Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Why It's A Good Thing Netanyahu Won

The results of Israel's general election appear to show the Likud as the largest party in the Knesset, with 30 seats.  It beat the Zionist Union into second place, and defeat has been acknowledged by Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, the Union's leaders.

So Bibi Netanyahu has won, and will be the centrepiece of whatever coalition government eventuates.  This news is being reported on Irish media as a 'swing to the right' in Israeli politics, but this description is a misnomer.  Israeli politics has been shifting to the right since Likud first came to power under Begin in 1977.  The Zionist Union is led by politicians who are no more likely to permit the emergence of a Palestinian state than Netanyahu, and whose hands are soaked in blood like his.  Livni is a war crimes suspect; her colleague Herzog criticised Netanyahu last summer for not prosecuting the bombardment of Gaza with sufficient vigour.

The reason it's a good thing that Netanyahu has won is that his racism, his supremacism, his militarism, his unwillingness to negotiate, his eagerness to attack Iran, his support for the theft of Palestinian land, his contempt for Palestinian suffering are all obvious and overt.  One only has to watch his recent performances - boorish, arrogant, crude, philistine, racist - in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo marches and in Washington where he turned America's parliament into a venue for Israeli electioneering to recognise what kind of demagogue Netanyahu is, and the ghastly face he turns to the world.  He lacks the polish of some of his opponents on Israel's 'centre' and on its 'dovish' 'left', and so he does not mobilise the discourse of the 'peace process' and 'the two state solution'.  And this is a good thing, as this discourse has become Israel's best propaganda figleaf, so heavily invested in it is the European political elite, and the American Democratic Party.  With Bibi in power, the case for BDS becomes that bit easier to make.  No more bullshit for nothing.

Here is Philip Weiss, reacting to the election on Mondoweiss:

Who can save Israel now?


And Avigail Abarbanel:

Netanyahu won. Now what?


And here is Ali Abunimeh on Electronic Intifada:

Why I'm relieved Netanyahu won





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