s policies
      The VAST majority of Israel’s political spectrum today supports perpetual presence in OPT, any variance is over how much, not a difference in principle. This was made possible by US sending Israel the message that there would be no accountability for violations like settlements
      Including under Obama. So now there is an opportunity to test Liberal Zionist analysis if Netanyahu is out of the way. Was the problem Netanyahu or the policies of the Israeli state perpetrated by various parties, including those that will succeed him?
      We Palestinians have not had the luxury or privilege of being able to pretend it was not the latter. Hopefully a change in political circumstances will force an end of pretending for Liberal Zionists as well.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Bernard Bohbot

        Apologies… I should have not been so aggressive toward Hagai Mattar. My point is just that the Palestinians also are to blame for the stalemate. In my humble opinion, a confederation is the only way to really solve the conflict without disregarding the refugee issue. However, I’m tired of 972 mag journalists attacking Zionism all the time and using liberal Zionists as scapegoats. Jews had no other choice but to go to Palestine. They were persecuted and they had nowhere else to go. It doesn’t mean that the Palestinians were wrong to want to preserve the territorial integrity of their country. But let’s stop depicting Zionism as racist-colonialist aggression. It’s childish…

        Reply to Comment
        • Bruce Gould

          @Bernard: I’m just going to make a claim and point you to where you can find the links and references for yourself:

          I claim that with few exceptions the Zionist founders of Israel were on the same page as Moshe Sharrett when he said “We have forgotten that we have not come to an empty land to inherit it, but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it.”

          The supporting literature can be found in Ben White’s “Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide”

          Reply to Comment
        • carmen

          “But let’s stop depicting Zionism as racist-colonialist aggression. It’s childish…”

          What’s childish is your rejection of reality. Zionism has been and continues to be the promulgation of racism and xenophobia with colonialism/occupation the end game. Which is one of the explanations for nutty and benny’s (sounds like ice cream) refusal to acknowledge the joint list, which is the 3rd largest block in the knesset as of this election. 20% of the zionist state’s population are christian and muslim FFS. Oh and there are 4.5 million palestinians who aren’t allowed to vote at all. yay democracy……………..

          Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Carmen’s problem is that she believes the Gazans and Yesha Jordanians are nice liberal people that are simply misunderstood. When it is pointed out to Carmen that in Gaza, gay people are thrown off tall buildings, women are stoned to death for “crimes of honor” and polygamy is legal, she puts her fingers in her ears and cries “la la lah” and refuses to listen.

            Then, Carmen buys the nonsense that Israeli Arabs are “fakestinyan” in the same way that those JORDANIANS living in Yesha are. The farcical reality is that no such nationality ever existed and never will.
            That makes Carmen a silly social justice warrioress !

            Reply to Comment
          • itshak Gordine

            Israel’s Arab minority makes up 20% of the population. Christians are very few and Israel is the guarantor of their survival. Israel has proved that it is a great democracy since the Arabs were able to choose their Knesset deputies and make them the 3rd state party. However, if Arabs are the 20% of Israel’s population, they also make up 60% of the prison population. The Arab community is plagued by crime and blood-crimes. However, most of them are good people who think of working, studying and living in peace because they will not find any better situation in any Arab country than in Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            This kind of takes the case for treacly hypocrisy, Halevy.

            1. “Most of them are good people”. . . but Kahane was right (so Itshak has suggested) when Kahane said that “[the Arabs of Israel] want to kill us, they want to wipe us out, and it is up to each and every Jew to rise up” against them.

            (more to follow)

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            2. “Christians are very few and Israel is the guarantor of their survival” (so says Itshak) but Israel undeniably discriminates against Christians, Jewish extremists burn their churches and clergy are objects of hate and vandalism, and Israeli authorities devote to this problem not one hundredth of the energy they would devote to similar crimes against Jewish clergy and houses of worship:

            A fire that badly damaged a church containing fifth-century mosaics, in Tabgha in the Galilee in the north of present-day Israel, has underlined the threat to Palestinian history and culture – as well as to lives and livelihoods – posed by extremists in Israel. The attack bears many of the hallmarks of settler “price tag“ attacks…Sixteen youths from West Bank settlements, including the extremist stronghold Yitzhar, were arrested soon after the attack, but released just a few hours later without charge. Other sites that have suffered similar attacks include another church in Tabgha and a mosque in Fureidis, both in the Galilee region, in 2014, and a Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem in 2015.
            In recent weeks, tensions rose in Jerusalem when Jewish extremists barricaded themselves in the Cenacle, a site in the Old City where Christians believe Jesus and his disciples held the Last Supper. The extremists, who were forcibly removed by Israeli police, were attempting to prevent Christians from holding Pentecost celebrations there.
            Monks from the Benedictine Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem have also complained that they are increasingly the targets of “hate crimes” ranging from spitting, verbal attacks and vandalism….
            “Netanyahu stands at the head of the incitement system against the Arab public in Israel, and he is guilty of the revenge attacks we witness in the morning news,” the [Joint Arab List] party stated. “A so-called price-tag attack is not an act by deviants, but rather an act by calculated, thinking people that are indicative of the existence and repercussions of institutionalized racism and oppression.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            3. “The Arab community is plagued by crime and blood-crimes.”

            Said as if the Israeli state does not grossly discriminate against Arab towns in terms of services and police enforcement (never mind land and housing). And said as if the injustice of this, crying out to the heavens, is not a major plank Ayman Odeh ran on in this election. As if the Arab community has not been begging the state to do something for a very long time.

            4. “a great democracy since the Arabs were able to choose their Knesset deputies”

            The condescension and supremacy in the wording of this by you reflects a system in which pervasive discrimination is built in and the smug overlord bestows.

            “That’s the illusion of Israeli elections: They create the false impression that the state’s Palestinian citizens are part of the game. It’s the same with the Israeli propagandist’s hollow response to the accusation of apartheid: We have Arab legislators, in contrast to the blacks in apartheid South Africa, ergo we don’t have apartheid. But when the Arabs succeed and they become the third-largest faction in the Knesset, as they did (again) in this election, then the masks come off, and the game is over….”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Their overriding concern in recent years isn’t violence in the West Bank but an increasingly lethal crime spree in Arab towns and villages, where murder rates far exceed those in the Jewish sector. Thus, the main demand made of Arab politicians is not to champion Palestinians but to cajole the government and the Israeli police to intervene with force to put an end to the crime wave, just as they would if the victims were Jews. Disappointed by Netanyahu’s response, the Arabs are understandably trying their luck with Gantz instead…
            [Joint Lists’s] pragmatic pivot toward involvement in mainstream Israeli politics and willingness to jump off the fence and endorse a former army of chief of staff [during the 2014 Gaza War, in which many hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed and which deaths Ganz specifically bragged about] are the kind of changes that Jewish Israeli politicians have always demanded. You would never know that, however, judging by the reactions it garnered, which ran from distinctly cool to the customary crazy.”

            Reply to Comment
        • Eliza

          Bernard: The odds are that hard times are coming to Liberal Zionists and I think that Liberal Zionists in the USA who continue to believe in Israel’s capacity to deliver territorial Zionism while at the same time adhere to nice progressive liberal ideals, are going to be operating in smaller and smaller and more confusing circles.

          And this is not just because of the demands of maintaining the occupation/siege; I doubt that its possible to maintain an occupation over others for more than fifty years in a gentle manner guaranteed not to offend the sensibilities of the liberal folk or put the occupied off-side, but if it is, Israel certainly hasn’t cracked it. Its also the separation of church and state issue and how much influence should the religious wield over the secular. The issue of women praying at the Western Wall is one that causes Liberal Zionists to be at odds with Israel. Minus the occupation/siege, and this issue will remain.

          But I fail to understand how you read into the article that Haggai Matar is ‘attacking Zionism’ or ‘using liberal Zionists as scapegoats’.

          He is certainly speaking against the occupation but opposition to the occupation is well within the parameters of Zionism. He also sees international opinion and opposition to being helpful to the Palestinian cause and laments that the removal of Netanyahu may fool the ‘liberal forces’ especially in the Democratic base, into thinking that Israel is capable of a significant re-set in relation to the Palestinians. He does not even specify that these ‘liberal forces’ are American Liberal Zionists or Jews. Nor does he go into any characterisation of the Israeli ‘boot’ on millions of Palestinians as being ‘colonial racist aggression’. He just notes that there is an Israeli boot on millions of Palestinians.

          I think its probable that the removal of Netanyahu as Prime Minister will give Liberal Zionists some breathing space. But I also have no doubt that eventually even Liberal Zionists are going to have to face up to the fact that the removal of Netanyahu will not substantially alter things on the ground within Israel when enough time has passed and it has not, in fact, changed things on the ground. Its only a matter of time.

          Finally, have you ever questioned whether or not Jewish DPs at the end of WWII did, in fact, have options other than migration to Palestine? Have you ever considered the role of establishment Zionist organisations in hindering European Jewish migration to the USA or UK in order to bolster the numbers migrating to Palestine both in the years prior to WWII and at its cessation? These establishment Zionist organisations don’t scrub up to clean in this regard.

          Reply to Comment
      • Lewis from Afula

        Yousef Munayyer ?
        Whose that?
        Some American guy who calls himself “fakestinyan” (whatever that means).
        This nobody is totally irrelevant to Israeli history. This guy represents no ethnic group nor major organization. Munayyer will likely surely assimilate into that decrepid sewer that is Uncle Scam. That Comrade Ben quotes this man’s twitter output just provides extra proof that Munayyer is a useless muppet.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          There, there, you poor sensitive Kahanist, I know the past few days have been very traumatic for you. It’s hard for you to imagine Bibi King o’ Israel, Inciter in Chief, entering wing 10 of Maasiyahu after Arabs voted in droves, and even harder for you to imagine, without you sputtering in rage and gnawing on your arm, Ayman Odeh as opposition leader with a security detail and official state car and briefings. But all is not lost, no doubt Benny and Avigdor will support your Afula real estate purification project and continue to bomb the hell out of Gaza. Cheer up.

          Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Comrade Ben is one of these morons who think Bibi LOST.
            No, Ben. the election resulted in a DRAW !
            That means some kind of rotational arrangement between Bibi & Gantz.
            Bibi will be Foreign Minister while Gantz will be Prime Minister. Then, after 2 years, they will swap places.

            I realize for Leftist nutcases, it is a difficult concept for you to grasp.
            Keep thinking about the idea and you will eventually understand it!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Can Abu Yair do it? Can Bibi-Houdini wriggle himself out of multiple indictments, conviction and Maasiyahu Prison? With banana republic immunity plus supreme court castration?
            Can Fig Leaf Gantz debase himself further?
            Or will the Afulanians and the Yeshanians have to gnaw on their arms and take valium watching an Arab for gawdalmighty’s sake lead the opposition?
            Anything’s possible in “the only democracy in the Middle East!”
            Stay tuned for the latest installment of this wild Middle Eastern reality show!

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            More political nonsense from a guy who does not even live here !

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          • Ben

            Speaking of who lives where and says what, Lewis from Afula does not live in the occupied territories but opines on them all the time, and Itshak G. Halevy does not live in Israel but opines on it all the time. Lotsa people livin’ elsewhere!

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            while Comrade Ben is the biggest hypocrite of all.
            He does not live in Israel nor Judea & Samaria.
            No, he lives 5000 miles away in Uncle Scam.

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          • Ben

            Arguably, I am much more deeply informed about Israel-Palestine than either you or Itshak. You disparage me as a “Haaretz reader.” I have to laugh. It’s like a die-hard Trump supporter deep in Trumpland denigrating someone as a “failing New York Times reader” and a “Fake News Washington Post reader.” I am going to post something central to our disagreements, something important from Carolina Landsmann that gets to the heart of everything you and Itshak are either deeply confused about or not honest about. It is a dissecting of tribes and dichotomies about which you and all of us need to be better informed. (It will appear below, as it belongs in the main thread in response to this article, not as a response to your inanities.)

            Reply to Comment
    8. Hans Kappler

      I love this website that illustrates the dangers of Jewish supremacy

      Reply to Comment
    9. Ray

      I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
      Roman Calvary choirs are singing
      Be my mirror, my sword and shield
      My missionaries in a foreign field
      For some reason I can’t explain
      I know Saint Peter won’t call my name
      Never an honest word
      But that was when I ruled the world.”

      – “Viva la Vida,” by Coldplay

      Reply to Comment
    10. Bernard Bohbot

      Bruce Gold: Ben White is an idiot calling for the destruction of Israel. Now once again, if you think Jews should have stayed in Europe and die, say it clearly.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        So you are tacitly agreeing with Bruce when he claims that with few exceptions the Zionist founders of Israel were on the same page as Moshe Sharrett when he said “We have forgotten that we have not come to an empty land to inherit it, but we have come to conquer a country from people inhabiting it.”? And we can infer that your position on this is that the only alternative to the Jews choosing to “stay in Europe and die” was to conquer the indigenous people inhabiting the country and engage in a massive, still ongoing 51-year government-organized and backed project to push them into smaller and smaller bantustans? Yes?

        Reply to Comment
    11. Ben

      By Carolina Landsmann: ‘We must stop thinking about the melting pot of Israeli identity as a coercive tool of the shared core, and think about partnership as the Israeli nucleus. President Reuven Rivlin said this in his speech about Israel’s “four main tribes”: the secular, the religious Zionists, the Haredim and the Arabs. Rivlin was wise enough to realize that we must switch from the “conception of majority and minority to a new conception of cooperation between the various communities in Israeli society.”
      Gantz, listen carefully to what Rivlin said. It’s not a protest song from a Tel Aviv flower child, it’s a sober look at the country’s future from the mouth of a president who comes from Likud.
      One more thing. The right’s insistence on treating the strategic reality in terms of occupation and rejection of the two-state solution has paved the way for the Arab citizens of Israel in their battle for civil rights. Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh as Martin Luther King.
      It’s no accident that in recent years they have turned from Israeli Arabs into Palestinian Israelis. The Jews in Israel must realize: Either they acknowledge the occupation and aspire to a two-state solution, or demand ownership of all the territory – and then the Palestinian struggle will focus on equal civil rights on both sides of the Green Line, “one person, one vote.” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as Nelson Mandela. And in the future, instead of a stalemate, a castling between the minority and the majority.
      No nation-state law will help here. To fix the nation-state law as Gantz wants, it’s not enough for a shrewd lawyer to add an asterisk for the Druze. A political revolution in the way of thinking is required. Odeh’s willingness to join a Gantz government seems to show that he’s ready. Does he have an Israeli partner in Kahol Lavan?’

      Reply to Comment
    12. Ben

      Jerusalem Post reporter Lahav Harkov (via twitter):

      “Instead of putting out a press release, Odeh published an op-Ed in the NY Times, because it’s not like he was elected to represent people in **this** country, right.”

      Lisa Goldman in response (via twitter):

      “Lahav Harkov’s racism is so overt. Israeli Jewish politicians publish op-eds in the NYT all the time and she says nothing. But if it’s an Arab citizen of *her* country, she freaks out.”

      Reply to Comment
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