Israel’s Greatest Tragedy: Netanyahu’s Victory

Israel’s Greatest Tragedy

Netanyahu’s Victory

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s current prime minister, has declared victory as his main adversary, Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union, conceded defeat. Netanyahu’s right-winged Likud party locked in 30 out of the 120 seats of the Knesset, Israel’s unicameral national legislature, while Herzog of the Zionist Union secured 24 seats. Netanyahu’s victory reaffirms Israel’s dysfunctional governmental system.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party scored a resounding victory in the country’s election, final results showed Wednesday. It was a stunning turnaround after a tight race. (AP)

To understand the results of the Israeli elections, it is crucial to understand how its government functions. Israel is a parliamentary democracy, a multi-party system, based on party list proportional representation. Political polarization has the potential to destroy political parties in parliamentary systems, much more than in presidential systems. Due to the existence of multiple political parties sharing aligned interests, often so, political parties will organize coalitions in order to successfully gain the vast majority. The Zionist Union, a center left political alliance, formed by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni of the Labour and Hatunuah parties, respectively, holds the very aim of uniting Israel’s socioeconomic center left to seize political power. The Joint Arab List was established by the sociopolitical center left political parties of Hadash, Balad, United Arab List, and Ta’al, in the interest of fostering pro-Palestinian policies to ultimately ensure the creation of a sovereign, Palestinian nation state.

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Neither of these two coalitions gained the majority of the vote. The right winged majority of Israel voted in favor of Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party, with the Zionist Union finishing in a close second. The Joint Arab List was able to win 13 seats in the Knesset, a surprising victory, bearing in mind that the overwhelming majority of Israel is ideologically right winged. Netanyahu’s victory comes at no surprise.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s reign of terror will only grow stronger domestically, regionally, and internationally. While Herzog of the Zionist Union expressed his desire to resume peace talks with Palestinians, Netanyahu outright refused to do so, a move that will inevitably fortify ethnic nationalism in the nation state. Ethnic nationalism, downright racist in nature, is a political ideology rejected by the international community. Oddly so, Israeli ethnic nationalism is supported by the civic nation state of the United States of America. If Serbian ethnonationalism is condemned, why is Israeli ethnonationalism allowed to prevail? Not only is Israeli ethnonationalism allowed to prevail, the United States, the quintessential archetype of democracy and egalitarianism, has been providing economic and military assistance which has facilitated the systematic disenfranchisement of Palestinians since Israel’s inception in 1948. Domestically, Netanyahu’s ethnonationalist agenda will sustain the state of apartheid and facilitate the slow motion genocide of Palestinians.

As Netanyahu seeks to maintain regional nuclear unipolarity, his irrational fear of Israel falling as a regional nuclear hegemonic power will lead to unilateralism, which will further contribute to the destabilization of the Middle East. Netanyahu’s integrity is being questioned internationally, even by his western allies, especially the United States of America. If Israel’s aggression continues, there is a strong possibility that the United States could gradually withdraw its military, economic, and political support for Israel, regardless of bureaucratic politics, which has driven the United States’ pro-Israel policies since 1948. Netanyahu’s victory, tyrannical foreign policy, and his continual antagonism are existential threats to international peace and security; there is more reason to fear Netanyahu’s Israel than all other international perceived threats.

Sameera Khan

Sameera Khan is Miss New Jersey United States.

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