Choice for Palestinians in Israeli Elections: None

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Choice for Palestinians in Israeli Elections: None
by Stephen Lendman
On March 17, Israelis will choose among candidates from a dozen parties for 120 Knesset seats. Coalition governance will follow.
No single party in Israeli history ever won a clear majority. Netanyahu’s Likud and Isaac Herzog/Tzipi Livni’s Zionist Union are virtually even in polls. 
One or the other will likely head new coalition governance when formed. Democracy is pure fantasy. So is an Israeli left. Fascists run things. Expect no change this time.
Choice for Israeli Jews is much like for Americans – between death by hanging or firing squad. 
Arab Knesset members representing Israel’s 20% Palestinian population have no say whatever on policy. They’re barely tolerated potted plants. Some are maliciously maligned – at times openly attacked.
Occupied Palestinians are denied virtually all rights everyone deserves. They’re persecuted prisoners on their own land in their own country – victimized by Israeli viciousness.
Whoever wins on March 17, they lose. Occupation harshness will continue. 
So will apartheid worse than South Africa’s, land theft, bulldozed homes, targeted killings, mass arrests, political imprisonments, torture and premeditated wars at Israel’s discretion.
Rogue state terror is official Israeli policy. On March 17, nothing will change. Leaders come and go. Policy remains hardline. 
No government in Israeli history treated Palestinians humanely. All Israeli regimes treat them ruthlessly.
Likud and Zionist Union are virtually two sides of the same coin. Both spurn international law.
Tzipi Livni once said “I am a lawyer, but I am against the law – international law in particular.” 
Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy calls reelecting Netanyahu “disast(rous)” – but Herzog/Livni winning will be “worse…”
They’re moderates in name only. Everything under their stewardship will change but stay the same. Peace talks, if resumed, will be farcical like all previous times.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir (1983 – 1984 and 1986 – 1992) once said he wanted to drag them out for a decade while vastly expanding settlements.
From Oslo (1993) through today, settler population more than tripled. It went from around 200,000 to over 650,000. 
Numbers increase daily. Construction is unabated. Daily crimes against humanity prevent peace. 
It’s been stillborn for decades. It’ll remain so no matter who leads Israel’s next government. 
Herzog/Livni are as viciously racist as Netanyahu. They deplore democracy. They’re extremists masquerading as moderates.
They lawlessly supported disqualifying Arab MK Haneen Zoabi from participation in March 17 elections. Israel’s High Court ruled unanimously otherwise. 
She’s one of the few Knesset members worthy of the position she holds – even though powerless in a body serving Jewish interests alone.
Nothing will change if Zionist Union wins. Herzog believes he’ll defeat Netanyahu and form Israel’s next government. “This is my moment,” he says.
His grandfather, Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, was Israel’s first Ashkenazi chief rabbi. His father, Chaim, headed IDF military intelligence and served as Israeli UN envoy for 10 years.
His mother, Aura, established the Council for a Beautiful Israel – in the eye of the beholder only. One of his uncles was former Israeli politician/diplomat Abba Eban.
Herzog calls Netanyahu a menace to Israeli society. He’s wrecking its relations with Washington.
“He drips fear all the time,” said Herzog. “We have never had a prime minister who terrified his nation as much as Bibi does.”
Fact: Fundamental Israeli policies under Herzog/Livni will virtually replicate Netanyahu’s.
Fact: They’ll differ largely in style alone. Their smiles will replace Netanyahu’s scowl. 
Their softer rhetoric will conceal similar hardline policies right down the line – especially on virtually everything affecting Palestinians.
Herzog lied saying “(i)n less than a year after I become prime minister, Israel will be a different country: calm, soothed, sane.”
False! Herzog is like Obama. Promised hope and change became betrayal. 
Israel hasn’t changed since its blood-drenched birth. It wages one war after another at its discretion.
It terrorizes Palestinians daily. Doing so is longstanding policy. Peace is a convenient illusion. 
Weeks after his 2009 election, Netanyahu addressed Israelis and guests at Bar Ilan University. He lied saying “peace was always the desire of our people…”
“I strongly support the idea of regional peace…I share (Obama’s) desire to bring about a new era of reconciliation in our region.”
Later he called peace talks a waste of time. At Bar Ilan, he called achieving it one of Israel’s greatest challenges.
Fact: Israel deplores peace. So does America. It’s strictly verboten. Both countries need enemies. Fear-mongering invents them.
Since Netanyahu and Obama were elected, wars ravaged one regional country after another. Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians and Libyans live in virtual war zones.
In 2009, Netanyahu affirmed support for Palestinian self-determination under impossible conditions. They included:
  • demilitarization;
  • Israeli border, air space and East Jerusalem control;
  • Palestinians recognizing Israel as the “state of the Jewish people;”
  • Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive capital; and
  • no right of return.
In repeated addresses at home and abroad, Netanyahu refuses Palestinians’ minimal demand – self-determination within June 1967 borders (22% of historic Palestine).
Control over all Judea and Samaria areas Israel wishes is longstanding official policy no matter what coalition rules. So is unlimited settlement expansion on stolen Palestinian land.
In January 2013, Israel’s Peace Now said official Israeli policies “disclose a clear intention to use settlements to systematically undermine and render impossible a realistic, viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Years ago it was possible. No longer. Israel controls over 60% of West Bank land – including much of East Jerusalem headed toward stealing it all. 
It lawlessly grabs more Palestinian land daily. It’s done so under every coalition government since June 1967.
Israeli governance is systematically hardline, racist, violent and ruthless. Herzog/Livni rule will largely replicate Netanyahu wrapped in more friendly rhetoric.
On Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated longstanding Israeli policy: including “no withdrawals” from Occupied Palestine; no concessions if peace talks are resumed.
He effectively disavowed his 2009 Bar Ilan University promises. His entire tenure spurned them. It bears repeating. Herzog/Livni are just as hardline.
Their notion of peace replicates Netanyahu’s – unconditional Palestinian surrender, including rump self-determination in isolated bantustans on worthless scrubland.
Electing Netanyahu or Herzog/Livni assures these type daily headlines:
  • Israeli goon squads terrorize Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem;
  • Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians in southern Gaza;
  • Gaza fisherman dies after Israeli attack at sea;
  • dozens of radicalized settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque under Israeli police protection;
  • Israeli soldiers kidnap eight West Bank Palestinians after storming their homes violently pre-dawn;
  • Israeli officials compare Palestinians to ISIS;
  • Israeli forces uproot hundreds of West Bank olive trees on privately owned Palestinian land;
  • Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian youth;
  • radicalized settlers assault elderly Palestinian man in East Jerusalem;
  • Israel demolishes Palestinian house near Tulkaren.
Life in Occupied Palestine reflects conditions most people can’t imagine. Replacing Netanyahu with Herzog/Livni assures ugly business as usual.
As long as brutalizing lawless militarized occupation continues, Palestinians will be denied peace, equity and justice.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.