Gantz, Ya’alon are breaking their pre-election promise not to build coalition with anti-Zionist Arab parties.
By Yochanan Visser, INN 09/03/20 19:28
On Monday, Blue and White, the party that lost the latest Israeli election to Likud, entered into coalition negotiations with Yisrael Beyteinu, a staunchly anti-Arab party, and the Joint List of Arab parties, a coalition of anti-Israeli parties.
By entering these negotiations Blue and White effectively broke one of its most important election promises, namely that it would not build a coalition with the Arab parties but instead would form a “Jewish majority coalition” as Benny Gantz the leader of the party promised before the elections.
Hatred for Likud leader and current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was apparently so overwhelming that Blue and White also is willing to endanger the State of Israel, as we will see.
After he faced harsh criticism for using the term “Jewish majority coalition” on televsion, Gantz backed-down, apologized and claimed he had meant “Zionist majority coalition”.Lapid did the same.
Blue and White isn’t able to form such a coalition, however, since it has, together with the joint list of Meretz-Gesher-Labor as well as Yisrael Beyteinu only 47 seats in the new Knesset to Netanyahu’s 58 seat strong bloc of Likud, Shas, Agudah and Yamina.
So, Gantz, in order to form a coalition will need to bow to the demands of the Joint List that won 15 seats in the new Knesset on March 2.
These demands might be good for the Arab population in Israel but they are a disaster for Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and they will endanger the security of the state.
During an interview with Galai Tzhal (Army Radio) in Israel, Mtanes Shihadeh, the leader of the staunch anti-Israeli Balad party, a member of the Arab joint list announced its demands in exchange for support for the minority coalition.
Shihadeh said “the Joint List won’t repeat the mistake of three months ago to recommend (Kachol Lavan’s) Benny Gantz without any commitment, without any agreement, without anything written.”
The Balad leader then accused Gantz of betraying the Arab parties when after he got the nomination to form a government, the Blue and White leader adopted Likud’s positions on a range of issues.
“The Joint List made its recommendation and Gantz basically broke right, adopting all the Likud party’s positions,” Shihadeh said.
After the September election, Balad declined to recommend tasking Gantz with forming a coalition but now says it will respect a majority decision on the issue by the other Arab parties.
The list of demands by the Joint List is long and includes measures that will endanger the Jewish character of Israel as well as the country’s security.
Shihadeh told the Army Radio that the Joint List will demand the annulment of the Kaminitz Law dealing with illegal construction and the Nation State Law.
A Gantz led government would have to adopt a NIS 64 billion economic program to improve the economic situation of the Arab minority in Israel. The Arab parties also want a peace process with the Palestinian Arabs that must be based on the so-called Two-State-Solution with borders that would be indefensible, in other words, a return to the 1948 armistice lines.
The Balad leader said the Joint List will also demand “a change in the status of the Arab population in Israel, and annulment of (what he said were) discriminatory laws that significantly change the standing of the Arab population.”
This includes annulment of the so-called Nation-State law that determined Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Another law that the Joint List wants to be annulled is the so-called Kaminitz Law, a 2017 amendment to the Planning and Building Law, which was aimed at strengthening “enforcement and penalization of planning and building offenses.”
The amendment of the law was meant to end rampant illegal building in the Israeli Arab sector but the Joint List says Israel created a severe housing crisis in Arab cities and villages by applying “systematic discrimination” in state land planning and allocation of land for construction purposes.
Israel must also abandon its plan to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria the Joint Arab list demands before it will support a Gantz minority government.
Gantz and other Blue and White leaders stated before the elections that they were in favor of applying at least Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley albeit with the support of the international community, something that will never happen.
A manifesto titled “Peace among the nations and national rights” that appears on the Facebook page of the Joint List, furthermore, demands the end to the “occupation of all Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese territories captured in 1967.”
Israel must “uproot all the settlements and the racist partition fence” says the Joint List in reference to the security fence Israel built to halt the wave of suicide bombings during the so-called Second Intifada, Yasser Arafat’s war against Israeli citizens.
Israel must also free all “political prisoners and set up an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital” according to the manifesto.
The Joint list also adopted the long-standing PA demand that Israel allows the implementation of the non-existing ‘right of return’ for Palestinian Arab “refugees”.
According to the Joint List’s parliamentary platform the Arab parties also support the violent Palestinian Arab struggle against “the occupation and their struggle for freedom” and reject US President Trump’s new plan for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Joint List also wants Israel to lift the non-existing blockade of the Gaza Strip and rejects the Israeli demand that the PA leadership recognizes Israel as a Jewish state.
The fate of the coalition Gantz eyes is now in the hands of two Blue and White MKs Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser who are reportedly vehemently opposed to the idea of outside support for a minority coalition by the Joint List. MK Hili Tropper has also declared he will oppose the coalition.
If Hauser and Hendel defect to Likud and do not resign from the Knesset as Gantz and Bogie Yaalon demand, the whole situation could change and help the forming of a right-wing government according to the will of the overwhelming majority of the Israeli people as expressed by the latest election results.