The Guardian calls yesterday's surprise election win Netanyahu's "lurch to the right."
The hard fought election brought Bibi out of the closet. He bought the Israeli hard right vote with a pledge that there'll be no Palestinian state on his watch. He also pledged to proceed apace with ever more illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands.
For too many years we've played this charade about Israel really wanting peace with the Palestinians and a two-state solution. It was always a dark farce but it allowed us to play along while Netanyahu pretended that wasn't his boot on every Palestinian's neck.
Imagine what it must be like. Every Palestinian infant is born into captivity, a prisoner for life. Chances are that baby's parents were born into captivity too. The grandparents may well have been refugees, driven off their farms and out of their homes, from lands already stolen by Israeli settlers never to be returned.
Fortunately we Canadians are much better people than those Palestinians. If a hostile force did that to us, we would never resist for that might be cause to brand us terrorists. No, we're polite folk. We would lick our gaoler's combat boots and smile especially on those days when they allowed us food and water.
Fortunately we Canadians have new laws in the works that guide us on how to think about these things. We know what to say or at least what we must not say on pain of arrest and imprisonment by our freedom-loving government and its collaborators in Parliament. Fortunately George Orwell didn't have the guidance of our new laws when he wrote, "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a face - forever." Whoa, good call George, you nailed it!
Oh, Canada, look how far we've come in just my lifetime. I'm beginning to realize our history hasn't been linear but has arrived in chunks. There was the era of rights and freedoms from Diefenbaker to Trudeau. Then there was the era of neoliberalism from Mulroney to Martin. Now we're in the era of authoritarian suppression which brings the worst aspects of neoliberalism and corporatism into harmony with the surveillance state. I expect some would call that "progress."
As for the Palestinians, they'll probably be getting new and better friends in Europe, Asia and perhaps Africa. More countries will recognize the existence of the state of Palestine. Israel will be more broadly seen as a rogue, pariah state deserving of boycotts and sanctions. The Guardian sees tough sledding ahead:
What seems certain is that at the end of a tense and difficult year which saw war in Gaza, widespread unrest in occupied east Jerusalem and Israel’s increasing isolation on the international stage – including in its relations with the US – the country faces a febrile and tense period ahead.
With no peace process with the Palestinians – which collapsed a year ago – it will be difficult for Netanyahu to disavow his remarks in recent days promising he would not allow the creation of a Palestinian state, comments that will set him on a further collision course with the US administration of Barack Obama and the EU.
In the immediate future, Palestinian leaders have made clear they plan to go with a raft of cases against Israel to the international criminal court. With Israel already blocking tax receipts to the Palestinian Authority for formally joining the international court of last resort, that move would trigger US Congress to order the freezing of US aid to the authority, a large part of which goes to supporting security forces.
Another potential consequence may be a renewed effort by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to seek recognition for a Palestinian state at the UN security council, a move which was blocked last year.
Without any commitment to a two-state solution and Netanyahu’s boast that he will continue building in occupied east Jerusalem, an already existing frustration with Israel is likely to increase.
That may in turn see increased pressure – not least from Europe – for moves towards sanctions against Israel.
As for Canada, we'll stand mute. We'll freely ridicule and condemn certain countries, particularly if their day of worship falls on Friday, but we've long ago given Israel a permanent, get out of jail free pass.