by Stephen Lendman
On March 18, Israel's new government was sworn in. Doing so hardened fascist rule. A previous article explained.
Israelis elected their most extremist government ever. It's hugely over-the-top. It's militantly hardline, racist and unscrupulous. It menaces the region.
It supports state-sponsored terrorism, belligerence, neoliberal harshness, and unlimited settlement expansions.
Troika partners rule. Netanyahu remains prime minister. He's an embarrassment to democratic governance. He spurns rule of law principles. He deplores peace. Expect more conflict on his watch.
Yair Laip emerged a surprise partner. He's more showman than politician. He's more con man than legitimate. He's more demagogue than democrat. He's amateurish, shallow and disingenuous.
He's more image and mirage than real. He's a ne-er-do-well wannabe. He's ignorant, callous, uncaring and racist. He's a media personality turned politician.
Naftali Bennett represents settler interests. He's the son of American immigrants. He's one of Israel's super-rich. He heads Habayit Yayehudi. It's Israel's third most powerful party.
Earlier he led Israel's Yesha Council. It's a hardline umbrella group. It represents settler interests. It replaced Gush Emunim (Block of the Faithful). It replicates its extremism.
It's militantly hardline. It's ideologically over-the-top. It's committed to unlimited settlement expansions. It wants Palestinians displaced. It wants Greater Israel exclusively Jewish.
Expanding settlements reflects core Israeli policy. Hardline ministers are committed to do so.
Habayit Yayehudi's Uri Ariel is new Housing and Construction Minister. He militantly hardline. He spent his public career advancing settlements.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid also chairs the Ministerial Committee on Housing Issues. He prioritizes settlement expansions.
So does Nissan Slomiansky. Earlier he was Gush Emunim's secretary-general. He's now a Yesha Council member.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon's portfolio includes advancing settlement expansions.
"The new government will be a national government that will preserve the country's interests, including the settlements of Judea and Samaria," he stresses.
Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar supports settler interests. So does Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon. He also chairs the Israel Lands Administration (ILA).
Troika partners have other portfolios to fill. They want settler leaders in charge of housing policy.
ILA chairman, Bentzi Lieberman, formerly headed the Yesha Council. He's likeminded on settler issues.
He appointed Leora Tushinsky deputy director. Earlier she was Tnufa vice president. It's a state agency created to handle resettlement compensation payments.
She also served as Samaria Regional Council CEO. It provides municipal services for 30 northern West Bank settlements.
Adiel Shamroun was appointed ILA's central district manager. He previously headed Tnufa's budget and coordination department.
Former Gush Katif settlers' committee chairman, Doron Ben-Shlomi, is the ILA chairman's new assistant.
Expect other appointments to reflect settler interests. Expect construction to continue unabated. Expect it perhaps to accelerate. Expect greater than ever occupation harshness.
Expect peace talks to be pushed to the sidelines. They don't matter. Longstanding hypocrisy remains policy. Israel's new government is dismissive. It doesn't care. It chooses conflict over diplomatic resolution.
Land for peace is dead. Most Israelis are likeminded. They care more about quality of life, economic well-being and security than international politics and peace talks.
Israeli hardliners call occupation permanent. They spurn peace. They prioritize land theft, Palestinian displacement, settlement construction, Jerusalem as Israel's exclusive capital and unchallenged dominance.
They want all valued Judea and Samaria areas Judaized. Apartheid is policy. So is ethnic cleansing. They want settler numbers increased exponentially.
They're hawkish on Iran. New Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon calls Tehran's "nuclear threat" a sword at Israel's throat.
If forced to choose between bombing Iran and letting it develop nuclear weapons, he opts for the former, he says.
He repeats what he knows is untrue. He says if Tehran's not stopped, it'll have enough enriched uranium for seven or eight bombs in a year. It's able to make a dirty bomb in six months. The moment of truth approaches, he says.
"Under no circumstances" will Israel let this happen, he stresses. He's ideologically hardline. He has prime ministerial ambitions. He admits it openly.
He has security cabinet soul mates. They're hawkish on Iran.
They include Netanyahu, Bennett, Lapid, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan, and defrocked Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman pending the outcome of his fraud and breach of trust trial.
What follows remains to be seen. War on Iran is madness. Ya'alon prioritizes joint Israeli/Washington cooperation. Netanyahu is likeminded.
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile says he's in charge of security, foreign relations, national strategy, intelligence, and Palestinian issues.
Ya'alon shares responsibility with him. Both are militantly hardline. Peace remains a dead letter. Expect the worst going forward. It remains to be seen if it includes war.
A Final Comment
Netanyahu and Bennett agreed to advance a racist Basic Law. It was proposed earlier and rejected. Doing so now assures redefining Israel's character.
At issue is nullifying Arabic as an official language, making legislation exclusively Jewish, and excluding Israeli Arabs from various government services. They include community development.
Netanyahu supports the legislation. So do Bennett and Lapid. It's racist, lawless, and over-the-top. It divides Israel in two more than ever.
It tells non-Jewish citizens they're not wanted. It reflects Numerberg Laws injustice. Perhaps they're a hair's breath away.
In the 1930s, Hitler publicly humiliated Jews. He vilified them viciously. He encouraged harming them physically. He used legal measures to destroy their businesses and livelihoods.
Escalated violence followed. Emigration was encouraged. Jews and Aryans lived totally apart. Violent anti-Jewish acts were exempted from German law.
They included murders, rapes, other sexual assaults, pogroms, public humiliations, vandalism, anti-Semitic graffiti, boycotts, confiscations, looting, and other forms of state terror.
Anything goes became policy. So did prioritizing removing German Jewry. Holocaust atrocities followed. Israel's perhaps on a fast track toward replicating what some think impossible.
Slow-motion genocide's been policy from inception. Maybe Israel's new government has accelerating it in mind.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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