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The Knesset elections: how did the settler “state” dominate Israeli politics?

The rejection of the Knesset and Netanyahu’s last three governments in the two-state solution and the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians strengthened the control of extreme Jewish and messianic nationalist elements and led to the emergence of leaders and religious figures.

Expectations for the Israeli elections on March 23 and the three sessions that preceded them in two years reflect the reality rooted in the settlers’ domination of the right-wing camp and the joints of government in the Hebrew state, so that an extremist minority believes only in the right of the Jewish people to self-determination in historic Palestine.

According to analysts and specialists in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the settlers know very well how to adhere to the government that serves their interests, as the Knesset and Netanyahu’s last three governments rejected the two-state solution and the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinians strengthened the control of extremist Jewish and messianic nationalist elements and led to the emergence of leaders and religious figures.

Analysts attributed the Israeli community’s acceptance of the settlers and the settlement project to the absence of any international and European pressure on the Israeli government, as well as to the chaos in law enforcement and its application to settlers in the West Bank, in addition to government support, benefits and huge investments for the benefit of the settlements, which have reinforced the belief of the Israelis who live in them. That the current reality is bearing fruit and the temporary situation turns into a permanent reality.

Netanyahu is betting on forming a right-wing fascist government with the support of “Otzma Yehudit” (Al Jazeera)

The rise of the settlers

Settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are inhabited by nearly 700,000 settlers, of whom about 400,000 have the right to vote, as the percentage of settlers in the West Bank for the Knesset was 77% in the March 23, 2020 elections, while the percentage of voting for the elections in all of Israel was 71%. According to the Central Election Commission.

The settlers’ votes were distributed as follows: the Likud headed by Benjamin Netanyahu 30%, the “Right” party headed by Naftali Bennett about 23%, the Haredi parties “Shas” and “United Torah Judaism” 32%, and the “Otzma Yehudit” party headed by Itamar Ben Gvir, 7% of the population. Sounds.

With the continuous decline of the electoral power of the Israeli center-left camp represented by the Labor and Meretz parties, the percentage of voting in the settlements increased by 20% over all previous elections, and the reason for this is the increase in the ultra-Orthodox voters, who make up 40% of the settlement population. Voting is the split that occurred between the alliance of right-wing and religious parties and “Otzma Yehudit”.

Rabbi Eliyahu Kaufman: The upcoming elections will be a confrontation between the right and the right (Al Jazeera)

Confront and defeat

Rabbi Eliyahu Kaufman, who is affiliated with the “Haredi” movement, believes that the upcoming Knesset elections, regardless of their axes, will not stand in a campaign of ideological confrontation between the right and the left. Rather, it will be a confrontation between the right and the right, while a large audience from the center and the left will vote for ultra-nationalists simply for the desire to topple Benjamin Netanyahu. This reflects the subsequent defeat in advance of the center and the Israeli left.

Kaufman explained – in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net – that the Israeli political arena has witnessed a state of division in the right-wing camp in the past two years, and the power of the center and the left has diminished with the strengthening of settlers’ influence and electoral power.

It is believed that the struggle to form the next government coalition will only be within the right-wing camp, with the almost complete absence of the role of the center-left camp, and its inability to act as a substitute for the prime minister. The election.

Haredi parties maintain their electoral strength according to expectations (Al-Jazeera)

Netanyahu and the settlers

Since the 2019 elections, the rabbi, who is affiliated with the “Haredi” movement, says, “The Israeli parliament has begun to vote more and more in the colors of the religious nationalist right, and the influence of settlers and the religious Zionist trend and their presence in the various parties represented in the Knesset, regardless of Likud and its affiliates.”

Kaufman believes that the collapse of the Labor Party and the decline of the Zionist left depends on the idea of ​​toppling Netanyahu and the slogan “Only not Netanyahu”, which contributed to the influx of left and center voters in large numbers to any person or party that could succeed in overthrowing Netanyahu and putting him in prison because of his trial with corruption files .

In light of the silence of the political debate between the national right and the liberal left in recent election campaigns, Kaufman says, “The presence and discourse of the settlers has strengthened in the Israeli political scene, and the influential voice on the partisan scene has become an intersection of interests within the right-wing camp that the settlers exploited to strengthen their presence in the Knesset. In the formation of the government coalition and the identity of the prime minister. “

The left and center parties lost their influence in the elections due to the right’s control of the scene (communication sites)

Center and left

And the Israeli center-left camp will remain alone without having the ability to influence after the elections the government coalition or the general Israeli political discourse dominated by settlers and the fascist right, says Peace Bloc spokesman Adam Kler, stressing that the collapse of the center-left camp came. Against the background of internal conflicts and their personal struggle with Netanyahu, and not because of the conflict and ideological difference with the ideas and principles of the right-wing camp.

Despite the controversy and competition within the right-wing camp over the identity of the next prime minister, Claire says – to Al Jazeera Net – that “Netanyahu, with his ability to achieve consensus between the fascist right-wing movements to run in the elections within a unified list enhances his chances of forming a narrow right-wing government, while the dismantling of the alliance between the party led Labor and Meretz have weakened the left camp, and strengthened the presence of the fascist right in the next Knesset in the event that Meretz was unable to exceed the electoral threshold. “

According to Klare, the state of settlers has passed into the Knesset, the government and various institutions, and it dominates the judiciary, the military and the reins of government, as the number of settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem reaches 700,000 settlers. They have imposed facts on the ground and form the Israeli arm that dominates and controls about 70% of the Palestinian lands in the West Bank. And the fact that 550,000 of them live in large settlement blocs and 150,000 in outposts and isolated settlements, it will be impossible for the occupation army to evacuate them in the future.

Opinion polls give the fascist right 4 seats that Netanyahu will need to form a narrow government (Al-Jazeera)

Partner and settle

The spokesman for the Peace Bloc believes that the fascist right represented by the settlers is now controlling and controlling the daily agenda and the political program in Israel, and in return the Jewish community, which has become convinced of what former Prime Minister Ehud Barak has promoted, is that there is no Palestinian partner for peace, who is not interested in the settlement project and its expansion Nor the West Bank, which they enter as soldiers for the occupation army.

With the dominance of the right-wing camp over the rule of Israel and the influence of settlers permeating the Israeli partisan and political scene, Cler excludes the possibility that there will be an Israeli initiative or approval for any political settlement with the Palestinians and the implementation of the two-state solution in accordance with international decisions and covenants.

Claire asserts that without serious and real pressure by the administration of US President Joe Biden and the European Union against Israel, there will be no shift in the Israeli public towards accepting the two-state solution, regardless of the composition of the future government and the identity of its head, bearing in mind that undermining the influence, power, presence and influence of the settler state In Israeli politics it will take many years.

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