Socialist Worker

Pressure on Israeli prime minister Netanyahu could move him to right

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2634

Binyamin Netanyahu is already one of the most right wing prime ministers in Israels history

Binyamin Netanyahu is already one of the most right wing prime ministers in Israel's history (Pic: Flickr/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel)


A combination of imperialism, racism and political manoeuvring could push Israel’s government towards launching a fresh wave of violence in the Middle East.

The recent demolition of tunnels leading into Israel from Lebanon prompted a lot of talk of a possible war between Israel and Lebanese resistance group Hizbollah.

The Israeli government has repeatedly threatened war against Hizbollah in recent months.

Yet there has been speculation that the timing of the demolitions could also be designed to rescue Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu from a political crisis.

He is under attack from the right for apparently being soft on Palestinian resistance group Hamas, and now his government hangs by a thread.

It’s an indictment of Israeli politics. After nine months of continual murderous violence against Palestinians in Gaza, one of its most right wing prime ministers so far could fall for not being violent enough.

Israeli forces have killed more than 200 Palestinians since weekly protests at the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip began in March 2018.

It’s all because they demand not only the end of the 11-year long siege of Gaza but also the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

Right wing news website the Times of Israel now routinely refers to this demand as an open call “for Israel’s destruction”.

That’s because Israel—as a state founded on maintaining a Jewish ethnic majority over Arabs—views the presence of Palestinians as a threat to its existence.

Occupation 

Over the last year Israel has deepened its occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The government has stepped up its building of Israeli settlements through which it seizes Palestinian land.

It was encouraged by the decision of US president Donald Trump to recognise Palestinian city Jerusalem as Israel’s capital at the end of 2017.

Yet Israel faces a problem—what to do with the Palestinian population under occupation, which could threaten Israel’s Jewish majority.

In the face of this, support in Israel for parties that call for the expulsion of Palestinians has grown.

Now Netanyahu faces challenges from politicians to his right who want a new war in Gaza, and to annexe Palestinians territories.

At the same time Israel has pushed for any call for Palestinian rights, criticism of Israeli policies or suggestions that it is a racist state, to be seen as antisemitic.

A single state in all of Palestine, with equal democratic rights for all its citizens, is the only way of securing justice for Palestinians, and peace in Palestine.

The alternative is violence, racism and war.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.