On November 1, 2022, the Israeli election took place. There was no room for the Palestinian people to express themselves even though they constitute the majority of the population that lives under the yoke of the Israeli state in historical Palestine. Only a minority of about 10% of the Palestinian people (the so-called 1948 Palestinians) are entitled to vote, or 20% if we exclude the Palestinian diaspora and consider only those Palestinians who live within historical Palestine which includes the territories occupied in 1948 and 1967 altogether. Thus, in an institutional framework built by a colonial State, the question of Palestine becomes an electoral issue from the point of view of who is better prepared to continue the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and to enforce the Apartheid regime throughout occupied Palestine.
By: Fábio Bosco
The victorious coalition led by former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu brings together the extreme fundamentalist rightwing, remarkably the racists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, followers of the ideas of the racist rabbi Meir Kahane, who defend the expulsion of Arabs and the closure of the Palestinian Authority.
The main campaign motto of Netanyahu-led coalition was the denunciation that its opponents included Mansour Abbas, leader of an Arab party, Ra’am, in their ministry, what they consider a true betrayal of the Zionist principles of ethnic cleansing. Itamar Ben-Gvir benefited from the political space left by extremist Naftali Bennet’s Yamina party that did not stand in the elections. Furthermore, Netanyahu won because two parties, the “left” Zionist Meretz and the Arab nationalist Baladi, narrowly missed the 3.25% electoral coefficient.
The losing coalition led by Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz presented in its defense a record of crimes committed against Palestinians (bombings in Gaza, murderous military invasions of Palestinian cities and refugee camps in the West Bank, support for Zionist mob violence against Palestinians during the Unity Intifada in May 2021 and during this year’s olive harvest, …) and warned against the presence of the racist extreme right in the new government what would bring difficulties to be accepted by the imperialist powers that prefer a racist Zionism in disguise.
Zionists with Putin
An interesting fact is that both coalitions in practice stand for Vladimir Putin regarding the invasion of Ukraine, not adopting any sanctions against Russia and rejecting material support to Ukraine. The Zionist government delivered Pegasus spy software to Russia but refused to deliver it to Ukraine. The Zionists have also rejected handing over anti-aircraft batteries to the Ukrainians to intercept Russian missiles and Iranian drones that have been destroying the country’s energy infrastructure. One of the reasons for this policy is the Zionist alliance with Putin in Syria, which makes it possible for the Israeli army to carry out regular attacks on Syrian territory with Russian complicity.
Another important aspect of these elections was the relevant vote of the Palestinian nationalist party Baladi, about 138 thousand votes, while the other Palestinian parties, the Islamic party Ra’am obtained 193 thousand votes and the United List led by the communist party got 178 thousand votes. About 54% of Palestinians eligible to vote came forward to vote. While Ra’am stands for a perspective of complete adherence to the apartheid system with participation in the Zionist government in the name of defending “the concrete and immediate interests” of the 1948 Palestinians, the United List signaled support in parliament (called the Knesset) for a government of Lapid and Gantz against Netanyahu.
The Baladi, on the other hand, was against supporting a Zionist government and stands for transforming Israel into “a state for all citizens”. With a program more detached from Zionist interests, the Baladi attracted the vote of many 1948 Palestinians who were at the forefront of the Unity Intifada in May 2021. It is clear that the only fair strategy in the face of Israeli elections is to boycott, to better expose the racist and exclusionary character of Israeli apartheid to the world. The participation of Arab parties ends up covering up the exclusion of 90% of the Palestinian people from this electoral process promoted by the colonial occupation of Palestine.(I)
Hezbollah adheres to normalization with the Zionist state
In October, shortly before the Israeli elections, the Lebanese government and the State of Israel signed an agreement on gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea through the United States’ mediation.
This agreement foresees that the Karish gas field will be completely under the control of the State of Israel and that the Qana gas field will be divided in the proportion of 83% for Lebanon and 17% for the State of Israel.
The forecast is that the State of Israel will start extracting gas from the Karish field in a couple of weeks. Lebanon, on the other hand, granted the exploration of the Qana gas field to the French multinational Total and the forecast is that gas extraction will begin by the end of this decade and then provide an income of between 100 and 200 million dollars a year.
The agreement clearly benefits the State of Israel and also the European countries that are in need of gas to face the winter in the midst of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
In the diplomatic field, the agreement implies, in practice, the recognition of the State of Israel by the Lebanese State and, even worse, the legitimization of the theft of Palestinian gas by the State of Israel whose income will be employed to reinforce the Apartheid system against the Palestinian people.
The big surprise came from Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, the main Lebanese party. Nasrallah proudly stated that the agreement with the Zionists represents a great victory for Lebanon, similar to the defeats imposed on the State of Israel in 2000 and 2006.(II)
Unfortunately, Hezbollah joins the shameful wave among the Arab regimes of normalization of relations with the State of Israel, started in 1979 by Egypt, followed in 1994 by Jordan and more recently in 2020 by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in the ill-fated Abraham agreements. Currently, only three Arab countries – Kuwait, Algeria and Tunisia do not maintain any relationship with the State of Israel, although nothing positive can be expected from the new Tunisian dictator Qais Saied.
Palestinian resistance continues
In May 2021, a Palestinian uprising challenged racist attacks in the city of Al Quds/Jerusalem. The Israeli army and Zionist mobs carried out violent attacks against Palestinians in the Esplanade of the Mosques (Haram al-Sharif), at the Damascus Gate (Bab al-Amoud) and in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. This uprising united the Palestinian people with major protests in Al-Quds/Jerusalem, the 1948 Palestine, the West Bank, Gaza and also in the Diaspora, and for this reason it was called the Unity Intifada. (III)
In early 2022, Palestinian youth groups from different party affiliations (Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PFLP as well as non-partisan), broke with the political orientation of their organizations and decided to militarily fight back the attacks by the Israeli army and Zionist mobs on Palestinian cities and towns.(IV)
These groups began to form in the Jenin refugee camp located in the northern West Bank, where there is an extraordinary tradition of resistance to the occupation that prevented the establishment of Israeli settlements around the city during the second Intifada (2000-2005). Other groups quickly formed in the old city of Nablus, an important Palestinian economic and political center located between Ramallah and Jenin, in whose surroundings there are several Israeli settlements. There are several groups – Jenin Brigades, Nablus Brigades – and the most famous of them is called the Lions’ Den (V). At the moment there are young people from other areas like Uday al-Tamimi from the Shuafat refugee camp who have joined the tactic of armed resistance. (VI)
The popularity of these freedom fighters among the Palestinian population, fatigued by 30 years of Palestinian Authority collaborationism that resulted in more Israeli settlements, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, is remarkable and could be noticed in the protests against the Israeli raids in Palestinian cities as well as in the funerals of the young martyrs murdered by the Zionist military forces.
Against the current, the Palestinian Authority repeated the Zionist methods and invaded the old city of Nablus violently on the night of September 19th and entered into a military confrontation with local groups to arrest two activists: Musab Shtayyeh, member of the Lion’s Den and affiliated with Hamas; and Ameed Tbaileh. A Palestinian died during the invasion and the discredit of the Palestinian Authority among the population took a new leap. (VII)
Hamas, on the other hand, led a reconciliation with the Syrian dictator Bashar el-Assad, opposing the democratic revolutions for “Bread, Freedom and Social Justice” carried out by the Arab masses since 2010. (VIII) It is important to remind Hamas leaders that the true allies of the Palestinian cause are the Arab working people, not their regimes.
Solidarity with the Palestinian resistance
The Palestinian youth groups drive towards armed resistance did not enjoy the same international solidarity as Palestinian resistance by peaceful means.
Indeed, Palestinian resistance, like the resistance of any oppressed people, is multifaceted and carried out by all possible means.
The BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the State of Israel and Israeli institutions and companies) gained extraordinary support among the Youth, particularly in the imperialist countries, and became an important point of support for the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
Other campaigns such as the ones against the Wall of Shame, against the demolition of Palestinian homes, for the reopening of Shuhada Street in Al-Khalil, for the freedom of political prisoners, to end the siege on Gaza, for the right of return are very important and must be supported by everyone who are committed to the democratic right of oppressed peoples to self-determination.
The same international solidarity must be extended to the young Palestinians who take up arms to face the daily violence of Israeli apartheid. This step forward made by Palestinian youth is also a sign of political maturity and full commitment to Palestinian liberation.
International solidarity with Palestine must follow the words of Malcolm X – By Any Means Necessary – and the support to the Palestinian resistance, whether armed or unarmed, must be unconditional until the liberation of Palestine from river to sea.