By Mohammad Shaaban, Palestinian Journalist, and Editor in Days Of Palestine
New York Times senior columnist Thomas Friedman expressed his lamentation on the sudden darkness that has descended upon the Israeli occupation by the extremist Israeli coalition that will take over power in the occupation state.
Friedman was quick to provide a diagnosis (New York Times, Nov. 5). After his good friend Nahum Barnea reported the Israeli election results to him and explained that “we have a different kind of Israel now,” Friedman concluded that “we are truly entering a dark tunnel.”
In his article entitled “The Israel We Knew Is Gone” published in New York Times, Friedman tries to explain to American readers the consequences of the return of Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu along with accomplices in the far-right Religious Zionism party by comparing them with American figures that US readers would be familiar with.
“I hoped that the national unity government that came to power in Israel in June 2021 might also be a harbinger of more bipartisanship here. Alas, that government has now collapsed and is being replaced by the most far-far-right coalition in Israel’s history,” said Fridman.
Netanyahu is rushing to conclude dangerous and racist agreements with the fascist religious right-wing bloc parties to form a fascist government that unleashes Israeli settlers to attack Palestinian citizens and their homes, desecrate sanctities and establish hundreds of new settlement outposts over the occupied Palestinian territories.
Friedman described the coalition headed by Likud leader Netanyahu as “a rowdy alliance of ultra-Orthodox leaders and ultranationalist politicians, including some outright racist, anti-Arab Jewish extremists once deemed completely outside the norms and boundaries of Israeli politics.”
Ben Gvir, head of (Otzima Yehudit), will be in the sixth government as a minister after the agreement with the Likud led by Benjamin Netanyahu, which tends to implement plans to annex and seize Palestinian lands and always tends to more extremism against the Palestinians and their legal rights, especially the right to self-determination.
One of the most important priorities of the Israeli government that cannot be ignored is the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands.
Fredman says that Netanyahu’s new partners believe that construction in the settlements needs to be expanded “so there is not an inch left anywhere in the West Bank for a Palestinian state.
Since the days of the Israeli left-wing and centrist governments, the occupied Palestinian territories have filled up with over 700,000 Israeli settlers, all of whom are politically powerful and some of whom are violent. And the malignant suspicion towards Palestinians has long become the legacy of a great majority in the Israeli occupation.
Describing racism and extremism of the new Israeli government, he wrote “We are talking about people like Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was convicted by an Israeli court in 2007 of incitement to racism and supporting a Jewish terrorist organization.”
Itamar Ben Gvir concluded a coalition agreement with Netanyahu to legalize 65 random settlement outposts with the aim of tightening the restrictions on Palestinian cities and villages and confiscating the largest possible area of land within 60 days.
The victory of the Israeli extreme right-wing parties in these elections means the establishment of a government that is more extremist and violent than its predecessor. This means, although it is not new, more crimes and attacks by extremist settlers and occupation soldiers on Palestinian civilians will be easily committed. Moreover, these parties that are based on hatred of Arabs and Palestinians and do not recognize any peace with them, will enact more racist laws against them and legitimize more crimes that the Israeli occupation soldiers and settlers are allowed to commit against innocent Palestinians.
Friedman wondered whether supporters of the Israeli occupation would continue to support it in the new form and “if America should continue sending billions of dollars in aid to such a religious-extremist-inspired government.”