The New Israeli Administration Is Just as Threatening to Palestinians
The longest-serving Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was ousted yesterday with a new coalition succeeding him. For those who first hear this news, this can bring about feelings of adulation and relief that a Trump-esque leader has reverted to the opposition benches after years in power. In reality, a political figure considered to be an “ultra-nationalist” who is steadfast in his view of an occupied Palestine has replaced Netanyahu; his name is Naftali Bennett.
Bennett, a former ally to Netanyahu and his one-time chief of staff, has endorsed the continued blockade on Palestinian territories and refuses to acknowledge calls for a two-state solution. He “bills himself as further to the right than the man he replaces” and is an advocate of tax cuts and private business growth. When the world suffers from large-scale wealth and racial inequalities, Israel lauds a newly-designated prime minister who turns a blind eye to both.
The new administration, formed with moderates and an Arab nationalist party, is scraping the barrel of unity when it comes to defeating Netanyahu. It remains to be seen how long this coalition will last but it will be no surprise to see it falter quite quickly. Israel has held four consecutive elections in the space of two years after failed power-sharing talks, with an agreement between warring parties only just being decided. As this played out, Palestinians looked on as their occupier perpetuated the most egregious human rights abuses against their suffering communities.
What makes matters worse is the western world’s unmatched loyalty to Israel in their efforts to form relations in the Middle East. The U.S and Britain regularly trade arms with the Israeli military, being complicit in the large-scale assault on the Palestinian people. The Trump era’s showcasing of Israeli-American bilateralism via peace accords with neighbouring Arab nations reveals the disdain American diplomats have for Palestinians.
As the Bennett-led government took prime position in the Knesset this weekend, President Biden used the opportunity to gush over Israel and its friendship with the U.S. Only a few weeks back, Israel launched airstrikes into Gaza during a conflict that disproportionately killed 256 Palestinians and 12 Israelis. The White House stays blinded by ignorance in the Israeli establishment’s harrowing siege and attack on the Gaza strip.
There’s no good news with Bennett now being in charge. There are rumours swirling that he is more moderate thinking than perceived but uses his ultra-nationalist image to appease the burgeoning far-right. The Palestinians will still live under occupation with empathy from the globe’s powerful nations nowhere in sight. Netanyahu’s ousting hasn’t resolved a horrific conflict, and nor will his successor.