Late Tuesday night, as it became clear that Benyamin Netanyahu had raised his election results from 25 to 30 seats out of the 120 total in the Israeli Knesset, I was mightily depressed. Bibi was able to do it in a single day by stating he would never allow a Palestinian State to emerge under his watch, and by outing his own racist views of the country’s 20% Arab citizens.
I then became very angry, especially when I compared the Likud’s intentions with those of the so-called “centre-left” Zionist Union. While not nearly as far right as Likud and its natural partners, this party’s policies on the illegal Occupation and the illegal Jewish settlements thereon was no better than Likud Lite. The only party of the left, in terms which would be understood as such in the real world, is Meretz. Its undertakings to be fairer in both political and economic terms garnered it a meagre five seats. Its leader resigned and its voice will not be heard.
I have known for some time that my once-beloved country had fallen among thieves. The state born out of world’s sympathy with the survivors of an attempted genocide and refugees of persecution took a singlr generation to turn from a safe haven for freedom fighters and freedom seekers into the homeland of people who think they are entitled to be greedy and selfish at the expense of others.
Last July I wrote about considering burning my Israeli passport in the face of leading Israeli politicians calling for the racist killing of Arab children. Two months later 550 kids lay dead among the ruins of Gaza and 3,300 were seriously wounded. The vast majority of Israeli supported this massacre and many of them regretted its ending.
I was, however, still among those who harboured a faint hope that the Israeli public, given the right to express their verdict on the murderous racism sweeping the country, would choose a more moderate option if only to retain their place among the civilised nations of the world. No such luck, quite the contrary.
On polling day the voters succumbed to Bibi’s overtly racist scaremongering. “The Arabs are coming out to vote in droves – bussed to the polls by their Lefty friends!” he cried. KERBOOM. By the end of the day his projected 15 seats had ballooned to 30, based on his suggestion that the 20% of Israeli citizens (1.7 million) who are not Jewish/Zionist are intent on using their votes just to undermine HIM, King Bibi, and that they, the Jews, must vote to Save the King – and themselves.
I then sought – and found – some silver linings. The first and most selfish one was that Bibi appears to have silenced most of my Hasbara twitter troll. This may well be the result of my having already blocked the nastiest and most mindless of them. But more profoundly, it is very difficult for those whose views are based on Israel as Victim to defend this position when the prime minister is crowing that he emerged victorious against the whole world, and especially the President of the United States of America. And that he intends to carry on cocking a snook at International Law (and everybody else).
And there’s the rub. The fallout from Bibi’s overt racsim and slamming the door shut on a Palestinian state is already felt in Washington. Obama waited for three days before overcoming his nausea to call Netanyahu and “congratulate” him on his victory. During that time, White House spokesman Josh Earnest stated that Netanyahu’s pre-election words “undermine the values and democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together.”
A senior Administration official added: “The positions taken by the prime minister in the last days of the campaign have raised very significant substantive questions that go far beyond just optics”.
Wizard Bibi immediately deployed his “turning on a sixpence” trick of trying to pretend he didn’t mean what he said, but Washington will not be fooled so easily again. “You can’t say all this about rejecting a two-state solution and then say, ‘I was just kidding.’”, the anonymous official said, “He’s shown his true colours.”
So, for a start, you can forget about those cosy tete-a-tetes between Bibi and Barack in which the Israel gloated and the American squirmed. The New York Times was told that from now on it would be left to the hapless John Kerry to deal with Israel, as the President “is not going to waste his time.” Most significantly, Kerry’s respected spokeswoman Jen Psaki implied that the US is getting close to using its diplomatic nuclear option: and its automatic support through its power of veto at the UN Security Council and/or the International Criminal Court, which Israel fears most – and for good reason.
The disproportionate power Israel and its fabulously wealthy lobbyists have long wielded in Washington through countless “informal” meetings with members of Congress and others to discuss policy decisions is already eroded and could be lost altogether. The well-publicised Red Carpet invitation to Republican Speaker John “bonehead” Boehner to come to Israel soon will certainly not improve the chances of a renewed process between Bibi and Obama.
So history may yet record that in the annals of disastrous victories the name of King Pyrrhus of Epirus, who held the title since In 281 B.C, shall be changed to King Bibi of Israel, 2015.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Bibic victory.