The organizers counted 40 thousand Israelis in the streets last Saturday asking for “change”: “Bibi, you failed. Go home”, they shouted slogans and held placards. After the almost two terms of Benjamin Netanyahu, a part of the public asks to change the leaders of the country. The current politicians, say protesters in Tel Aviv, are not able to address the economic and social crisis in Israel, thinking only about the imaginary Iranian and Islamist threats.
To organize the event on Saturday was the One Million Hands, campaign pointing to a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians and to a change in the priorities of the government, the economic and social needs of the Israeli population. The 40 thousand of Tel Aviv gathered in Rabin Square: “This is a manifestation of Israeli citizens who ask for a change of policy, a peace agreement – told AFP one of the organizers, Dror Ben Ami – The current government has failed on the economic and social fronts and has not improved security. The country is in pieces. “
“We have a leader who fights only for a campaign, that of his own survival – said from the stage Meir Dagan, former head of the Mossad, the Israeli secret services – For six years, Netanyahu has been our Prime Minister. For the last six years Israel has been at stake. Not a single change in the region, nothing was created for a better future. ”
At the event yesterday, Bibi’s party, the Likud, had merely reacted by calling the demonstration an electoral move of the opponents (“The protest was orchestrated by the left and funded by millions of dollars that came from abroad,” said a statement of the party), without responding in any way to accusations that it had dragged the country into an increasingly pervasive economic and social crisis. Elections are just a week away, and if the latest polls give the party of Prime Minister in lifts, the few more seats for the Labour Party and Livni will surely not be a referendum.
Probably Netanyahu will be forced to ally with smaller parties and this time he could return to the fold and opt for the old ultra-Orthodox allies, after the difficulties encountered in holding together the last coalition government: in 2013, after the vote, the Likud opted for new two nationalist parties, the Jewish home of settler Bennett and Yesh Atid of anchorman Lapid. He regretted that decision immediately.
Yet the 40 thousand of Tel Aviv, as the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories and those Israeli citizens, know that very little will change. Whatever the coalition to be released from the polls is difficult to imagine a change of course on the issue of peace. Netanyahu probably will again be the Premier and in these days he has reminded everyone what is his vision of the Middle East: more security to balance the Iranian threat and the specter of ISIS to crush once again the national rights of the Palestinian people.
Yesterday, Netanyahu again reiterated that he will not return an inch of territory given the current situation in the Middle East: “The Prime Minister said that no land will be transferred into the hands of Islamic extremists and terrorist organizations, there will be no concessions or withdrawals. It is simply irrelevant, “says the Likud in an official statement. The message is clear and direct not only to the Palestinian leadership, compared to ISIS and that has anyway little say in the matter, but also to the US ally: the new government does not intend to take a step towards dialogue. To emphasize this position, Netanyahu also denied a speech in 2009 in which he spoke of the commitment to Israel’s two-state solution.
The fact that Netanyahu and the previous leadership were never very interested in the peace process is not news. Today the best excuse is the Islamist threat, although ISIS has never said a word about Israel. So the Israeli election campaign becomes vulgar: MPs who pretend to be hold captive of an imaginary Palestinian Islamist, the premier publishing video to generate fear of the caliphate, Foreign Minister Lieberman that (after proposing the death penalty for Palestinians who threaten the security of Israel) is now talking about cutting off their heads.
In short, to the current leadership little interest the real conditions of the Israeli population, their only interest is to raise dramatically the level of fear of the outside enemy. Who knows if the Israelis, who will go to vote, will also fall in the trap into which the country has been dragged over the past decade. It will not be Iran or ISIS to dissolve Israel; the divisive and unequal policies of the Israeli right will be enough to split the country.