JERUSALEM — As these words are being typed, The Holy Month of Ramadan is about to begin and I want to begin by wishing my Muslim brothers and sisters, friends, and all Muslims around the world Ramadan Karim. I was born and raised in Jerusalem, which has been an Arab and Muslim city for over 1,500 years. The sight of this beautiful ancient city during Ramadan is unforgettable. The lights and decorations, the festivities, and the families enjoying all of this are heartwarming.
Sadly, since the Zionist invasion of Palestine 73 years ago, and particularly since the savage conquest of the Old City 54 years ago, this city has been under attack. The very essence of the city, its monuments and holy places, are constantly threatened by Zionist fanatics who want to see Al-Aqsa Mosque destroyed and replaced by what they refer to as a “Jewish Temple.” They make no secret of their intentions, as the entire world saw when the U.S. ambassador to Tel-Aviv, David Friedman, received as a gift a poster-size photo of the Haram El-Sharif in which Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock were replaced by another structure.
Israel votes to plough ahead
After holding four elections in two years, it is clear that for the foreseeable future Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to be Israel’s prime minister. He has won an overwhelming number of seats in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and it is obvious that, by and large, Israeli voters are happy to see him lead the Zionist State. His strategy of divide and rule has been very successful at fragmenting any opposition he may have had, and now we will see those who ran against him coming to him asking for a piece of the pie.
All of the religious parties and the religious-Zionist parties, as well as the parties associated with the right in general, are already in Netanyahu’s pocket. It is not unlikely that some of the “center” and “center left” parties that ran against Netanyahu will end up sitting in his coalition as well, and that gives him a comfortable majority.
All the reports that there is a logjam and that Netanyahu’s Likud Party may not be able to reach a majority coalition are mere reflections of negotiating positions. Most if not all of these positions will soften or disappear and a coalition government with Netanyau as prime minister will emerge.
Kahanists are here
When Israelis want to talk about extreme neo-fascist racists within Israeli politics they bring up the infamous racist Meir Kahana, who prescribed a fanatic Zionist-religious ideology and had a sizeable following among Israelis who settled in the West Bank. He was the founder of the notoriously violent, supremacist Jewish Defense League, or JDL.
Among the known members of the JDL are Keith Fuchs and Andy Green, who are implicated in the 1988 assassination of Palestinian Alex Odeh in California. Another known follower of the JDL and Kahana was Baruch Goldestein, who committed the massacre at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron in 1994.
There are several members of the Knesset who are ideologically aligned with the Kahana brand of Jewish supremacy and in this last election at least one new one was added, attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir. Ben-Gvir is loud and proud of his reputation as a Kahana follower but ideologically he is really no different from other, less provocative Israeli politicians.
One of the names that comes to mind is Ben-Gvir’s political ally Bezalel Smotrich, who was a member of a previous Netanyahu government and a member of the inner security cabinet. Others include Rafi Peretz, who is the minister for Jerusalem affairs; Naftali Benet, who served as minister of education and even as minister of defense for a short while. However, the more worrisome issue is that Benjamin Netanyahu himself is aligned with the same racist, supremacist ideology that sees the elimination of Palestinians from Palestine as a goal.
The Joint List
Another accomplishment of Netanyahu’s fragmentation strategy is the demise of the Joint Arab List. The United Arab List, which is an Islamic party, left the Joint List and ran on its own, managing, contrary to most expectations, to get four seats in the Knesset. The Joint List, which had 15 seats in the previous election, got only six his time. The Islamic Party warmed up to Netanyahu and is apparently expecting some sort of political reward for leaving the Joint List.
It is hard to imagine that any Zionist politician would work with an Arab political party and any expectation that Netanyahu would reward them is plain ludicrous. One of the more ridiculous claims that has risen since the elections is that Mansour Abbas, who leads the Islamic United Arab Party, will somehow be part of a future coalition and even become “kingmaker.”
This claim shows a lack of understanding of Zionism in general and particularly of Israeli politics. The racist Zionist ideology runs like a thread through all of Israel’s Zionist political parties and it is thus impossible for any Palestinian to be part of an Israeli government.
The vision ahead
People very often ask what the Zionists see as the “end game.” What do Zionists envision as the future? Well, as James Baldwin might say, what they think or imagine we may never know, but we can certainly see what they do and how they act. We are also able to view their plans and hear what they say. Based on all of that, we know that the Zionist State intends to continue to destroy Palestine as we know it. They fully intend on de-Arabizing the country and erasing any remnants of its glorious Islamic history.
There are several declared members of the Knesset and even of the government who are openly in favor of the destruction of Al-Aqsa and the building of what they call a “Third Temple.” One can safely assume that most if not all members of the Israeli political spectrum would view the destruction of Al-Aqsa favorably. The difference would be how far would they go in actually acting on it. Regardless, there is an imminent danger to Jerusalem, to Palestine, and certainly to Palestinian people.
The Zionists openly say that they will allow Palestinians to choose whether they remain in “Israel” as residents without rights, leave, or fight and be killed by the Israeli forces — these same forces that have been killing them for more than seventy years.
Feature photo | A man feeds pigeons near the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, April. 11, 2021. Oded Balilty | AP
Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”