"The Israeli elections clearly demonstrate the absence of a peace partner".
Opinion by : Ambassador Marwan E. Toubassi. Published in AVGI newspaper Sunday, 15, March 2020.
In a speech delivered in September 2014 before the UN General Assembly, my President quoted the late Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish’s verses: “We suffer from an incurable disease called hope” and further in his speech, “Don’t kill the hope of the Palestinian people.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the perseverance of President Abbas , who has been knocking on the doors of the UN for over a decade to convince the member nations to give hope to my Palestinian people and to recognize their right to establish a state on the pre - 1967 borders with East Jerusalem its capital alongside Israel.
Numerous alarm bells were rung this year, warning of the advent of fascism and totalitarianism, and countless comparisons with past events were made, none of them relevant because history, even if it’s cyclical, is never identical. But the 20th century proved that the real threat to democracy occurs when a dominant ideology controls and monopolises media communications who operate under a formal or informal thought - police, creating “scientific theories” that promote the Zionist dream.
In contrast to the previous two elections, which took place when the prime minister was still only suspected of crimes, Netanyahu ran in the 2nd of March Knesset election – the third in the past year – as a person indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases. This means that millions of Israelis voted for a candidate charged with committing felonies.
This is a project that goes beyond protecting a prime minister charged with crimes. The Israeli right is interested in a “sovereignty government,” which would annex territory in violation of international law, steal Palestinian land and establish a de facto apartheid regime. For this reason, the election results cannot be viewed as a random coincidence: To carry out a corrupt policy, you need a corrupt prime minister.
Israel's election results indicate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud is the largest party – but the extreme right-wing bloc has failed to secure a 61-seat majority to form a government. Benny Gantz's Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party trails behind the Likud by several seats. The Israeli political scene after the results of this round of elections will be faced with a more perplexed and deepened crisis and the formation of a government will not be an easy task and could result in a 4th round of elections.
The election results might kill the artificial debate over Netanyahu or Gantz and what will remain is a unanimous agreement on foreign policy, annexation and disdain for Israel’s Arab community. The portion of the Jewish public that explicitly calls for diplomatic solutions, not to mention for ending the occupation as a moral position, has shrunken during these successive elections into a tiny subsection of the so - called left.
The bottom line is that, if the battle did intensify between the two leading contenders on specific issues, on others the race was a barometer of how the Israeli policy now leans decidedly toward the conservative right. The Israeli elections were overwhelmed by the political programs of competing Zionist parties based on racism, repression, incitement and disdain for international law. We witnessed the result of 100 years of Zionist indoctrination which includes land theft, illegal settlements, the ongoing violations of the Palestinian rights and complete rejection of any idea of a just and stable peace. The programs of the main competing parties aim to complete the stabilisation of the Zionist project against our people in all the historic land of Palestine, which demonstrates that the two main blocs are two sides of the same coin.
The Arab Joint List, led by Ayman Odeh is a coalition between the Palestinian forces in Israel (including an Israeli Jew, Dr, Ofer Cassif) and the Israeli Communist Party (Rakah, Haddash), cemented a historic victory, not only remaining Israel's third-largest party but gaining more strength acquiring 15 seats out of the 120 in the Knesset and the 0.004% of the total Jewish votes. Their program includes the end of occupation, defending the right of self – determination and absolute rejection of the Deal of the Century. In my opinion it is clear that the election results reinforced on the one hand the nature of the Israeli political system of a rogue state that violates international law and on the other hand the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in Israel and the original owners of the land in the face of apartheid policies and attempts of deportation and racist national law through the results achieved by the Joint List which represented the unity of our people inside Israel and the support of the remaining few of the Israeli real left.
The next stage will not be easy for our people in the face of a racist, fascist and offensive vision at the time of the rise of the extreme populist right in America and other regions of the world and in light of the international community’s inability to confront except verbal condemnation. The international community will soon be facing serious challenges related to choices its supposed adherence such as the values of justice, democracy, human rights, freedom, anti-racism and occupation.
The confrontation will deepen with this Zionist project however we still have friends and supporters in the world, and there are still democratic people and supportive forces for true peace despite the rapid political transformations and changes in the world. It is essential to benefit, build and expand our alliance and joint work with these forces in all international arenas in order to activate international solidarity, popular resistance, and diplomacy. Our people, led by the PLO who fought for their existence with previous historical joints, will be able to win this new joint by confronting neo-fascism and ominous hatred. We are ready to deal with any Israeli government committed to achieve a just and comprehensive peace based on International legitimacy and UN resolutions to establish a sovereign and independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital on the pre – 1967 borders.