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Israeli voters are bringing radical ultranationalists too close to power — RT World News

To return to power, Benjamin Netanyahu had to make a deal with a group known to promote Jewish supremacy and segregation As Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to form Israel’s next government, the ultranationalist alliance of religious Zionism celebrates its own rise to power , having moved from the fringe to the mainstream and perhaps the second most powerful group in government. This represents a loss for the administration of US President Joe Biden and will have far-reaching consequences for the Palestinians. Israelis went to the polls for the fifth time in three years on Tuesday, paving the way for another government led by Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party. However, the return to power of Israel’s longest-serving prime minister is largely due to the rise of the infamous ultra-nationalist alliance of Religious Zionism, with which Netanyahu signed a deal promising government positions in return for support. . Religious Zionism then emerged as the third-largest elected slate in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. This means that Benjamin Netanyahu will be at the mercy of politicians who were once known as outsiders and labeled a “Danger to Israel” by the editor of the Jerusalem Post. The two most important personalities of religious Zionism are Itamar Ben-Gvir of the “Jewish Power” party and Bezalel Smotrich of the “National Union-Tkuma” party. The first is a follower of ultra-nationalist extremist Meir Kahane, whose Kach party was barred from running for a Knesset seat in 1988 for being “obviously racist” and later labeled a terrorist group by Tel Aviv. and Washington. Ben-Gvir took over the “Jewish Power” party from his colleague Ben-Zion Gopstein, also barred from running for the Knesset for racist remarks, and who currently leads the group known as Lehava, which advocates segregation and prevention of mixed conflicts. marriages between Jews and Arabs. Ben-Gvir has been prosecuted in Israel more than 53 times, by his own admission, for supporting a terrorist group, inciting racism and violence against Arabs. Bezalel Smotrich, on the other hand, advocated the segregation of Arabs and Jews in maternity hospitals and asserts that God commands Jews not to sell their homes to Arabs. Smotrich was labeled by a leading British Jewish body as promoting a “hateful ideology” and told to leave the UK, while touring Jewish communities. Similarly, Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power party was last year labeled “racist and reprehensible” by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The fact that publications such as the Jerusalem Post call them “fascist” and that staunchly pro-Israel groups in the US and UK have branded these figures as racists, gives some idea of ​​how divisive they are. Both Smotrich and Ben-Gvir envision senior cabinet posts in any Netanyahu-led government, which means that not only will the alliance of religious Zionism have the power to greatly influence the policies of the new government, but that it will will likely strive to be active players in the firm. “We will reassert ownership of this state,” Ben-Gvir said in a speech after exit polls showed significant gains for religious Zionism, which seeks to overhaul Israel’s legal system and expel Israelis. Palestinian citizens of Israel if they show “disloyalty” to the Jewish state. From a US perspective, a Biden administration official reportedly told Israel Hayom News that they were opposed to Itamar Ben-Gvir becoming a minister in any Israeli government. According to the analysis of Shalom Lipner, who served in Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office from 1990 to 2016, and published in “Foreign Policy”, a majority victory for the Netanyahu bloc would put it at the mercy of the ultranationalists of religious Zionism and could provoke a schism between Tel Aviv and Washington. Religious Zionism will also push for other political priorities, including long-term prison sentences for illegal immigrants, as well as the introduction of the death penalty for Palestinian citizens of Israel who kill Jewish Israelis, and for revoking the citizenship of Palestinian Israelis for throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli Jews. Another controversial policy position is the repeal of a provision of the Law of Return of Jews, which currently allows anyone with a Jewish grandparent to claim Israeli citizenship even if they are not Jewish themselves. If this amendment to the Jewish Law of Return is passed by the new government, it could have a huge impact on immigration to Israel from around the world and provoke a backlash from Jewish communities around the world. What has been largely glossed over, however, is the impact of such an Israeli government on Palestinians in the Palestinian Authority (PA). In September, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid addressed the UN General Assembly, raising the idea of ​​a two-state solution, as did PA President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Joe Biden. Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz, then defense minister, were both making more efforts to strengthen the PA in the West Bank, to enable it to deal with the growing number of Palestinian armed groups in the occupied territories. If the far-right Netanyahu-led government that seems destined to rule is inaugurated, it is likely to outright reject any talk of a two-state solution. The problem for both the Palestinian Authority and Israel is that they both need each other to prevent the armed uprising in the West Bank from escalating further. If Mahmoud Abbas is snubbed by Netanyahu and the PA is strangled under the influence of religious Zionism, the Palestinian Authority will be forced to fight Israel or face a possible rebellion from within. Moreover, if the PA cannot be effective against Palestinian grassroots movements, NGOs and newly formed armed groups, then the Israeli army will be forced to do all the heavy lifting, which means escalation and even greater bloodshed. If we combine the policies that may be underway to deal with Palestinians under occupation, with the possible injustices that may be perpetrated against Palestinian citizens of Israel, the stage may well be set for a full-scale Palestinian uprising. Not only did the Israeli public vote for a radical right-wing government, but they may also have just voted for a massive escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT. Not all news on the site expresses the views of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.


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