Days of Palestine

Friday, March 24

NBC: Rising Extremism in ‘Israel’ Prompt Rethinking of U.S. Support

Af.M | DOP -

The American NBC Network warned Saturday, 12 March that President Joe Biden’s administration may reconsider its alliance with Israel due to the far-right government’s racist measures which sparked large marches in the past weeks.

For years, as Israeli politics marched steadily to the right, the growing backlash among its traditional supporters fueled concerns and warnings that the U.S. government may ultimately be forced to reconsider its role as Israel’s most important ally.

They have only ever been concerned and cautious up until this point. There is a feeling that things might be different this time around, though, given that Israel’s new government is filled with far-right ministers and raising serious concerns about the Israeli regime’s racist measures against Israeli settlers and Palestinians as well.

Israeli violence in the occupied West Bank — including near-daily Israeli military raids, and a rampage by colonial settlers — has led the US CIA director to warn that a third intifada could be imminent.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leading the most right-wing and religious government Israel has had since its establishment, with Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich — two far-right politicians known for racist and Jewish supremacist rhetoric — serving as senior ministers.

Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power party and Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party hold 15 seats in the Israeli Knesset and are key members of Netanyahu’s coalition.

Ben-Gvir, an ultranationalist, is serving as the Netanyahu government’s national security minister. He was convicted in 2007 of supporting a terror organization and inciting racism.

Smotrich, a radical right-wing politician, is serving as the finance minister and as a Defence Ministry minister in charge of civilian affairs in the occupied West Bank.

The international community is aghast over the rise of some far-right Israeli figures, including a senior minister who recently called for Israeli forces to “wipe out” the Palestinian village of Hawwara.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price called Smotrich’s comments about erasing the Palestinian village of Hawara “disgusting and repugnant.”

Despite the US granting Smotrich a diplomatic visa to enter the country, the Biden administration appears to be boycotting the visit as no U.S. government officials planned to meet with him.

In a letter to President Biden this week, more than 90 Democratic members of Congress, led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, urged him to use “all available diplomatic tools to prevent Israel’s current government from further undermining the potential for two states for two peoples”.

On 4 March 2023, 120 American Jewish leaders released a joint statement sharply criticizing Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s call to “Wipeout” Hawara, stating that he should not be given a platform within the U.S. Jewish community.

Late last year, a group of more than 300 rabbis published an open letter declaring that members of Netanyahu’s governing coalition were not welcome to speak at their synagogues.

Netanyahu’s fanatics ministers including Ben-Gvir and Smotrich adopt racist measures against the Palestinian people. These measures included filed executions, home demolitions, and suppressive measures against Palestinain detainees.

According to Palestinian figures, Israeli forces and settlers killed more Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in 2023 than in any single calendar year since the Second Intifada.

84 Palestinian people were killed in Israeli attacks across the occupied Palestinian lands, including at least 14 children.

During the first three months of 2023, Israeli occupation demolished 270 Palestinian-owned structures in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, according to the United Nations Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA).

The far-right security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir ordered the Israeli prisoners services (IPS) to take more punitive measures against Palestinian prisoners. The measures included controlling the amount of water used in the jails and reducing bathroom access.