If reports are to be believed, the reign of Benjamin Netanyahu is now in its final stretch as prosecutors and purchased politicians, alike, line up to see that “justice” be done. With the investigation into suspected corruption, bribery, and fraud, calling liberal US Jews expendable, and his recent betrayal of non-Orthodox Jews has many Zionist who were once loyal to Netanyahu questioning his legitimacy and pondering who would his replacement, some are going as far as planning for ease and smooth political transition. As always, the aim is to remove the bombast, yet, to ensure the same supremacist mindset.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak issued a scathing attack Wednesday on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of being a weak and paranoid leader of a government that harms the security of the state. Speaking at an event of the anti-Netanyahu organization Darkenu in Rishon Lezion, Barak accused Netanyahu of making decisions based on his own personal considerations, rather than the good of the country. Barak said Netanyahu’s continued rule was the “sparks of Fascism.” “The countdown to the end of Netanyahu’s tenure has begun, and I think he understands that,” Barak told the crowd
U.S. Jews Have Finally Realized: Netanyahu Isn’t the King of Israel’s future. U.S. Jews have long repressed a simple fact: The head of the Israeli government is not one and the same as the State of Israel itself. And just as simple: you can support the State, and oppose the government.”Support for Israel doesn’t necessarily mean support for the Israeli government,” the new chair of the Jewish Agency’s board, Michael Siegal, said. Conservative movement head Rabbi Julie Schoenfeld declared Diaspora Jewry had undergone a “decoupling” between the government and politicians of Israel and the people of Israel. Strong words, indeed, rare, if not unprecedented, from American Jewish establishment leaders.
On his first day in the job, the head of the storied Jewish Agency, which under David Ben-Gurion’s stewardship announced the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 as a democratic national homeland for the Jewish people, had to declare Netanyahu’s decision has the “potential to divide the Jewish people and to undermine the Zionist vision.”
While many on the Israeli Zionist left have long said that dividing the Jewish people and undermining the Zionist dream are Netanyahu’s bread and butter, such words are rarely heard from the mainstream U.S. media. Netanyahu has never been an ally of civil liberties in Israel.
Netanyahu’s departure will mean nothing.
For a change to take place, Israel needs more than changing the prime minister. According to Gideon Levy, Israeli needs a revolution.
From the mourn of Deir Yassin, to the wail of Sabra-Shatila, to the level of Jenin, to the final breath of Palestinian infants denied energy to incubate in Gaza, historically each and every act of wanton cruelty has been packaged by Israel as a necessary defence to the willful guile of others. In Israel, no politician can weave their way up the path of power and survive without the hymn of perpetual victimisation. It’s become very much the traditional tribal chant.
Indeed, no Israeli leader has worked it better, and been more adept at palpable deflection, than has Netanyahu who, for decades, has found an enemy lurking around each and every corner, even when no such corner exists.
Make no mistake about it: While Israel claims self-defence as a necessity from the ever-present looming hate of others, if there is hatred to be had, it is very much a convenient sale of Israel’s own liking and design. To be sure, the mentality of siege dictates that decency knows no reach and avarice no limits. On both fronts, Israel has excelled.
For 70 years, Israeli tropes, whether addressed in Tel Aviv, Brooklyn or Toronto, have mastered the art of self-deception. Having long learned that, in Israel, the pathway to political power is seeded with exploitation and pain of non-Jews, if history is, in fact, a guidepost of what is yet to come, Israel’s view of bed-fellows has long been established as not just strange but remarkable for an unbroken marriage of vile and venom which extends back decades.
Thus, Israel’s support for South African and Rhodesian apartheid was very public as it provided materials for the building of nuclear weapons or assault weapons and helicopters in violation of UN-imposed sanctions against both. Elsewhere, in Africa, it funded and trained the military forces of brutal dictatorships. It armed the Rwandan military and Hutu militia responsible for genocide against the Tutsis.
In South America, Israel supported Guatemalan death squads, the Contras, Pinochet in Chile, and the military junta in Argentina which disappeared thousands of political opponents including numerous Jewish civilians.
Baring a dramatic change, 70 years of history should leave little doubt about the future of Israel, both in the land that it occupies and, elsewhere, where it has shown scant hesitancy in support of other regimes which, like itself, see abusive power as a virtue and absolute, brutal control as a desired end.
Netanyahu will surely go – whether this year or next. In his place will come another in a long, unbroken line of autocrats who see human rights and international law as barriers in their drive to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians started long ago when the Nakba began, early in the morning of April 9, 1948.
Do I believe it will succeed? No. Do I believe fundamental change in a system fuelled by apartheid and occupation will suddenly reverse a steady stalk of hatred through an Israeli ballot box that has long provided a silent pretext for appalling crimes? Of course not.
Yet, ultimately, I remain hopeful that with determined, at times militant, resistance by Palestinians on the ground, along with the support of a growing world community that understands well that silence is complicity, change will come and come in a way that will echo loudly, “From the River to the sea …”
In the end, I have no doubt the community of nations will run out of excuses, if not time, and finally say enough, and do so in a way which ensures that millions of stateless Palestinians will return home, at long last, to find that aged, rusted keys can still open the doors to equality, freedom and justice.