14 April 2015

Netanyahu's triumph, a vote for war

The Blog

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election victory on March 17 means a vote for war by the Israeli public, according to US historical social scientist Immanuel Wallerstein.

Netanyahu's election tactics amounted to "pure demagoguery" that reflects badly on Israeli society, Wallerstein wrote in an analysis of the Israeli election on April 1. Specifically, Wallerstein pointed to Netanyahu's immutable opposition to the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and his warnings about a growing Arab turnout in Israeli elections as the tactics used to bring him back into office.

Wallerstein suggests a growing consensus among Israeli security figures that Netanyahu's policies are bad for Israel's security, specifically because Netanyahu has taken US-Israeli relations to historic lows:
Just before the elections, a group of distinguished Israeli security figures issued a statement, saying in effect that Netanyahu’s approach was alienating the United States and that this was desperately bad for Israel’s future as a Jewish state.
A well-deserved comparison is drawn between Israel's current regime and the apartheid regime of South Africa, as Israel is viewed in world opinion as an oppressor:
There has been a worldwide transformation of the perception of Israel as a “victim” to that of Israel as a “persecutor.” This is a nightmare for the Zionist cause in Israel. It can only get worse for Israel. There may even come a point, perhaps still a few years from now, that the United States will no longer be willing to veto resolutions in the U.N. Security Council that are critical of Israel.
Faced with the inevitable collapse of their racist state ideal, Netanyahu and most of the Israeli public who elected him rely on delaying and obstructing the peace process or instigating a new major war with the Palestinians and Israel's neighbors. In Wallerstein's words, "The message from Netanyahu is clear. He prefers the major war, and so do the voters who elected him."

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