COMMENT: By John Minto
The swearing in of a new Israeli Prime Minister after 12 years of appalling anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism from former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not good news.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tips the scales as even more racist than Netanyahu.
Netanyahu was infamous for statements of race-hatred such as:
- “The way to deal with Palestinians is to beat them up. Not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until its unbearable”;
- “Palestinians are an existential threat to Israel” (shades of the Nazi attitudes to Jews); and
- “Israeli is not a state for all its citizens” (ie he’s right – it’s an apartheid state – Palestinians are second-class citizens)
(If anyone isn’t sure just how racist these statements are – replace the word “Palestinians” with the word “Jews” and read them again!).
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Bennett has, if anything, even more appalling attitudes:
His comment to a Palestinian representative in the Israeli Parliament “…when you were still swinging from trees, we had a Jewish state here.”
Bennett is on record as advocating the murder of Palestinians taken prisoner. The former Israeli Defence Force officer said: “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that.”
“The establishment of a Palestinian state based on the ’67 borders is impossible.” He said there will never be a Palestinian state on his watch. “It’s just not going to happen.”
He supports illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, the continuation of the siege on Gaza, and laws and institutions which perpetuate Jewish superiority and the marginalisation of the Palestinian citizens.
Bennett’s number two on his Yamina Party list, and predicted to be the new Israeli Interior Minister, Ayelet Shaked, has to be seen to be believed.
She has posted on Facebook, saying “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and justifies its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.”
She calls for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”
She is a self-declared fascist. Here is a recent Ayelet Shaked election campaign video. It is not a spoof – it’s her actual election video.
In Israeli, it is business as usual in the racism, apartheid and brutality meted out against Palestinians.
And it is business as usual for the international solidarity movement which is building the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against apartheid Israel just as we did against apartheid South Africa.
John Minto is national chair of the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA).