Op-Ed: Netanyahu’s return to power with a coalition of racists is appalling. But Israel’s problem runs deeper than Netanyahu.
By: JEREMY MULCAHY
A group of white nationalists recently visited the Israeli prime minister’s residence for what he claimed was a fundraising event.
The New York Post, a racist newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, published an article that labeled Netanyahu as “a prime minister who doesn’t care about the Holocaust.” The article was accompanied by a photo of Netanyahu standing with two of the organization’s members.
Netanyahu returned to power with a coalition of racists, including his most ardent supporters. Netanyahu is a member of the Likud party, whose supporters have a long history of racism and extremism.
As an example, right-wing members of Netanyahu’s cabinet, a group whose members are appointed by Netanyahu, have held racist positions, such as supporting the elimination of the state of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens.
In addition, the Israeli police, which plays a central role in policing the country, has acted with brutal violence against Palestinians.
All of these problems were well-known prior to the election, and the Israeli media had already begun investigating to determine whether Netanyahu could win a second term.
The news was not surprising. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel won a second term in a landslide victory and a third term in office is now assured. It is unclear that anyone saw Netanyahu’s return to power as anything more than another political maneuver by the Israeli government to expand its power and resources.
The Netanyahu administration’s policies and the media’s silence indicate that Netanyahu and his party did not suffer as much as their supporters predicted they would. His return to power has been welcomed by the Israeli government. It is now unclear if the racism of Likud’s leadership would have continued under Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s racism is not limited to policies of Israeli colonialism and the treatment of Palestinians, but is also evident in the administration’s policies at home.
A Brief History of Racism in Israel
Israel’s history has a long and sad tradition of racism. For instance, in 1907, King David Ben-Zion, the founder of the State of Israel, ruled over the “Judeo-Arab” nation of Jews and Palestinians. The Zionist