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Have Israel’s Election Campaigns Exposed It as a Fascist State?

Robert Inlakesh
21st Century Wire

Tomorrow, Israelis will head to the voting booths to elect their next government.

Whether Israel re-elects Benjamin Netanyahu, an even further to the right politician or the number one competitor, former chief of staff of Israel’s military, Benny Gantz, one thing has already been concluded for Israel. Israel will continue its descent into an even more openly militaristic and ultimately fascist state.

One positive thing that has came out of this Israeli election, regardless of its outcome, is what has been exposed about Israel to the world.

If we take for example, the two most likely candidates to become the next Israeli Prime Minister, Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu, we will see a clear picture of what they understand of the Israeli population. I say this, because politicians will run their campaigns with the specific aim of enticing their potential voters with what is seen to represent them.

So what are the problematic key issues that both Gantz and Netanyahu have ran on?

War and racism.

Back in March, current Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu decided to make two controversial moves in order to attract support for his campaign. The first was attempting to align himself with the Kahanist mentality baring Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) Party, a far-right racist party whose ideology aligns with the Kach movement, a group so extreme that even Israel has outlawed it. The second was to unnecessarily hitting the headlines replying to the instagram comments of Israeli TV star, Rotem Sela, who questioned the language used by Israeli Culture Minister, Miri Regev, when referring to Arab parties in Israel. Netanyahu lashed out, claiming that Israel “is not a country of all its citizens” and is for “Jews alone”.

Roughly 25% of Israeli citizenship owners are Palestinians – or as Israel describes them “Arab Israelis” – and are essentially second class citizens. Another interesting move taken in Israel, was to prohibit the ‘Arab Israeli’ Party called Balad from being elected to Knesset, Netanyahu even accused the party leader of being a terrorist.

Netanyahu then went ahead and traveled to the United States, where he was received by US president Donald Trump, who signed for him an official decree recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the illegally annexed – as of 1981- Golan from Syria.

Benjamin Netanyahu also has consistently reminded his population that under his rule the ‘Nation State Bill’ was passed, which downgraded Arabic from a national language and isolated all non-Jewish minority populations by stating that Israel is the a state in which only Jews are to have self determination. Netanyahu also reminds his people that he was the PM under which Donald Trump recognized, on behalf of the US, that Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel.

Other than running on a platform of far-right rhetoric and illegal expansion into a foreign country, Netanyahu also ran on militarism.

Russia’s Putin also handed Netanyahu yet another gift, adding to the military pride side of his campaign, giving the remains of an Israeli Staff Sergeant whose body was lost during Israel’s murderous war upon Lebanon in 1982, which resulted in the murder of roughly 15,000 people in Lebanon. This was extremely significant because well over 1.2 million Russian Jews – most of which value a close Israeli-Russian alliance – live in Israel (not including those living amongst the approximately 750,000 illegal settler in the West Bank). The move from Russia undoubtedly will win over votes to Netanyahu in the coming election. We talk about Russia’s involvement in US elections, but this seems to have been largely missed by western media, Putin has even been accused of betraying its ally Syria over this timely campaign gift to Likud’s Netanyahu.

Many other things have been said and done by Benjamin Netanyahu, that have been called out as racist, but perhaps the most significant thing that he has stated, is that he will officially annex Illegal West Bank settlements into Israel. If this is the case and the United States, which earlier this year removed the term occupied from its description of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, we could see another attempt by Israel to commit yet another mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

And then we have the “Centrist” opposition, in Benny Gantz’s ‘Blue and White’, which has ran a campaign along very similar lines.

Benny Gantz was Chief of Staff of Israel’s Military during the 2014 war upon the besieged Gaza Strip, a war in which over 2000 Gazan civilians were massacred, and Gantz has made it his mission to bolster of his performance as a mass murderer in Gaza. A former paratrooper, Mr. Gantz also believes that the Israeli population will vote for him if he talks about his ability to kill Arabs.

As Gaza is the weak-spot of Netanyahu, due to Israelis overwhelmingly disapproving of his “weak stance” on the issue, Gantz has began to capitalize. Benny Gantz, the centrist opposition, has ran his campaign, promising to finish Hamas in Gaza and wipe out all the militant factions in the Gaza Strip, his solution is more bombs than Netanyahu, more aggression than Netanyahu and to deal with the Gaza Strip in a much harsher way.

Ultimately, no matter who wins tomorrow, the Palestinians and surrounding countries in the region, lose. The only other options, that will likely gain significant power, to Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Kahol Lavan, are far-right groups with Israeli Labour weaker than it has ever been.

The days of left wing tyrants are over and the time for right wing war mongers is now and with it comes the Israeli population, as the society continues to drift further towards the far-right.

Author Robert Inlakesh is a special contributor to 21WIRE and European correspondent for Press TV. He has reported from on the ground in occupied Palestine. See more of his work here

READ MORE PALESTINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Palestine Files




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