Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 8:05 AM

Israel Votes to Become more like (Old) Apartheid South Africa

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Election Day in Israel yesterday was full of surprises; none more so than the desperate declarations and exhortations Bibi Netanyahu made to get his supporters to the polls.

mideast-israel-electionFor he not only declared that there will never be a Palestinian state as long as he’s prime minister, he also exhorted right-wing Jews to help him stay in power to honor this declaration as follows:

The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are going in droves to the polls. Left-wing NGOs are bringing them on buses.

(The Jerusalem Post, March 18, 2015)

Imagine the outrage (national and international) if Mitt Romney had done something like this on Election Day in 2012 (i.e., exhorted White voters to get to the polls because Black voters were going in droves, putting his plan to “take back our [White] government” in danger…).

But it worked like a charm for Netanyahu. His right-wing government won a decisive victory. And, if you think he has any regret about the scaremongering and race-baiting means he took to this end, think again:

Frankly, the best way to get my disdain for Netanyahu’s politics is to understand that there’s no event too farcical or solemn for him to exploit for political gain or self-aggrandizement. This exploitation invariably has him playing the Holocaust card, which is why he can be fairly thought of as little more than Al Sharpton’s political brother from another mother.

(“Netanyahu’s Call for Jewish Exodus more Sharpton than Moses,” The iPINIONS Journal, February 23, 2015)

That Netanyahu has now out-Sharptoned Sharpton, by playing his own version of the race card, probably says all one needs to know about his political character and leadership.

26BF69FD00000578-3000224-image-m-9_1426664992823In any event, I’m on record declaring that I couldn’t care any less who governs Israel. My only concern is that, in voting for Netanyahu, Israelis have consigned their country, for the near term, to international pariah status worthy of South Africa at the height of the Apartheid regime.

In fact, one can fairly think of Palestinians in the occupied territories as the Blacks who wallowed in South African townships; Arab Israelis as the “Coloureds” who lived like “house niggers;” and right-wing Jews as the White Afrikaners who lived atop the Apartheid caste system.

Ultimately, this election result means that, to avoid charges of rank hypocrisy (if not complicity), fair-minded world leaders must now shun Netanyahu’s government, just as they once shunned South Africa’s.What’s more, multinational corporations must now divest from Israel for the same humane and moral reasons they divested from South Africa.

Although, to be fair, Arab leaders have been calling Netanyahu the racist spade he has now revealed himself to be for years. Moreover, even I am on record, in such commentaries as “Neverending Story: Territorial (Holy War) between Israelis and Palestinians,” January 3, 2009, pooh-poohing any prospect for peace. This result only vindicates my cynicism.

That said, I have no doubt that right-wing Republicans in the United States will still embrace Netanyahu.

2015-03-03T174326Z_01_WAS145_RTRIDSP_3_USA-ISRAELInstead of marveling at the means Netanyahu took to win re-election, however, reporters should challenge his Republican enablers to say if they have any regret about inviting him to address a joint session of Congress on Iran just weeks ago. After all, in light of Netanyahu’s Election Day declaration and exhortation, this now makes about as much sense as inviting KKK leader David Duke to address a joint session of Congress on race.

I feel obliged, yet again, to register my disgust with Israel-can-do-no-wrong enablers in the U.S. Congress. Because, instead of supporting the wholly informed warning Secretary of State John Kerry issued to Israel on Monday about becoming an ‘apartheid’ state, everyone from Tea Party conservative Senator Ted Cruz to left-wing liberal Senator Barbara Boxer reacted as if he uttered words that were as anti-Semitic as Donald Sterling’s were racist.

(“Instead of Peace Israel Settling for Apartheid?” The iPINIONS Journal, May 1 2014)

I now feel obliged to ask, in disgust: what will it profit a man to win an election, but lose his soul?

Alas, Netanyahu is one man who is clearly all too willing to find out.

Related commentaries:
Netanyahu’s call
Israel apartheid

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