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Reprinted from Alternet
Netanyahu has described a suicidal Jewish extremist as his personal hero. Will he follow in his path?
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu propelled his Likud Party to victory over the centrist Zionist Union in national elections this week with a vehement rejection of a Palestinian state and warning of "buses full of Arabs" inundating polling places. He understands that most Jewish Israelis do not want to live beside an independent Palestinian state or next door to a Palestinian. He is one of them, after all, and he shares their sensibility. His last-minute desperate appeal to racism was an Israeli application of Alabama Governor George C. Wallace's political rule: "I will never be out-niggered again."
By making Netanyahu the longest serving prime minister in Israel's history, Jewish Israeli voters have chosen occupation, apartheid and periodic bouts of warfare. By signing onto Likud's election list, they have sent figures to the Knesset who make Netanyahu look like Arlo Guthrie. They include Miri Regev, an Israeli blend of Sarah Palin and Marine Le Pen who incited racist riots at a 2012 rally when she called African migrants "a cancer in the nation's body." Also on the list is Avi Dichter, a hardline former Shin Bet chief who authored a bill that would have formally enshrined Israel's Jewish character as superior to its democratic charter. (The bill may pass in diluted form in the coming months).
Then there is Ayoub Kara, a rabidly anti-Palestinian Druze Arab legislator who flew to Berlin in 2011 to pal around with a neo-Nazi German millionaire and later described Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as "really a leftist." Avigdor Lieberman, for his part, recently called for beheading Arab citizens of Israel he deemed disloyal--"we need to pick up an axe and cut off his head."
A minority of Israeli Jewish citizens have attempted to resist their country's destructive path, but they have never been more stigmatized or marginalized. Meanwhile, millions of Palestinians live under Israeli rule without the right to vote or any legal rights at all. The war that left some 2,200 residents of the Gaza Strip dead last summer and reduced nearly a quarter of the besieged coastal enclave's urban landscape to rubble was supported by over 90 percent of the Jewish Israeli public, with 45 percent of Israelis complaining that their army had not used enough force. This was the Israel that rewarded Netanyahu with his fourth term.