How Does Israel Regard The 1948 Palestinians?

Seventy one years since the Nakba (the Palestinian immense disaster), still prove to us that the Zionist state’s repressive policies towards the Palestinians in general and the 1948 Palestinians in particular, remain the same, regardless of who heads the Israeli governments. It is a policy aimed towards more ‘Israelization’ as long as a strategic objective to expel them from their homeland (similar to the expulsion of their kinsmen in 1948) is not possible to achieve at this stage.

Within this context, we note that three prominent figures currently leading racist Israel are among those who will be seeking to achieve the ‘Israelization’ goal since an ethnic cleansing is not possible to realize. With their ambitions and racist positions, the three figures: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz and Avigdor Lieberman have proved they are fully a part of the current general state the Zionist state is living.

The first, Netanyahu, who has earned the title of ‘magician’ in many Israeli political literatures, sought in his attempts to win votes in the Israeli Knesset (parliament), to demonise the 1948 Palestinians. His Likud bloc election which he personally led was characterized by systematic racial incitement against them. What Netanyahu launched was not designed only to delegitimize the Arab voter, but it embodied his fear that the Blue and White party, his main rival, would gain the support of the Arab Joint List. This in fact happened. According to Haaretz newspaper: “Gantz did not receive the support deserved by the Joint List, but came thanks to the corrupt and corruptive Netanyahu rule, which characterized the Arabs in Israel as an internal enemy, the fifth column, and dangerous accomplices with terrorism.” The fact remains that Netanyahu’s incitement backfired and whetted the Palestinians’ appetite for voting. In a simple comparison: “The percentage of Arabs who voted in the elections last April was 49.2%, while in September elections, it rose to 59.1%, including 82.3% voting for the joint list.” Later, a Haaretz editorial noted, in a remarkable way, that “Netanyahu intentionally continues to match the struggle of the Arab minority in Israel for equality with terrorism, as if it were one thing. This incitement goes uncontrolled … Netanyahu is trying….to form a purely Jewish government.” On his part, the Israeli political analyst Yossi Verter said: “We have never witnessed a violent, false, racist, and inflammatory election battle like the one Netanyahu personally conducted. In recent days, the man has carried out a crazy, almost sick attack, of lies and jumping at all virtual and material levels….., the criminal remains a criminal, and that seems to be in his blood.”

Next is Gantz, the (former) 20th chief of staff of the Israeli army, and the one who, under Netanyahu, led the 2014 massacre in Gaza Strip, bragging about it and supported the move of the American embassy to occupied Jerusalem. His Zionist ideology and right-wing positions are no different from those of the Likud. During his election campaign, he declared that he “wants to establish a national unity government that includes various Jewish parties with the participation of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu”, i.e. a more right-wing government. Gantz himself, refused to declare commitment to meet demands by the Joint List, which he preferred to ignore. On top of these were “demands for improving the conditions of the Arabs, such as fighting crime among them, expanding construction in their cities, and halting the series of racist laws.” Moreover, Gantz, who some contenders on his list hinted about the possibility of cooperation with Arab parties, may have surpassed Netanyahu’s incitement by declaring that the Arab parties “are working against the state and do not serve the issues of Arab voters. He initiated his election campaign, boasting of bombing the Gaza Strip and returning it to the Stone Age.” Gantz is also a supporter of the Nationalist Law, which grants Jews a racist superiority over all other groups and minorities and declares Israel a national home for Jews only.

After Netanyahu and Gantz comes the far-right Avigdor Lieberman, who served as Israel’s foreign minister under the 2009 Netanyahu government, and the “defense” minister from 2016 until his resignation in 2018, also under the same government. Lieberman is the leader of the settler/colonizer “Yisrael Beiteinu” party who ran the election campaign by inciting against the 1948 Palestinians using the motto of “no citizenship without loyalty.” He soon warned Gantz against seeking support of the Joint List. It is to be remembered that Lieberman has once suggested that “resolving the Jewish state’s conflict with the Arab minority is more difficult than reconciliation with the Palestinians and the Arab world.” He said that “Tel Aviv cannot reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians that does not address the most complex conflict with the Arab citizens of Israel.” As it is well known, a major additional key point in his racist positions is the question of redrawing the borders of Israel to remove the Arab population centers located on the Israeli side of the so-called Green Line by annexing them to the would-be Palestinian entity!!!

These three, in the front of the Israeli leadership today, were considered by Israeli writer Yitzhak Laor as a part within a racist society not only belonging to the right but to the entire state. He wrote saying that “Arab citizens constituting 20%, live on 2% of residential land and 1% of agricultural land. By Jewish concessions, they are surrounded by settlements, water shares and budgets. They have only the struggle as an opposition led by the Joint List with all its shortcomings, together with the remnants of the Israeli left. Racism is not a brand of the right, but of the state as well.”