Socialist Worker

New government in Israel poses a fresh threat to Palestinians

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2702

Israels president Reuven Rivlin and Benny Gantz (left) hold a press conference after Rivlin formally handed Gantz the task of forming a government

Israel's president Reuven Rivlin and Benny Gantz (left) hold a press conference last month after Rivlin formally handed Gantz the task of forming a government (Pic: PA)


After more than a year of political deadlock, Israel is set for a new government committed to annexing huge chunks of the Palestinian West Bank.

If the Israeli parliament—the Knesset—agrees next week, racist warmonger Binyamin Netanyahu will continue as prime minister for a year and a half. He will be propped up by former general Benny Gantz, who previously said he would oppose any Netanyahu-led government.

The new coalition government could then begin annexing Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank from as early as July.

The agreement comes after months of political deadlock—and three general elections. Neither Netanyahu’s Likud Party or Gantz’s Blue and White—which campaigned on a platform of “anyone but Netanyahu”—could get an outright majority.

Blue and White’s main issue with Netanyahu was over allegations of corruption that could land him in court. It didn’t oppose his racism towards Arabs or his plans to steal more Palestinian land.

Yet Gantz was prepared to drop this opposition to Netanyahu in return for a place in government. Under the agreement, he will serve as defence minister before taking over as prime minister when Netanyahu’s year and a half is up.

Blue and White split. But Gantz and his supporters, combined with the backing of right wing nationalist and religious parties, give Netanyahu a majority.

They all agree to plans that will deny Palestinians any kind of state alongside Israel. These were first outlined in a “peace deal” proposed by US president Donald Trump.

Ownership

From as early as July—with the backing of the US—the Netanyahu-Gantz government could declare ownership of the Jordan Valley. This huge chunk of the West Bank has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967.

The government also hopes to annexe land surrounding Israeli settlements—Israeli towns built on Palestinian land under the occupation.

That would leave Palestinians with a tiny scrap of land, surrounded on all sides by Israel, and still under effective military occupation.

It puts an end to the idea that any form of two-state solution—where Palestinians would get an equal state alongside Israel—is possible.

Israel’s Labor Party—once a dominant force in Israeli politics—has long since become a minor force due to its backing for a Palestinian state.

It has now signalled that it could drop that commitment in return for a role in Netanyahu’s government.

No major party in Israel backs a two-state solution, which would mean giving up Israel’s claim to Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The real alternative is to support a single, secular state with equal democratic rights for all its citizens. That means supporting any Palestinian resistance to the atrocities a Netanyahu-Gantz government will unleash.


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