Thursday, March 12, 2015

Netanyahu and Herzog Promise Business As Usual for Palestinians

Netanyahu and Herzog Promise Business As Usual for Palestinians

by Stephen Lendman

On March 17, Israelis votes in general elections. On March 12, Haaretz published its final poll numbers.

It showed Isaac Herzog/Tzipi Livni's Zionist Union party winning 24 of 120 Knesset seats v. Netanyahu's Likud getting 21.

Whichever leading party is able to form a majority coalition government gets to choose the next prime minister.

Zionist Union's lead is no guarantee it'll be Herzog. Israeli governance is extremely hardline. Likud should have an easier time cobbling together coalition partners.

At the same time, it's too early to pick winners and losers based on latest poll results. On March 17, Israeli voters will decide.

Behind-the-scenes maneuvering will choose who'll lead Israel's next government. Things can go either way.

For Palestinians, it doesn't matter. Institutionalized racism assures business as usual. Zionist Union's Herzog sounds like Netanyahu.

He's just as hardline. He wants continued conflict. He lied saying "I'm not sure that we have a partner for peace." 

"I am not sure there is a party on the other wide that is interested in peace. So far they have been very happy with their one-sided strategy - his way of blaming them for decades of Israeli refusal to negotiate in good faith.

Herzog abhors Palestinian self-determination. He lied suggesting otherwise. He said Israel will never become a duel ethnic country. He'll yield nothing to Palestinians indicating otherwise.

Hardline Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel's next prime minister must reject Palestinian statehood on any portion of land Israel wants exclusively for itself.

On March 8, Zionist Union published its platform. It spurns core international law. It says a "final status agreement will be based on the following principles:

"Demilitarizing the Palestinian state, keeping the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria under Israeli sovereignty; strengthening Jerusalem and its status as the eternal capital of the State of Israel, and ensuring religious freedom and access to the holy sites to all religions, along with maintaining Israeli sovereignty; resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem through the establishment of a Palestinian state and not within Israel."

In other words, Israel will keep stealing all parts of Judea and Samaria it wishes.

Settlement construction on stolen Palestinian land will continue unabated.

Jewish Al-Aqsa Mosque provocations inciting violence will continue. 

Perhaps Herzog supports extremist rabbis wanting Jewish control over Islam's third holiest site - a prescription for open warfare and bloodshed.

So is declaring Jerusalem Israel's exclusive capital. Denying diaspora Palestinians their right of return violates international law.

So does rejecting Palestinian statehood within June 1967 borders - 22% of historic Palestine.

"In an ideal world," says Herzog, he wants Jews alone afforded rights. He wants Palestinians entirely denied. 

He wants longstanding slow-motion genocide continued - maybe another war more destructive than Protective Edge.

Herzog and Netanyahu are two sides of the same coin. Their idea of Palestinian statehood ideally is none at all.

At most, they'd accept isolating Palestinians in bantustans on worthless scrub land. Stealing their resources. Controlling their borders and air space. Denying them all fundamental rights.

Maintaining Gaza's lawless siege indefinitely. Herzog saying "(a) government headed by Zionist Union will create significant deterrence vis-a-vis Hamas and the other terror organizations."

It will "take action to weaken and isolate these in order to bring about the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip."

It'll maintain permanent occupation harshness. Institutionalized racism will continue. So will police state repression.

Zionist Union will "allocate the necessary legal and diplomatic resources required (to) fight against the international boycott and delegitimization movements," says Herzog.

It'll maintain Netanyahu's worst viciousness and pile on more of its own.

Palestinians never had an Israeli government treat it equitably according to fundamental international law principles. Herzog or Netanyahu post-March 17 makes no difference.

Palestinians know whoever wins they lose. Fascist regimes operate this way. 

Israel is one of the world's worst. For sure it's the region's most dangerous - a rogue state contemptuous of core democratic values.

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."

Visit his blog site at 

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.