Six of one, half-a-dozen of the other: Israel’s elections are a sham

Benjamin Netanyahu at a May 2012 Likud party convention

Yin Dongxun Xinhua/Zumapress

Comparing the upcoming Israeli elections to the French political scene, one commentator in Israeli newspaper Haaretz described the merger of the hard-right Likud and the ultra-right Yisrael Beiteinu: “as though Nicolas Sarkozy had allied with Marine Le Pen,” the French fascist leader.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the leaders behind these two major Israeli parties, have major records of racism, war and colonialism. So the comparison is apt.

Lieberman’s party ran an election campaign that agitated against Palestinian citizens of Israel, with the slogan “No loyalty, no citizenship.” He has also called for Palestinian citizens of Israel to be “transferred” after any peace deal – a not no subtle Israeli code word for ethnic cleansing.

Under the current coalition government, the slow-motion annexation of the West Bank goes on as normal, as Israeli settlers continue to colonize Palestinian land, expelling the native people by force.

And since its election to power in 2009, the covert Israeli terrorist campaign against Iran has been ratcheted up, in close coordination with successive US governments (it has increased under Obama). Israel’s Mossad spy agency is recruiting and running terrorists such as the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) to murder Iranian scientists and other civilians (as covered by exceptional US journalists Glenn Greenwald, Mark Perry and Seymour Hersh) – all with US approval.

The Zionist so-called left

The main challenger to the new “Likud Beiteinu” joint list looks now to be the “left-wing” Labor party, which has seen its poll fortunes improve on the back of a 2011 social-protest movement.

But when it comes to the Palestinians you cannot put a cigarette paper between the policies of the Zionist parties.

According to Uri Avnery, new Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich stated just before her win in party primaries that “The settlements are no sins or crimes” (in fact all settlements are illegal under international law).

And the Israeli Labor party has a long history of war crimes, ethnic cleansing and terrorism. People often forget it was in power when Zionist militias booted half of the Palestinian population out of Palestine in the 1948 Nakba. It was also in power in 1956 when Israel invaded Egypt in a joint war of aggression launched alongside the British and French empires (before being forced to withdraw) that aimed to snatch the Suez canal.

The list goes on up to the present day.

Other parties

None of the other Zionist parties are any better. The dwindling Kadima grouping (founded by notorious war criminal Ariel Sharon, responsible for the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra-Shalita refugee camps in Lebanon) is now lead by Shaul Mofaz, who was chief of staff in 2002 when Israel re-invaded the West Bank (he became defense minister later that year). The Palestinian Center for Human Rights notes that under Mofaz: “the Israeli occupation forces committed many war crimes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

TV personality Yair Lapid, who recently started a well-polling vanity party said recently that Israel “must at last get rid of the Palestinians” from the West Bank: “we don’t know how long it will take, nor how many will die.”

Shas, the religious party, is chaired by Eli Yishai, a bigot who has agitated against African refugees and believes that “this country belongs to us, to the white man.”

Considering that Yishai was born to Tunisian Jewish parents, this vile statement was a bitter irony.


Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist who lives in London. He is an associate editor of The Electronic Intifada and co-host of our podcast.

He is author of the bestselling book Weaponising Anti-Semitism: How the Israel Lobby Brought Down Jeremy Corbyn (OR Books, 2023).