In an unfortunate turn of events, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected this week reinforcing that genocide will continue to persist and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be left unresolved. Yet while the controversial leader rejected Palestinian statehood (and then tried redacting his former statement), initiated a powerful war over the summer that tore Gaza apart and discriminates against Arab voters, Palestinians are surprisingly not all-together outraged by his win. As Salon reports, Palestinians believe with Netanyahu in government more progress might actually be made.
“Netanyahu, Herzog, Lieberman: if anyone from those Zionist parties become prime minister it won’t make any difference. They all have the same strategy to fulfill their ideology,” Activist Bassam Shweiki told Salon.
“The Zionist ideology says Israel is the homeland for the Jewish people that God promised, so there’s no place for any other nations in the promised land,” Shweiki continued. “The strategy is to hold the peace process without announcing its death, while continuing to establish settlements, demolishing homes, confiscating Palestinian lands and so on, while deceiving the world by saying that there are negotiations.”
The idea that no matter who is in government, left or right, Israel’s stance on Palestine will remain the same is a shared idea among Palestinians who have seen things go from bad to worse throughout the decades with peace only talked of, but not actually fulfilled. With Netanyahu in place, the hope is that his blunt and shameless discrimination and racism against Palestinians may (obviously) not have things change in the region, but instead create greater pressure from the outside.
“Personally I’m glad that he won. This proves to the world that it is Israel and its people do not want peace,” Amer Khader, a postgraduate nutritionist from Ramallah, told Salon. “What’s the worst that can happen? More houses to be taken when more than 2,000 have been demolished in East Jerusalem? Another war on Gaza? It’s already destroyed. More settlements? Let it be. It is just more isolation of Israel through its racist discriminatory apartheid policies.”
The backlash against Netanyahu and Israel is already being seen with Netanyahu’s speech to the United States Congress viewed as an unpatriotic Republican attempt to undermine President Obama and his comments on Arab voting and Palestinian statehood — all souring relations with one of Israel’s main allies, the U.S.
Absolutely, Netanyahu still supports a two state solution. pic.twitter.com/l8AJzTr1T8— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) March 20, 2015
President Obama refused to attend Netanyahu’s speech, and the Obama Administration’s reaction to Netanyahu initially rejecting Palestinian statehood was to possibly explore pushing the two-state solution at the United Nations.
The more Netanyahu puts his foot in his mouth with his openly racist domestic policies and damaging foreign relations tactics, the more likely the international community will reverse their support and build consensus and real action for a peaceful two-state solution.
“Netanyahu is the worst for the economy of Israel and its international relations. And the only way Israel will get weaker is through screwing their own relations, which is happening,” Khader said. “Let it be. It won’t get any better till it is screwed.”