December 5, 2022
by Stanley Heller
First off the prime minister will be Benjamin Netanyahu who has a long record of using anti-Arab hate for political gain. Also he has been on trial for some time for corruption. Above anything he needs to have the new coalition figure some maneuver to end the legal proceedings against him.
Further extreme than Netanyahu and his Likud are the politicians from the Religious Zionism party, the second largest group in Netanyahu’s coalition. From this party Itamar Ben-Gvir will become the National Security Minister. That means he’ll be head of all Israeli regular police and the Border Police (including its undercover unit that goes into Palestinian areas of the West Bank) and prisons and the environmental so-called Green Police. A Haaretz article states, "there are growing fears that the unit will be used to crackdown on unauthorized construction in Bedouin towns, many of which are unrecognized."
Bezalel Smotrich will become the Finance Minister for two year. He will also get to name the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) as well as the head of the Civil Administration (which rules over the Palestinians). Currently the Civil Administration is headed by an army officer who is named by the chief of staff alone. Now it will be done along with Smotrich and Netanyahu
The Religious Zionism party will also have a representative in the Defense Ministry ""to be given complete responsibility for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, areas of operation and the head of the Civil Administration.”
Essentially Netanyahu is giving the West Bank to the Religious Zionist party leaders.
But we’re not done. Avi Moaz will become Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office. He will also control the Education Ministry department in charge of external programing for public schools. He will be put in charge of a newly created Authority for National Jewish Identity.
Who is Moaz? He’s head of the section of Religious Zionism (which is actually a coalition itself) called NOAM. According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, “"Maoz is a racist homophobe, rejects Jewish pluralism, believes that the place of women is in the kitchen, and that their main function is to give birth to and raise children." The Times of Israel reports, “ Maoz said he would work to legally abolish an annual Pride Parade in Jerusalem and indicated that he would seek to roll back a Health Ministry ban on so-called conversion therapy, allowing “psychological consultations for those who don’t want to be gay.” A 2019 campaign video from NOAM compares Reform Jews, left-wing activists and gay rights advocates to Nazis and Palestinian suicide bombers, said the article.
As for other policy ideas in the new Netanyahu coalition, Smotrichhas "doubled down on his support for amending the Law of Return". His idea is that immigrants with at least one Jewish parent would be eligible for "aliyah" and automatic citizenship. Right now all you need is one Jewish grandparent. A Haaretz article notes," 3 million people with Jewish roots – the overwhelming majority of them from America – could lose their right to immigrate to Israel."
The incoming coalition is in negotiations on so-called “judicial reform”. The main idea is to establish an override clause. It would enable the Knesset to re-legislate laws struck down by the High Court with a 61-strong majority in the 120-seat parliament. To make a parallel to the U.S. if such an override law existed in the 1950’s our Congress could have struck down the “Brown vs. the Board of Education” Supreme Court decision which ended legal segregation, by a simple majority vote.
Thus develops “the only democracy in the Middle East”.
Dec. 1, 2022
by Stanley Heller
The editorial in Haaretz (Israel’s New York Times) begins, “Ayelet Shaked is determined to use every moment she has left in the Interior Ministry to torment the most disadvantaged people living in Israel. Two weeks ago, she rejected the advisory committee on refugee affairs’ recommendation that asylum be given to a woman from Sierra Leone who fears she will face genital mutilation if she is repatriated”
You read that right. She opposes giving asylum to this one woman even though the advisory committee vote was unanimous and that the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that fear of this mutilation was in fact a reason to grant asylum.
Who is Shaked? She’s head of the Interior Ministry. She’s part of the (now defeated) “alternative to Netanyahu”, the absurd cobbled-together coalition that included settler leader Naftali Bennett, a Palestinian Arab who thought he could get money for his community by giving up Palestinian rights and a party that once stood for civil rights.
Shaked continued the Israeli policy of NOT giving asylum to virtually all non-Jews. A week ago the Israeli Population and Immigration Authority rejected “a residency permit request on humanitarian grounds of a 16-year-old autistic Filipino girl who was abandoned by her family, and ordered her to leave the country within 30 days.” She had been sent by her family(who likely abused her) to live with her father who was working in Israel. Three years ago she was found wandering the streets of Tel Aviv. She was evaluated and “diagnosed on the autistic spectrum.” The father has been deported from Israel and he did not take his daughter. But there is no mercy in Israel for this one child. She must go.
About the woman from Sierra Leone, Interior Minister Shaked said, (believe it or not) that not all kids of female genital cutting is the same. Some, she said are less extreme than male circumcision. “Only a portion of them have the potential to inflict hard great enough.” Shaked said one had to use “caution” when criticizing other cultures. The Haaretz editorial said, “This breaks all records for cynicism.”
As Palestinians are shot to death daily by an Israeli government headed by this “reform” coalition, one can only tremble to think what will come next.