Will Netanyahu change anything?

Israel's general election is to see Netanyahu returned to office as Israel's Prime Minister, leading the Likud-Bietenu Alliance, as Naftali Bennett's right-wing Habayit Hayehudi appears. Moving to the right is the country's response to its social and economic problems, with up to 25% of Israelis being classified as poor.

Israel's general election is set to see Binyamin Netanyahu returned to office as Israel's Prime Minister, leading the Likud-Bietenu Alliance, as a new rising star appears on the political scene, Naftali Bennett's right-wing Habayit Hayehudi, the country's response to its social and economic problems, with up to 25% of Israelis being classified as poor for the first time in the country's recent history.

With economic and social issues on the agenda, gone is the Two-State Solution with Palestine relegated to a back seat. Will Netanyahu change anything? No, because while the rest of the international community regards the Middle East as part of a world problem, the 5.6 million Israeli voters, voting for 32 political parties, are less concerned about Palestinian rights and the building of settlements than the country's economy, which in recent years has taken a downturn.

However, as patience with Israel runs low among the members of the international community, and with the absence of action by foreign governments with their hands tied by the lobbies, turning a blind eye to Israel's consistent and continuous flouting of international law, there is a growing sense of frustration which could very easily turn into a tangible movement with tangible effects upon Israel's economy: a boycott of Israeli goods and of firms which sell them.

The constant stealing of land which does not belong to Israel and the building of illegal colonies, bulldozing Palestinian homes, uprooting Bedouin camps and heavy-handed responses to stone-throwing children (what are they supposed to do if they are thrown off their farms?) does not go unnoticed and despite constant attempts at cyber terrorist attacks, closing Facebook accounts arbitrarily and hacking into personal accounts, the Internet is sufficiently buoyant to spread the word and get a movement going.

If most Israeli citizens do not care about Palestinians and settlements (and we must remember that some Israelis do care and spend their free time campaigning for human rights for the Palestinians), then certainly most members of the international community do also. And the bottom line is that if Israel wants to be a member of the international community then it has to behave like one and that involves following international law, not flouting it.

With the 120-seat Knesset (Parliament) set to be ruled by a right-wing coalition led by Netanyahu, the international community is speaking one language and Israel, another. Gone is the Two-State Solution, gone are Palestinian rights, gone are their farms, their ancestral lands, their rights and their dignity. Israel's collective stupidity is bound to be its undoing in the years to come as its intransigence begets a radicalization in an area of the world which is shifting towards fundamentalist ideals.

If Netanyahu and the others who control the Israeli political scene were more intelligent and took a good look around them, then they would start seeing the writing on the wall.

So, like lemmings running together off a cliff ,there go the Israelis, convinced that international law does not apply to them, convinced that they can do what they like, when and where and how they like. Not any more... not any more. The international community wants a Two-State Solution, a secure Israel within secure borders and a secure Palestine which is economically viable, on the lands drawn up by the UNO in 1948.

The colonies and settlements must go, there is no place for Imperialism in this day and age and Jerusalem must belong to everybody and nobody at the same time. It will happen, it is a case of when and how. The law always wins, the outlaw always loses. Good always wins over Evil.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey



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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey