Netanyahu Promises No Palestinian State If Re-Elected, Is Accused Of Racism and Incitement
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 16, 2015
As Israel votes today for their next government Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making a last ditch play for the far right vote saying unequivocally there will be no Palestinian state if he is re-elected. In an interview with a media outlet owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, Prime Minister Netanyahu said “I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state and evacuate territory gives territory away to radical Islamist attacks against Israel.”
This declaration, if sincere, means Netanyahu has completely written off peace with the Palestinians and is now adopting Israel’s ascendant far right’s view that Palestinians should be slowly pushed out of Israel completely via settlements with those that remain being subjected to an apartheid system.
Netanyahu’s statement on a Palestinian state are not his only pre-election remarks to cause controversy. Netanyahu has been brazenly trumpeting the threat of Israeli Arab voters having a high turnout which caused a member of the Knesset, Dov Khenin, to petition the Central Election Committee to discipline the Likud campaign under rules that forbid racism and incitement. Khenin states:
“A prime minister who campaigns against voting by citizens belonging to an ethnic minority is crossing a red line of incitement and racism. This is especially severe on Election Day, when the message to Israeli citizens is to participate in the elections, vote, and take part in the democratic system. A statement like that, issued by the prime minister, shows that he has completely lost his way and that he is ready to break all the principles of democracy to safeguard his regime.“
There is no indication the petition will go anywhere, but Netanyahu’s cynical tactic of trying to increase his base turnout by stoking ethnic anxiety stinks of desperation and could backfire with Israeli voters much as his stunt with the Republican Congress already has. The election year gimmicks did not stop with ditching the peace process and racism – Chuck Norris was enlisted to help Netanyahu win the election.
Ultimately, this election is up to the Israeli voters who we can all only hope make the right choice.