Far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down on claiming victory in this week’s election, saying on Wednesday, March 5, that he won among the” Zionist” voters because “Arabs are not part of the equation.” The racist premier made this statement during a meeting with the leaders of the parties comprising his right-wing and religious bloc.
The prime minister stressed that Kahol Lavan leader MK Benny Gantz was “linking up with supporters of terror on the Joint List in an attempt to annul the decision of the people… my friends, myself and millions of citizens who voted for us will not let this happen. Gantz – you lost the election, let this idea go.” The bloc of right-wing and religious parties will remain at the 58 seats in the final vote count, three away from obtaining a blocking majority in the next Knesset.
Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) slammed Netanyahu on Wednesday, saying he does not know what democracy is. “Netanyahu wouldn’t know what democracy is even if it indicted him on three different charges,” he wrote on Twitter, adding, “even if democracy prevented him from forming a coalition three times.” His comments were wry play on the fact that Netanyahu is facing three charges for corruption and is now attempting to form a ruling coalition for the third time.
According to Haaretz’s Rogel Alpher, “There is no Just Not Bibi camp. It does not exist. There is an Only Bibi camp. In addition, it won 58 Knesset seats in the election. Not enough to form a government. However, this camp is not facing a Just Not Bibi camp with 61 seats. That is just a lie. If the goal were really Just Not Bibi, then Kahol Lavan, Labor-Gesher-Meretz, Yisrael Beiteinu and the Joint List could form a government of 61 MK because for all that Lieberman wants to oust Netanyahu; he is not willing to cooperate with Arabs. With this refusal, he is keeping Netanyahu alive. And as much as Kahol Lavan wants to oust Netanyahu, it is only willing to do so with a Jewish majority. It is not willing to rely on the Arabs. Therefore, it appears that Lieberman and Kahol Lavan’s only-Jews agenda is topping Just Not Bibi in the order of priorities. They are Jews first, and only afterwards democrats who are fighting corruption. They are racists first, and only afterwards valiant upholders of the rule of law. They are nationalists first, and only afterwards liberals. The fight for the state’s ‘Jewish character’ consumes the Only Bibi camp – i.e., for the centrality of Jewish ethnocentrism in the Israeli identity, and by a burning hatred for the liberal, universal democracy that threatens this identity.”
Hadash MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) said on Wednesday that passing a law preventing a person indicted of bribery from serving, as prime minister is “slightly more democratic than keeping 5 million Palestinians under occupation with no rights, and passing Jewish supremacy laws.” Jabareen was referring to the proposition by MK Gantz that the Knesset should pass a law forbidding the president from tasking a person indicted of a crime with forming a coalition.
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