Numerous tools have been developed by Israeli Power to incite Palestinians. There has never been a closer sense of a third intifada.
The Biden administration has stumbled in response to questions about whether the United States should declare its “unbreakable bond” with an incoming Israeli government that is led by fascist parties, criminals, and homophobes.
In a defiant statement this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington would “gauge the government by the policies and procedures, rather than individual personalities.”.
Not least, the necessary pressure might have been applied to stop 2022 from becoming the bloodiest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005 if the US had previously been willing to judge Israel based on policy.
Contrary to what Blinken claims, Israeli governments are never made to answer for their actions, whether they involve the illegal construction of settlements, the 15-year siege of Gaza and its ongoing bombardment, or the demolition of homes in East Jerusalem.
Instead, US administrations have been quick to accept from Israel’s leadership any security justification or consoling promise – and label even the most unlikely Israeli prime ministers as “peacemakers.”.
Blinken’s observation was absurd for another reason though.
How precisely can the “personalities” in the new government, which is the most right-wing and religious in Israeli history, be separated from its policies?
Take Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition as an example of such a “personality”. Zvika Fogel recently demanded the elimination of “proportionality,” the cornerstone of international humanitarian law, in an interview with Channel 4. She went on to say specifically: “If it’s one Israeli mother crying or 1,000 Palestinian mothers crying, then 1,000 Palestinian mothers will cry.”
It is not surprising that Fogel holds this opinion. He is a member of the racist Jewish Power movement. He held several high-ranking positions in the Israeli military before entering politics, including command of the Southern Command, which is responsible for Gaza. He had plenty of room to put his worldview into practice over the years.
If Fogel will work for the government is still a mystery. But Itamar Ben-Gvir, his boss at Jewish Power, most definitely will.
Netanyahu must maintain Jewish Power and its sister organizations, Religious Zionism and Noam. In the general election last month, they garnered the third-largest number of votes by running together. They have a lot of support, but they actually represent the violent, deranged, and extreme settler movement elements.
He has been caught on camera shoving Palestinian shopkeepers and pointing his own gun at Palestinians in Hebron. He was found guilty in 2007 of funding the banned Kach party of the virulent anti-Arab racist Rabbi Meir Kahane.
By renaming Kach Jewish Power, Ben-Gvir was able to avoid the possibility of a second conviction. At this point, the terrorist group is in power.
Netanyahu is well aware of the fact that by allying with overtly fascist parties, he has disgraced his patron, the US superpower.
For this reason, he tried his best to buy into Blinken’s act last week. Netanyahu said of his coalition, “Coalitions make interesting bedfellows,” adding, “They [Religious Zionism] are joining me. I won’t be a part of them.”