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(en) Italy, Sicilia Libertaria: Israel: Interview with a comrade from Ter Aviv - The nightmare Netanyahu is back (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 2 Feb 2023 09:07:22 +0200

In Israel, the most radical and xenophobic right has returned to power. This means that the already strongly anti-Palestinian and illibertarian policies of the outgoing government will undergo a militaristic boost and the consolidation of the occupation of Palestinian lands and the expulsion of the legitimate inhabitants. Together with Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud, the Otsma Yehudi party (Jewish Power), the Religious Zionist Party and the Noam party entered the government, forming a coalition of fundamentalist and fascist fanatics. ---- We interviewed a comrade from Tel Aviv about this situation. ---- 1) After the recent general elections, Netanyahu returned to power supported by the far right; what can we expect from this new government regarding the issue of civil rights, Israeli-Palestinian relations and the occupied territories?

As I'm writing these lines, the new government hasn't officially come to power yet - it will only happen in the next few days. A friend of mine wrote something that captures the feelings of many Israelis right now:

"What is the difference between the new government and a nightmare? No need to wait for a nightmare to begin...". Since the new government is considered, at least on paper, as the most religious, fascist and corrupt we have ever had, we can expect very bad things to happen on all the issues mentioned: they will try to change the law and control the Israeli supreme high court , shut down leftist and human rights organizations, crack down on dissent, purge "progressive" studies from the public education system, especially anything related to gender issues, support an ultra-capitalist policy, give a free hand to police, soldiers and settlers to be even more violent and deadly towards Palestinians and, most importantly for Netanyahu, to free him from the prosecution he is facing for breach of trust, bribery and fraud. Everything I mentioned was part of the electoral program of the new government's politicians. Whether they actually will is yet to be seen.

2) Is there a non-parliamentary opposition (radical and libertarian) trying to oppose the government's racist and militarist policies?

There is a very small minority of activists who go to protests in the West Bank, participate in solidarity actions, refuse military service and so on. And there are also the NGOs that document human rights violations in the occupied territories and the discrimination of the Palestinian population inside Israel. All of those mentioned above are targets of the new government but they represent only a small segment of Israeli society. On the other hand there is mass antagonism towards the new government from more traditional elements of society (for example from the liberals, the Zionist left and the workers' organisations) and it can be foreseen that the moment the new government will try to make "radical" changes, for example removing the power of the Israeli high court and subjugating judges to politicians, there will be protests and clashes in the streets. This would open up a dilemma for the radicals: should they join forces with people and parties who want to oppose the far right just to bring Israel back to "normal"? A normality that includes, among other things, the occupation of the territories of millions of Palestinians, military tribunals, administrative detention and almost daily killings by the army. Personally, I think radicals should join the future protest movement and shape it from within. You know how a fight starts but you don't know how it will end... The changes that the new government is pushing for would make our society even more oppressive, authoritarian and could open the door to a dictatorship inside Israel.

3) Are there movements that actively collaborate with the Palestinian resistance, or in any case with Palestinian groups not linked to Hamas?

There is no connection (as far as I know) with Palestinian armed groups. There are ties to struggling communities, popular committees, farmers, activists and academics. On a very favorable day, the Israeli radical left can mobilize a few hundred people for a demonstration in the West Bank. But most of the time only a handful of activists are there to help against settler attacks. Lately these same activists have been so delegitimized that settlers and soldiers feel safe enough to attack them too. There are many NGOs working on human rights issues concerning Palestinians, and there are also joint political parties of Palestinian citizens of Israel with Jewish citizens, grassroots organizations and so on. Yet it is obvious that existing organizations have failed to stop the deteriorating situation and a new vision is desperately needed.

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