On this edition of Parallax Views, the Tikun Olam blog’s Richard Silverstein, who specializes in analysis and commentary related to the Israeli national security state, returns to discuss the Israeli elections and the triumph of the Israeli far-right in said election.
In this conversation we’ll cover the rise of extreme right-wing politicians and their supporters in Israel with a focus on Otzma Yehudit’s Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Religious Zionist Party, returning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his contribution to empower Israel’s far-right contingent, and the hardline nationalist activists of Hilltop Youth. Richard highlights why this past election matters and signals a dangerous moment in regards to Israel/Palestine. It is not, he argues, business as usual and could lead to a major conflagration in the Middle East. Additionally we delve into the issues surrounding the Temple Mount, the al-Aqsa Mosque, and the desire of far-right Israelis to rebuild the third temple. Moreover, Richard details the violent activities of the far-right and how they extend far beyond incidents of vandalism like the now well-known price tag attacks or the annual nationalist Jerusalem Day marches in which “Death to Arabs” is reported to be chanted.
Richard and I also delve into the overlap between Israel’s far-right and the Western far-right noting the points of agreement between the too, particularly in regards to anti-Muslim sentiments (but also anti-LGBTQ beliefs as well) and the desire for an ethno-state.
Other topics discussed include:
– The disintegration of liberal Zionism and the Israeli left
– Will U.S. policy towards Israel change due to the rise of Israel’s far-right politicians like Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich?
– Why Benjamin Netanyahu needs the Israeli far-right, embodied by parties like Otzma Yehudit and the Religious Zionist Party, in order for his government coalition to succeed and how these parties effect the discourse in Israel (dragging the center farther to the right)
– Hilltop Youth, Itamar Ben-Gvir, incitement of terroristic violence, and collusion between the police/military and the Israeli far-right
– The issue of fascism
– Addressing antisemitism while also being critical of the state of Israel (rather than the Jewish people)
– An incident involving Hilltop Youth activists throwing molotov cocktails into a Palestinian home
– The Church of Loaves and Fishes arson attack
– Parallels between the Israeli far-right and the U.S.-based Trumpist/MAGA movement as exemplified by figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene
– The Israeli far-right and religious messianism
– Christian evangelism in the U.S. and the Israeli far-right
– AIPAC (the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee that is often referred to as the Israel Lobby)
– The extremist beliefs of the late Rabbi Meier Kahane
And much, much more!