Monday, March 30, 2020

2020-03-30 Netanyahu’s agenda for a new government: Annexation of Palestine with US consent?

Netanyahu’s agenda for a new government: Annexation of Palestine with US consent?
Dispute over such agenda is reportedly delaying the formation of a new government.
Tel-Aviv, March 30 – negotiations continue today for the formation of a new governing coalition in Israel. According to commentator Amit Segal, the top dispute, delaying such negotiations, is Netanyahu’s demand that the new government’s agenda formally include annexation (“imposing sovereignty” in Israeli parlance) of Palestine pursuant to US consent.
2020-03-30  – commentator Amit Segal: “The negotiations between Likud [Netanyahu’s party] and Blue and White [what used to be Gantz’s party, now broken apart] is stuck: Gantz objects to imposing sovereignty pursuant to US consent...”
Amit Segal is one of the most influential journalists in Israel today. He is considered a channel for Netanyahu’s PR messages and spins.
The demand for immediate annexation of Palestine grew directly out of the late January publication of the Trump-Netanyahu plan, which was a blatant US intervention in favor of Netanyahu in the Israeli early March election. [i] International support for the plan is close to none. And in practice, such plan would transform Israel into a state that is much closer to formal apartheid. Those who support annexation have never intended for Palestinians to gain citizenship and voting rights -- otherwise, they would erase the clear Jewish majority. Partly for such reasons, annexation of Palestine is viewed by many in Israel as a looming disaster.
However, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has been encouraging annexation for a while. [ii]
2019-06-08 Peace Now NGO: “With friends like US Ambassador Friedman, who needs enemies?! Today the NYT had published Friedman’s support for annexation of parts of the West Bank. Any reasonable person realizes that annexation would lead the entire region to disaster and threaten the existence of Israel as a Jewish democratic state. Friedman is a Trojan horse...”
In the immediate aftermath of the publication of the Trump-Netanyahu plan Friedman generated the expectation of immediate annexation, contradicting the White House, and requiring a “clarifications” a few days later. [iiiRegardless, his conduct galvanized the settlers – the hard core of Netanyahu’s base.
Such expectations should be considered key factor in the recent, unprecedented violence by settlers against IDF, and a key factor in the recent breakdown of any norms of legitimate, “constitutional” (in a nation with no constitution) conduct by the three branches of government in Israel. [ivv]
Otherwise, many commentators agree that the main, and possibly only motive for Netanyahu’s conduct is entirely different – avoiding criminal prosecution on charges of bribes, deceit and breach of trust and the likely prison sentence. In the process, Netanyahu is willing to dismantle any remaining semblance of a democratic regime in Israel. [vivii]
Commentator Amit Segal himself has repeatedly expressed similar opinions over the past year - that Netanyahu’s prosecution wouldn’t and shouldn’t be allowed to proceed, since it would cause breakdown of the Israeli regime.

2019-11-21 - commentator Amit Segal: “Two trains, which have been running fast towards each other for over 3.5 years, have frontally collided this evening: The legal [train] of Defendant Netanyahu and the political [train] of Prime Minister Netanyahu. The timing is terrible. Israel is anyway stuck in a dead end. Since the indictment wouldn’t disappear, and Netanyahu does not plan on disappearing, what is required is a kuntz, and now. Otherwise we would be catapulted into very difficult years.”
Therefore, regardless of whether Netanyahu is genuinely planning an immediate annexation of Palestine, or whether annexation is only part of the kuntz, which would allow him to avoid prosecution, the dynamics are such, that it promoted the breakdown of the “constitutional” order, and led Israel closer to an authoritarian, far-right regime.
It should be noted that under the pretext of fighting Corona, two weeks ago Netanyahu formally and openly permitted the Shin-Bet to engage in totalitarian digital spying on all residents of Israel. [viiiConsequently, security affairs journalist Ronen Bergman published last week an investigative report, exposing the Shin-Bet’s “Tool” - a huge digital surveillance database of all residents of Israel. [ixSome commentators appeared surprise… And today, Defense Minister Nafatali Bennett announced a new initiative for fighting the Corona epidemic, combining the skill of NGO (cyber spying firm - infamous for its alleged involvement in Khashoggi’s murder and in assisting dictatorial regimes world-wide) and IDF Unit 8200 (the Israeli NSA-equivalent - infamous for its role in oppressing and abusing Palestinians). The project would involve combining the large surveillance database with big data/AI technologies in generating the “Corona-meter”, which would generate predictive grades for each Israeli’s infection risk, and trigger preventive measures against high-risk individuals. [x] Apparently, it is the same approach, which is used by the such entities in systems which are used to suppress opposition to authoritarian and dictatorial regimes.
Needless to say, establishment and support of authoritarian far-right regimes is an American tradition in various nations and continents since WWII. The unique feature in Israel is the implementation under such circumstances of the advanced model - a digital-totalitarian regime.
i Trump's Middle East peace plan: 'Deal of the century' is huge gamble
ii David Friedman gave Netanyahu half a nod for West Bank annexation. What happens next?
iii Clarifying, US envoy Friedman cautions Israel against ‘unilateral’ annexation
ix “The Tool” is exposed: The secretive Shin-Bet database, which collects your SMS messages, phone conversations and location
x The system that would display the level of exposure to the virus: Bennet presents the ‘Corona-meter”

2020-04-02 UPDATE Negotiations for a new government are stalling.  Senior journalist Raviv Drucker has reported today: “...also the dispute over annexation [of Palestine] has not been resolved yet. It’s moving in the direction of shortening the date – from six months to four months [since establishing the new government] Netanyahu would be permitted to advance it, provided that US consent is granted....”