Internal Israeli Wars
by Stephen Lendman
They're ongoing. Fascists jousting for power. Holding most Knesset seats and ministerial posts. New faces may replace old ones for control.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu sacked Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzpi Livni.
Saying "I will no longer tolerate an opposition within the government. I will not tolerate ministers who, from within the government, attack government policies and the person who leads the government."
Lapid's Yesh Arid party responded saying Netanyahu’s "haphazard move of firing the ministers is an act of cowardice and loss of control."
He "failed in his management of the country and in dealing with the needs of the Israeli public."
"We are sad to see that the prime minister has chosen to act without consideration for the national interest and to drag Israel to unnecessary elections which will harm the economy and Israeli society, all for narrow political interests and a surrender to the ultra-orthodox parties, the powerful central committee of the Likud and outside lobby groups."
Other Yesh Atid ministers resigned in protest. Livni and Netanyahu met Tuesday.
Livni saying "already at midnight it was clear that we're going to elections.
Her sources said sacking came for supporting legislation curbing casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson's Israel Hayom's free distribution/Hebrew language newspaper.
Unabashedly pro-Netanyahu. The "law for the advancement and protection of written journalism in Israel (the Israel Hayom law) limits Adelson's influence.
Passing its first Knesset reading 43 - 23. Economics Minister Naftali Bennett calls Israel Hayom "a mouthpiece of one man." Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman calls it "Pravda."
Adelson and Netanyahu are likeminded. Ideologically over-the-top. Right-wing extremists by any standard.
"Netanyahu and I came from the same political home, but each of us took it in a different direction," said Livni
“I believe that I represent the same values that (Likud party founder Menachem) Begin represented, and certainly (Revisionist Zionist leader Zeev) Jabotinsky…"
"(V)alues of national Zionism in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. Unfortunately, (Likud MKs Ze'ev) Elkin and (Danny) Danon took control of the party that was once Zionist and moral, and the combination with (Jewish Home party leader Naftali) Bennett made (its) policies unacceptable for me…"
Livni accused Netanyahu of "not speaking the truth." Of ethical violations. Of eroding historical Jewish rights.
Of governing irresponsibly. (Of not) even dar(ing) to look me in the eye to fire me." Adding she has "contempt" for Netanyahu.
"I hope Israelis won't fall" for his accusations, she said. Aiming to bolster his position in Likud.
Netanyahu's move came a day after he demanded more from coalition partners than some were willing to accept.
Including ceasing internal criticism. Transfering NIS 6 billion to the defense budget.
Releasing funds to relocate IDF forces south. Back Jewish State legislation. Support Netanyahu's affordable housing plan. Or risk coalition unity.
Netanyahu called it "impossible" for him to lead under current conditions. "I want the broadest possible government," he said. "(O)ne of the best and most stable" in Israeli history.
Adversarial cabinet members make things unworkable, he stressed. "(I)ncessant attacks from within the government" persist.
Making it "impossible to do all the things that are important for the security and welfare of the citizens of Israel."
Accusing Livni and Lapid of "old politics." Saying they conspired against him. Undermined his leadership. On one issue after another.
Outgoing Science Minister Yaakov Peri called Netanyahu "timid, cowardly and borderline hysterical."
"(T)here's no point in a government that rules aggressively…(One with no) future or hope.
An earlier article called him the mouth that roars. His bluster wore thin long ago.
Many Israelis distrust him for good reason. Not enough to oust him from office. Not so far.
His rhetoric is over-the-top. Inflammatory. Repeating one Big Lie after another. Inventing nonexistent threats.
Obsessed over Iran. Wanting its peaceful nuclear program dismantled. Its government ousted. By war if other means fall short.
A pro-Western one replacing it. Leaving Israel the region's unchallenged power.
On Wednesday, Knesset members voted near unanimously for dissolving the current body - 84 to none. One abstention.
A later in the day first reading was overwhelmingly approved. Next Monday, second and third readings will finalize things.
Israel heads for new elections. On March 17, 2015. Speaker Yuli Edelstein saying:
"We mustn't abuse the public. We cannot take our time." The date chosen must be approved by Knesset factions. Before becoming official.
Ra'am Ta'al party MK Ahmed Tibi said Arab parties will merge. In response to extremist MKs raising the electoral threshold to 3.25%.
Lieberman led efforts to do so. Saying he "want(s) to rid the Knesset of Arab parties" altogether.
"It challenges us all to join together," he added. United against Muslim representation.
Netanyahu told Likud members the party needs "a large faction in the next elections. This is my main lesson from the outgoing government."
Opposition Labor faction leader Isaac Herzog said "(w)e are the alternative. (W)e will win these elections."
"Netanyahu's six bad years have come to an end. The Labor Party will establish the next government…The people of Israel deserves a more responsible leadership."
Odds favor Netanyahu continuing as prime minister. Why Israelis put up with him, they'll have to explain.
He's a world-class thug by any standard. Heading Israel's most extremist government ever.
Hardline. Racist. Lawless. Mocking legitimate governance. Spurning democratic values.
Abhors peace and stability. Supports preemptive naked aggression. Operation Protective Edge is Exhibit A. Genocide by any standard.
Netanyahu remains unaccountable. An unindicted war criminal. A rogue writ large. Racist and then some. Exceeding Sharonian evil.
Polls show his Likud party support exceeds main opposition parties. A Channel 10 poll has Likud winning 22 seats.
Jewish Home 17. Labor 13. Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Our Home) 12. Moshe Kahlon's as yet unnamed party 12. Yesh Atid 9.
Ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism 8. Shas 7. Meretz 7, Hatnua 4. Combined Arab parties 9.
A Channel 2 poll showed Likud with 22. Jewish Home 17. Labor 13. Kahlon 10. Yisrael Beytenu 10.
Yesh Atid 9. Shas 9. United Torah Judaism 8. Meretz 7. Hatnua 4. Combined Arab parties 11.
Both polls suggest Netanyahu remaining prime minister. In a new hard-right coalition government.
March remains lights years away. Things may change. Netanyahu could fall from grace.
Hardliners dominate Israeli governance. Replicating America's.
Moderates have no chance to prevail. Maybe some day. Not now. Or any time soon.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.