Frightening forecast about a right wing landslide in next Tuesday’s Israeli general election

by ray goodlass

19 January: I had hoped to be in reflective mode about my Palestine Peace trip by now, but an article in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) this morning by Ruth Pollard, their Jerusalem correspondent about next Tuesday’s Israeli general election brought me up short. It forecasts a very strong right wing victory.

I had read such forecasts in the English language daily papers while I was in Jerusalem, but to see what I had absorbed in bits and pieces in one complete story brought it home with a vengeance.

The most frightening aspects were the comments of the Israeli voters Ruth interveiwed, who all favoured annexing Judea and Samaria, i.e. the entire West Bank. They didn’t, however, mention the elephant in that particular room, which is that such an annexation would result in a very large Palestinian population within what they (i.e. the Zionists) want to be a Jewish state. Perhaps they anticipate the Palestians either fleeing or being forced out? It seems to me from my previous discussions on the issue with Palestinians, and also from my reading, that such an annexation, from an Israeli point of view, would have to involve removing the Palestinians in some way, which of course all the Settlement building is all about – i.e. ethnic cleansing.

The Israelis Ruth interviewd were all Settlers, and they couldn’t see anything wrong with Settlements. Perhaps it would have been a more interesting story if Ruth had challenged them on such questions, including their illegality. But to counter that, her story was just to point out how Israelis were going to vote, and why.

Which leads me to the fact that the main couple she interviewed were going to vote for Hyabayit HaYehudi, an ultra-right wing party that favours annexation and more and more settlents. Translated as the Jewish Home party, it will probably have a place in Netanyahu’s new coalition government.

The other main point of Ruth’s article is that the word ‘Peace’, let alone the concept of it, has not appeared in any party’s election campaign. This is quite frightening, for it does not bode well for the furure.

Ruth also interviewd a Palestinian village family, which pointed out that nearby Settlers regularly destroyed their olive trees, which of course are their livelihood. These same Settlers vandalise the village, including the mosque.

The article concluded that though the US, the EU and Australia have condemned the expansion of the Settlements, but there have been no concrete steps to curtail it.

Which reminds me, I heard on ABC’s Radio National earlier today a call by our Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr for the US to bring Israel to heel and actively promote a peaceful outcome, as the US is the only country with enough influence to do so.

I wish!