How history repeats itself in different circumstances. According to a Jpost report of July 21st, 2019 "Labor chairman Amir Peretz 1 said on Sunday in an interview with Army Radio that there is no way for the Labor party to run for the upcoming September 17 elections with Meretz or Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak's Israel Democratic Party. Peretz's words were made after the Labor party merged with Orly Levy-Abucassis' Gesher, which sparked waves of criticism among the leftist parties" 2. This means that Amir Peretz and Orly Levy-Abekasis have an agenda of joining a Likud right-wing coalition. Under these conditions, we must understand that a vote for Labour is a vote for a right-wing coalition. Meretz leader, Nitzan Horowitz, has stated this. It will be a fatal blow to the left. Labour and Likud have been in coalition numerous times since Israel's establishment and after these elections, it may occur again.
If Labour under Amir Peretz and Orly Levy-Abukasis join the Likud, it will not be surprising. Orly Levy-Abukasis grew up in the Likud and still holds much of its ideology. She is the perfect pathway for Labour to enter a Likud coalition after the elections even if Netanyahu is not indicted. They have kept that option open. If this occurs, most Labour supporters will have very red faces. After all, the upcoming elections give the voter a chance to oppose the Likud and company. Voting for Labour is taking a gamble and may favour Netanyahu. This will be a happy day for Netanyahu if this happens.
As things stand at the moment in this rather sleepy election campaign, the left-wing is in danger of being written off as a viable legislative force in the Knesset. Instead of forming a united front against the right-wing coalition government, they are splintered. As mentioned earlier, Amir Peretz, with his latest partner, Orly Levy-Abukassis of Gesher, who is apolitical on state issues and is involved in social issues exclusively with a tendency towards her Likud upbringing is a massive gamble that could add another nail in the coffin of the dying Labour Party.
A vote for the right-wing is a vote for an apartheid state as Rabbi Rafi Peretz, head of the Jewish Home Party supports, will be part of this despicable coalition. Not only is Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Minister of Education, the centre of controversy over re-educating the LGBT community to be heterosexual. He later softened his views on this issue because of the strong opposition to his support of “conversion treatment”3 He is really an Orthodox religious extremist and all that goes with it. This bigot must be forced to resign from being Minister of Education. He is a racist and wishes to turn Israel into an apartheid state by denying Palestinians in the occupied territories the right to vote. His agenda is to declare the occupied areas as part of Israel and the Palestinians will be denied representation. He waltzes with Kahanist fascists of the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power Party)4 to include them in an extreme, racist right-wing Zionist religious party - Jewish Home Party and United Right Alliance, which he heads. He will be negotiating with these Kahanists as the heat of the upcoming elections increases. This racist demagogue is a dangerous wolf in sheep's’ clothing. He had failed to include these Kahanists.
The cat that has been struggling in the bag of Israel's bigoted leaders has now been let out of the bag by Rabbi Rafi Peretz, Minister of Education, who clearly stated his desire that the occupied territories (West Bank) will be part of Israel and that the Palestinians living there will have no right to vote. He admitted this in his interview when asked if this is not apartheid. Peretz didn’t rule out the option that it is. So there you have it straight from one of the horse's mouth. This bigot will be in charge of educating the next generation - so it appears if the right-wing under the suspected felon Bibi Netanyahu forms the next government after the elections. This will give those who oppose the Israeli right-wing government justification of equating their rule with apartheid South Africa. This will eventually extend to the rights of non-Jewish minorities, who are Israeli citizens, being eroded and they will be second class citizens. The handwriting is on the wall. The recently passed Nation-State Law will assure that.
For those, who are still thinking of supporting Labour under Amir Peretz, will also get the right-wing extremists such as Bezalel Smotrich, Minister of Transport and maybe Otzma Yehudit, (if they pass the threshold into the Knesset) the Kahanist fascist party as part of the coalition they do not want 5, assuming he forms a coalition with the Likud.
Perhaps if the left of centre are prepared to drop their egos and that, of course, includes members of the Arab Parties, then they could form a strong opposition to Netanyahu and his right-wing shenanigans and even have a possibility of forming a new centre-left government. The Arab Parties must drop their strong nationalist tendencies and work with the left to form a party that represents the interests of all Israel's citizens irrespective of race, colour or religion. A true Jewish Arab Party coalition including, the Democratic Camp and Hadash-Ta-al. This means that a common platform free of over-bloated egos and past individual gripes can be accepted by all the parties concerned. If this unity of the left is not accepted the alternative will be a fragmented left opposition. Many of these parties will not get sufficient votes to be elected to the Knesset and the right with its religious orthodox and ultra-orthodox parties will be the next government including Kahol-Lavan. This is the choice. Kahol-Lavan is sitting on the fence and will sway towards the coalition that has the best chance of forming a government. Avigdor Lieberman leader of Israel Beiteinu will be the trump card that decides which coalition group will be given the go-ahead by President Rubi Rivlin to form the next government.
This week Ehud Barak (Democratic Israel), Meretz and Stav Shafir (who left the Labor-Gesher Union) have decided to form a united list known as the Democratic Camp. It will be left of centre 6. Tactically, this is a good move but it might spell the end of the Arab vote that won Meretz representation in the Knesset after April 9th Elections. It remains to be seen if Ehud Barak, despite his apology for the loss of life of 13 Arab Israeli demonstrators in 2000 during the Um el Fahm unrest, will not lose the Arab Israeli vote.
Surely if the new Arab Joint List (an agreement on 27th July 2019 has been reached by Hadash-Ta-al and United Arab List. Balad will probably join at a later stage.) would join up with the Democratic Camp, it would strengthen the opposition to a Netanyahu led coalition. After all, their principles of democracy, abolishing the Nation-State Law, fighting against racism and fascism as well as equal rights for all Israel's citizens irrespective of race, colour and religion coincide with the Democratic Camp agenda. Economic improvements and a peace agreement with the Palestinians that will herald the end to the occupation and a Two-State Solution is also an essential part of the new Democratic Camp ideology. The differences between the Joint List and Democratic Camp can be ironed out. After all, unity is the strength to get the Netanyahu led coalition out is a goal of both party lists. Unfortunately, the Democratic Camp and the Joint Arab List will not be running together and this weakens the left-wing opposition to Netanyahu.
The Arab vote must not be overlooked. Only a true Jewish-Arab Party on the left will gain more seats than if they run on their own. This Jewish-Arab Party would be concerned with fighting for true equality between all Israel's citizens, women rights and freedom of pluralism that we so desperately need in this country and of course a renewal of meaningful peace negotiations with our Palestinian neighbours, which appears to be absent in all party platforms.
We must also bear in mind that a vote for the Likud and its right-wing future partners in a right-wing coalition also is a vote for including the right-wing extremist party, Otzma Yehudit that is Kahanist racist party that was banned from standing for election in the Knesset by previous Israeli Governments. Under Netanyahu, this Kahanist party is gaining legitimacy in order to save Netanyahu from standing trial for suspected crimes.
Well, the dye is now cast and the deadline for registration of parties standing in the elections has been decided on 1st August. The Arab Joint List has reincarnated, the right-wing of the Likud parties have formed a unity party leaving the Kahanist, racist extremist Itamar Ben Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit Party and Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut running on their own. This means that these two right-wing racist parties may not even pass the threshold to enter the Knesset, which will be a small blessing.
Labour-Gesher Party will not unite with the Democratic Camp in order to keep its option open of joining a Likud led Coalition after the elections. This is probably the reason why Amir Peretz and Orly Levy-Abukasis leader of the Gesher Party have formed a unity party. Avigdor Lieberman, the holder of the trump card in a possible coalition government of Likud-Kahol\Lavan including Israel Beitenu(Lieberman’s party). Lieberman has made it clear that he supports this move, excluding the ultra-Orthodox and Messianic religious parties. If Netanyahu fails to form a government, Lieberman supports the idea that another Likud elected Knesset member will be given the chance of forming the next government after the elections.
My guess is that the results of the 17th Sept General Elections will not be much different from the results of the 9th April Elections. If we follow trends of Israeli citizens' voting patterns there is a definite trend towards the right with messianic religious fundamentalism on the rise.
- "Amir Peretz | The Times of Israel." https://www.timesofisrael.com/topic/amir-peretz/. Accessed 26 Jul. 2019.
- "Amir Peretz: No way to run with Ehud Barak ... - The Jerusalem Post." 22 Jul. 2019, https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Amir-Peretz-No-way-to-run-with-Ehud-Barak-Meretz-596329. Accessed 26 Jul. 2019.
- "Israel's education minister now says he opposes gay 'conversion ...." 16 Jul. 2019, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-s-education-minister-now-says-he-opposes-gay-conversion-therapy-1.7532713. Accessed 26 Jul. 2019.
- "Otzma Yehudit - Wikipedia." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otzma_Yehudit. Accessed 26 Jul. 2019.
- "Otzma Yehudit breaks away from Jewish Home in spat over Knesset ...." 25 Jun. 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/otzma-yehudit-breaks-away-from-jewish-home-in-spat-over-knesset-seat/. Accessed 26 Jul. 2019.
- "Meretz, former PM Barak, Labor defector Shaffir announce joint ...." 25 Jul. 2019, https://www.timesofisrael.com/meretz-former-pm-barak-labor-defector-shaffir-announce-joint-knesset-run/. Accessed 26 Jul. 2019.