On January 22, Israelis vote. Ballot options largely exclude choice. Dominant parties control things. They spurn fundamental rights. Right-wing extremism is policy. They reflect fascism, not democracy.
In summer 2007, historian Ilan Pappe left Israel. He felt like "public enemy number one." He was pilloried for his anti-Zionist views.
Death threats came by mail, email and phone. His picture once appeared in a prominent Israeli publication. A caption read "I'm not telling you to kill this person, but I shouldn't be surprised if someone did."
Academics critical of government policies aren't safe. Supporting right over wrong is hazardous. BDS advocates worry for their safety.
Netanyahu represents Israel's dark side. Freedom eroded greatly on his watch. His proposed Loyalty Oath law requires all Israeli citizens, Arabs and Jews, to swear allegiance to a "Jewish, Zionist, and democratic state," its emblems and values.
Obtaining a national identity card signifying citizenship depends on performing military or civic service. When introduced, Haaretz called the measure a "societal fuse."
Forced allegiance is repressive and arbitrary, it said. It reflects fascism, not democracy.
On January 20, Netanyahu rejected Palestinian self-determination. He stressed continued settlement construction.
He said "Building in Jerusalem is not the problem of the world. The problem in the Middle East is Iran's attempt to build nuclear weapons."
"This was, and remains, the main mission facing not only myself and Israel, but the entire world."
He thanked Republicans and Democrats for "unwavering support."
"History will not forgive those who do not stop Iran's nuclear program," he added.
He said US/Israeli relations are good, but "there are differences of opinion. When they tell me to return to 1967 lines, I stand against it. When they tell me not to build in Jerusalem, I stand against it."- Advertisement -
"It would be terribly easy to capitulate. I could return to indefensible borders and divide Jerusalem and let Hamas get 400 meters from my home."
"I have to stand firm on our vital interests even when it's not popular. That is the prime minister's job."
"I am not in favor of a binational state. We need to reach a solution. I don't want to rule the Palestinians, and I don't want them to rule us and threaten our existence."