Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has returned to power in the Zionist State of Israel. However, many are asking when did he really leave? To the Palestinian people, he previously led the Occupier State of Israel with an iron glove over a clenched fist, and those who briefly replaced him in 2021, led the same way. For Palestinians, the only difference is the hand wearing the glove.
Mr. Netanyahu held the premiership 1996 to 1999 and then 2009 to 2021. He was ousted as Israel’s prime minister last year by a coalition of political foes, whose oppression of Palestinians only differed with his by small degrees.
The election comes amid a time of great change and warning to the nations against tyranny, oppression and injustice. For decades the proponents of Zionism were warned by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and his teacher before him, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, concerning their actions in Palestine.
Both cautioned America about great loss in the Middle East as the chief backer of the settler state of Israel. “When you lose The Middle East: You will be put out of that area of the world,” said Minister Farrakhan, addressing America, in Part 12 of a weekly broadcast in 2013 called, “The Time and What Must Be Done.”
“You think that you will survive,” he stated. To Israel, the Minister warned it will not achieve peace structured on lying, injustice and thievery and denying the Palestinians true sovereignty in a separate state or the right of return of Palestinians living as vagabonds in the Earth.
Observers say Mr. Netanyahu’s return potentially means worse crises. “I think that what we have been witnessing in Israel is a slow but steady descent into hell. That’s the situation,” said Bill Fletcher Jr, past president of TransAfrica Forum. “And the question that really confronts the world is what’s going to be done,” he said.
Beyond domestic affairs, Mr. Netanyahu’s stints as premier experienced sometimes good and other times rocky relations with U.S. administrations. Under Barack Obama, it was terrible; under Donald Trump, it was better; with current U.S. President Joe Biden, shaky. The U.S. is Israel’s largest benefactor providing an annual financial bag of nearly $4 billion. It remains to be seen how Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu will get along this time around. The U.S. president had good relations with the previous short-lived Israeli premierships of Naftali Bennett (2021–22) and Yair Lapid (2022– ).
Since the Nov. 1 ballot, Middle East observers are gauging what Netanyahu’s return means for America, Palestinians, the region and beyond.
“The relationship directly with Netanyahu and Biden, will be trickier than the relationship of the earlier prime minister, the brief prime minister, in between Netanyahu terms, who defined himself as a centrist,” said Phyllis Bennis, the director of the New Internationalist Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Mr. Biden getting along better with Mr. Lapid as a centrist doesn’t actually pose much of a difference with Mr. Netanyahu as a far-right politician.
“That didn’t mean very much,” Ms. Bennis said. “Because it means a centrist in the Israeli context, which in any other context would be, still a hard right kind of position.”
For the occupied, the common trait between the governments was Palestinian blood drenching the land. There is an ancient adage found in the Bible that states: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” and that a man is known by his deeds and the folks he hangs-out with. If the deeds of Jewish leaders as settler occupiers of Arab land is weighed on the balance of justice, there was never a time they were not found wanting. The root of the problem began nearly 80 years ago with America and Britain illegally imposing Zionist Jews on to Arab land. Until the injustice is reversed, peace will be an illusion.
“The Biden administration is far too weak, and especially in this first term, and likely the only term to do anything to bring Israel in or into line with international law,” said David Yaghoubian, history professor at California State, San Bernadino.
Mr. Netanyahu has assembled a “rogue’s gallery of right-wingers” who are “unprepared to make any real compromises, and who ultimately want to expel the Palestinians completely,” noted Mr. Fletcher.
Mr. Netanyahu is more explicit in his right-wing expressions of racism and Islamophobia, for example, wherein lies a difficulty factor. But the real difficulty that the U.S. now faces in Israel is the coalition Mr. Netanyahu is putting together because it is so far-right. He welcomed in two “extreme” and “fascist” parties. One of which, until recently, was so extreme it was prohibited from running for the Parliament in Israel.
“So, imagine how extreme it has to be,” said Ms. Bennis.
The Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party is led by Itamar Ben Gvere, an ultra-right anti-Arab protégé of the late extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the notorious Jewish Defense League (JDL). Mr. Kahane was a politician in the Israeli Knesset who campaigned for forced expulsion of Palestinians from the settler state. By Jewish leaders’ own accounts, the JDL are extremists, once characterized as a “cancer” among them. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation designated the group a terrorist organization since 2001.
The alliance is disastrous for Palestinian rights and dangers of significant escalation in their repression.
Israel watchers explained Israeli politics was seen as two camps—the Netanyahu camp, and the anti-Netanyahu camp. Vying for the 120-seat parliament, Netanyahu’s camp won 64 seats against 51 seats garnered by the incumbent government.
Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party won 32 seats; the Religious Zionism alliance led by Mr. Ben Gvir won 14 seats; ultra-Orthodox Shas received 11 seats, and United Torah Judaism etched out seven seats, according to Israeli election commission.
The party of outgoing Prime Minister Lapid won 24 seats in Parliament.
Despite Mr. Netanyahu being embroiled in an active legal case against him on corruption charges, he won an outright majority in the Knesset to form a new government.
Mr. Ben Gvir’s Jewish Power party is now the third largest party in the Knesset, because of the far-right shift in the Israeli political body.
“This is not a situation of a stolen election or anything like that. These are elections that do reflect where the Jewish population is,” Ms. Bennis explained.
There was a record 71.3 percent voter turnout, which analysts said gives an indication of the far-right sentiment. An analysis by the Israel Democracy Institute from surveys conducted this year, shows 60 percent of Jewish Israelis identify as right-wing. Among 18–24-year-old Israelis, the number rises to 70 percent.
“That bodes very badly for the future. So, there’s a lot of real challenges here,” said Ms. Bennis.
Although Mr. Netanyahu’s aligning with Mr. Ben-Gvir raised eyebrows, he has not been subjected to the cancel culture for repudiation. In fact, President Biden—a self-proclaimed Zionist—issued a ‘welcome back’ telephone call to Bibi.
The leaders of Britain, France, Germany, India, Equatorial Guinea, and several Eastern European nations including Ukraine lauded Israel and Mr. Netanyahu’s victory. If the congratulatory tone of world leaders toward his return to power is any indication, it is there would be no changes to the status quo of nations supporting Israel, despite Israel’s record of persecution and oppression of Palestinians. Observers point out the absence of leaders raising questions about the current uptick in violence with record numbers of Palestinian deaths by Israeli occupier forces shows it.
For the region, the Netanyahu comeback represents no reversal for Israel as a regional trouble source. Unity is absent among Arab governments who lack the political fortitude to pushback on Israel, say analysts. An Arab League Summit recently held in Algeria issued a tepid statement of Arab solidarity with the Palestinian cause Nov. 10.
But observers lambasted the statement as usual lip service because leaders refrained from addressing the “elephant in the room” issue of several Arab nations inking the “Abraham Accords” of normalization with Israel. The pact was brokered by America during the Trump administration. Mr. Netanyahu vows to push more nations to sign on.
The duplicitous behavior of Arab leaders against their Palestinian brother is aiding and abetting Israeli instigation against Iran as a regional power. The nations signing on with Israel are clout-chasing America for its military hardware. “They’re about arms sales. They’re about consolidating the relationship of these countries with the U.S. in building a U.S.-Saudi, Israeli-led coalition against Iran,” said Ms. Bennis.
Mr. Yaghoubian believes Mr. Netanyahu will be even more determined and receive little pushback from the Biden administration. None of it bodes well for the possibility of peace and security for the region and the Palestinian people.
“So, things are looking pretty grim in terms of the continual rightward trajectory of Israeli politics, and particularly with Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm,” said Mr. Yaghoubian.