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The Plebiscite

By       Message Uri Avnery     Permalink
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Reprinted from Gush Shalom

From commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Defense.gov_photo_essay_110325-D-XH843-010.jpg: Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
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ISRAELIS ARE fed up with Binyamin Netanyahu. They are fed up with the government. They are fed up with all political parties. They are fed up with themselves. They are fed up.

That is the reason for the disintegration of the government this week. It did not fall because of any particular issue. Certainly not because of irrelevant matters like peace and war, occupation, racism, democracy and nonsense like that.

Curiously enough, this has happened to Netanyahu once before. His first government disintegrated in 1999, and the whole country breathed an audible sigh of relief. Indeed, the general feeling was of liberation, as if a foreign invader had finally been expelled. Like Paris in 1944.

In 2000, In the evening after the election, when it was announced that Netanyahu had been defeated, there was an explosion of enthusiasm. Tens of thousands of delirious citizens streamed spontaneously to Tel Aviv's central Rabin Square and cheered the savior, Ehud Barak, the leader of the Labor Party. He announced the Dawn of Another Day.

Unfortunately, Barak turned out to be a sociopath and an egomaniac, if not a megalomaniac. He missed the chance of peace at the Camp David conference and in the process almost completely destroyed the Israeli peace movement. The Right, this time under Ariel Sharon, came back. Then under Ehud Olmert. Then under Netanyahu again. And Again.

And now again?

God forbid!

SO WHY did the government break up this week?

No special reason. The ministers were just fed up with each other, and all were fed up with "Bibi."

Ministers started to besmirch each other, and Netanyahu. The Prime Minister, in his turn, accused his ministers, one by one, of incompetence and sinister conspiracies against him. In his parting speech, Netanyahu accused his finance minister, Yair Lapid, of failure -- as if he, the prime minister, had nothing to do with it.

The public looked on as an amused or bemused bystander. As if the whole mess did not concern it.

Now we have new elections.

At this moment it looks as if we are doomed to have a fourth Netanyahu government, even worse than the third, more racist, more anti-democratic, more anti-peace.

Unless.

THREE WEEKS ago, when nobody yet anticipated the imminent breakup, I wrote an article in Haaretz. The title was "A National Emergency Government."

My argument is that the Netanyahu government is leading the country towards disaster. It is systematically destroying all chances for peace, enlarging settlements in the West Bank and especially East Jerusalem, stoking the fires of a religious war on the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary, denouncing both Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas at the same time. All this after the superfluous Gaza War, which ended in a military draw and a human disaster that continues unabated to this day.

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Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the (more...)
 

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