Skip to main content

Who's who in the new ultra-right wing Israeli government

Things do not augur well for either Israelis, the local Israeli Arab population, the Palestinians and, indeed, the West.    Israel has just had the most ultra-right wing government in its history come to power.

"Although Israel's elections took place back in March, the various parties have been at each other's throats over actually cobbling together a coalition that could run the country. Wednesday night, Netanyahu was finally able to put together enough coalition partners to meet the threshold to form a government.

The result is an Israeli government that is perhaps the most extreme in Israel's history. While Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party retains control of the Prime Minister's office, various parties even further to the right grabbed other key positions, guaranteeing that the country at least continues if not escalates its rejectionism with the Palestinians and the Iranian nuclear deal.

Here are some of the major players:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Netanyahu has driven US-Israel relations to their lowest point in a generation, and defeated his centrist opponents with a last minute racist warning that Arab voters were turning out to the polls in “droves.” His political party Likud explicitly opposes a Palestinian state, and most of its candidates in this election ran on rejecting the two-state solution.

Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked: In a coup for the rising far-right Jewish Home party, its leader Naftali Bennett was able to compel Netanyahu to grant control of the Justice Ministry to Ayalet Shaked. Shaked has explicitly called for genocide targeting the Palestinians. She believes the “entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and that Israel must destroy its “elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” Bennett says that a Palestinian state is “just not going to happen. A Palestinian state would be a disaster for the next 200 years.”

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon: It looks as if Yaalon, from Netanyahu's Likud Party, will retain control of the Defense Ministry. Yaalon spoke at a conference in Jerusalem this week where he warned that in a future Lebanon war “we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family. We went through a very long deep discussion...we did it then, we did it in [the] Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in any round of hostilities in the future.”

Foreign Minister Unfilled: Because Israel's Foreign Minister resigned and took his party out of the governing coalition, this effectively will leave the country without a separate foreign minister. The New York Times suggests that “Netanyahu himself will double as foreign minister for now,” while others believe Netanyahu may be holding the position open to possibly bring in someone from the opposition such as the Zionist Union's Isaac Herzog.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett: The rising leader of Jewish Home will control the Education Ministry. Bennett has been known for his racist and dehumanizing rhetoric against both Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Palestinian citizens of Israel. The party's education platform discards with concepts such as human rights and democracy. Rather, it says its “most urgent task is to create a Jewish-Zionist educational unit to operate in the State of Israel’s public school system. … HaBayit HaYehudi will spearhead a nationalist plan to promote Jewish and Zionist identity among all students from grade 1 through grade 12.”


Popular posts from this blog

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…