Jewish supremacists become the third force in the country and key support for Netanyahu to regain power
The polls in Israel were right about Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory, but failed to announce that the political deadlock in parliament would be maintained. With nearly 90% of the votes counted, Likud wins 32 seats, but more importantly, the Netanyahu-led bloc in the Knesset reaches 65 delegates, giving it a large majority to form a stable government. In the absence of a last-minute surprise with a turnaround in the final stretch of the tally allowing Meretz and Balad to overcome the 3.25% barrier to be in the room, Netanyahu, 73, will once again serve as Prime Minister’s Chair as it had been doing that for fifteen years. For this it will have the support of Religious Zionism, a Jewish supremacist formation that has become the third power in the country, whose program includes proposals such as the application of the death penalty for «terrorists», total immunity for soldiers, the deportation of “unfaithful citizens” and the prison for asylum seekers.
While some leading Likud leaders called for caution until the end of the census, Netanyahu himself has already reinstated the head of government and said his goal is to become prime minister “of all Israelis.” The Pools also began dividing ministries between the parties called to form the most radical government in the history of the Jewish state.
The alliance consists of the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Judaism of the Pentateuch, who have 19 delegates, and the religious ultra-nationalists of Religious Zionism, who have 14 seats. The latter, led by settlers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir, the most popular face of this election, claim the portfolios of Homeland Security and Justice, although the latter will remain in the hands of Likud, according to Israeli media.
“The government’s next steps will be to do something similar to what happened in Poland and Hungary. Destroy judicial independence to, among other things, take away authority from Netanyahu’s corruption trial,” said political scientist Alberto Spektorowski, for whom these elections also “dealt a death blow to the Zionist left with a party like Meretz fighting for the Chamber” and the end result reflects that in Israel “as in many places in Europe there is a very strong populist radical right”.
During election night celebrations, Netanyahu’s supporters greeted him with the cry “King Bibi, King Bibi!”, while Ben Gvir’s slogan was shouted by his voters: “Death to the Arabs, death to the Arabs!” but also: “Next prime minister, next prime minister!” The 46-year-old ultra-nationalist lawyer replied: “I am not prime minister for now….” Ben Gvir is the grandson of Iraqi Jews, he defends the annexation of the West Bank and strives to “recover state property”. as he insists on each of his interventions.
“This is unprecedented, never in Israel’s history have we had such a strong far-right party like this one,” said Yigal Palmor, a former Israeli foreign spokesman from 2008 to 2014 and current head of international relations for the Jewish Agency. He is watching with concern the vote count of the ‘most radical government in our history’ with the presence of figures such as Ben Gvir, ‘which is without doubt catastrophic for the image of the country. Just like the extremists, ultra-nationalists and racists in every part of the world. He is a dangerous provocateur who is going to harm government policy.”
Israeli politics records the appearance and disappearance of parties with every election. Religious Zionism is now the novelty as the Jewish Home was before, a formation of former Prime Minister Naftali Bennet who has not even made it into the Chamber this time. The difference is that the sense is that the Jewish supremacists are here to stay and have managed to connect with a broad sector of voters dissatisfied with the system and seeking radical change.
Source: La Verdad
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