For decades Israeli elections have not been held on schedule. It's as if our politicians cannot wait four full years, and after a maximum of three they want a reshuffling of the cards, hoping to get a better hand in new elections.
As anticipated, Benjamin Netanyahu decided, last week to dissolve the Knesset and call for new elections. In fact, he couldn't do otherwise: his coalition included parties with contradictory agendas, agendas which had been put aside for awhile to taste the benefits of political power - and these benefits are quite juicy. What is in common between Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid and Naftali Bennett from the Jewish Home? The first represents the consumerism and western-oriented Tel Aviv, the second one the ideological settlers of the West Bank. The only thing they have in common is their hatred of Arabs… and the poor, but is this enough to run a state?
As for Netanyahu himself, he is under permanent contradictory pressures between the lunatic far-right of his own party and the US administration he has to please, or at least not distance too much.
Israel's economic situation, which was quite good, has been deteriorating over the past months and although it is still better than in Europe, signs of a recession are appearing. This means Netanyahu has less money for his constituencies.
Moreover, more and more European states are signaling that the political arrogance of the Israeli government is beginning to annoy them. While BDS is not yet adopted by any of them, some states and big European corporations are saying enough is enough. Recognition of the Palestinian state is one way to pass the message to Israeli leaders. Though is remains on the symbolic level, the message is heard loud and clear, especially by Israel's business community.
It appears, however, that the reaction of Netanyahu is to intensify his policies, seemingly hoping that his friends from the lunatic Republican right-wing will soon return to power in Washington and, perhaps, restart the global preemptive war of George W Bush. In the meantime, the Israeli neo-cons are changing the nature of the Israeli regime, from colonial-liberal to colonial-fascist: new laws against the Palestinian minority, new regulations against civil liberties, new constitutional changes – in particular concerning the independence of the judiciary.
This past government was undoubtedly the worst ever in Israel's short history, especially as it lost more and more friends and trust from the western countries: even Golda Meir appears a rational leader compared to the present leadership.
One may expect that the fall of Israel's government is not only putting an end to a true political nightmare, but may pave the way to a better situation. "It cannot be worse" is a common saying of late.
Indeed? The non-existence of a credible center-left alternative, the expected fiasco of Yair Lapid, the refusal of the left to make a political front with the Arab parties – all these together oblige us to accept the possibility that after "worse" we may got "more worse". The three far right parties which are ruling may well receive a strengthened mandate in the coming elections, and will interpret this mandate as a green light to go ahead in their suicidal anti-democratic policies, as well as in their drive for a new war in the region. The adventurist manner in which they have handled the provocations in the al Aqsa mosque compound indicates just how far they are ready to go.
Michel Warschawski (Mikado) is an Israeli anti-Zionist activist. He led the Marxist Revolutionary Communist League until its demise in the 1990s, and co-founded the Alternative Information Center.