by Stephen Lendman
On January 22, Israeli parliamentary elections will be held. Netanyahu/Lieberman's Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) looks likely to win.
Both men are world class thugs. They represent the worst of ideological extremism. They're hardcore racists. They want unchallenged regional dominance. They believe Israel has a divine right to terrorize Palestinians with impunity.
Lieberman's a serial felon. Charges against him included bribery, fraud, money laundering, breach of trust, and harassing witnesses.
Major accusations were dropped. Fraud and breach of trust remain. Reports suggest other charges may be added. Lieberman denies it.
Rogue coalition leadership shows the deplorable state of Israeli governance. Mafia bosses pale by comparison.
Respect for democratic values, rule of law inviolability, and peace demand throwing out the bums. Victory, not rejection, looks likely. Expect legitimate governance to take another major body blow.
Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu is a marriage made in hell. On December 25, Haaretz  headlined " Likud's manifesto isn't worth the paper it wasn't written on," saying:
Weeks ahead of January elections, Likud's platform remains unpublished. At issue is Netanyahu's 2009 two-state pledge. He rhetoric was hollow.
He, Lieberman, and likeminded hardliners oppose it. They want all valued Judea/Samaria areas Judaized. They want Palestinian rights spurned. They prioritize right wing extremism. Their base demands it.
Netanyahu delivers plenty of red meat. He radicalized his Christmas day message. He highlighted fake anti-Islamic existential threats. "Christians are persecuted in a routine manner, and there is little tolerance toward them," he claimed.
How so he didn't explain. He said they thrive in Israel. They "participate fully in the life of our country."
He and other hardliners spurn anyone not Jewish. Arabs are considered sub-human. "Judeo-Christian heritage," he claims is just a figure of speech.
Jerusalem he calls Israel's exclusive "eternal capital." The city is religiously important city for Christians, Muslims and Jews.
It's politically important for Zionists as their historic capital, national and religious center. It also symbolizes Judaism's revival and prominence.
For Christians, it's where Jesus lived and died. For Muslims, it's their third holiest site. The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque rank after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.
In 1947, the UN declared Jerusalem an international city. It remains so under UN trusteeship. It exclusively belongs to no one. Israel wants it entirely Judaized. Netanyahu excludes any other way.
Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu may omit saying so in manifesto principles. They may forgo them entirely. Nowadays, for most parties, they're "little more than afterthought," says Haaretz.
Platforms are short on details. They're rarely available in hardcopy. They're simply posted on party websites with little fanfare. They have little impact on voters.
Labor downgraded its own. It called for renewed Palestinian peace talks. It wants them within three months. Doing so continues longstanding hypocrisy. Palestinians can't pursue them without a legitimate partner. They never had one and don't now.
Labor also issued a separate, hardline document. It defended tough defense policies. Israel's only enemies are ones it invents.
Israeli politics don't lend themselves to pre-election platforms. Rule by coalition is policy. No party on its own gets enough for majority rule. Compromises forge alliances. This time won't be different. Governance will stay hardline.
Netanyahu represents the worst of right wing extremism. He wants peace avoided at all costs. He seeks no final status Palestinian agreement. He prioritizes permanent occupation.
He demands unchallenged settlement construction. He's not interested in UN opposition. "What the UN says doesn't interest me," he said.
He wants settlement construction continued unchallenged. He's heading Israel toward political isolation and doom. He favors confrontation over diplomacy. His leadership assures enhanced colonization, continued conflict, and no peace.
Haaretz said he and likeminded hardliners reflect "contempt for Israel's laws and norms coupled with provocative behavior toward the international community."
Netanyahu's earlier Likud Party  platform said the following about Palestinian self-determination:
Unilaterally establishing a Palestinian state "will constitute a fundamental and substantive violation of the agreements with the State of Israel and the scuttling of the Oslo and Wye accords. The government will adopt immediate stringent measures in the event of such a declaration."
Likud's platform discussed settlements as follows:
"The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (all Occupied Palestine) are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel."
"The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting."
Likud also rejects Israeli/Palestinian Green Line separation. It proves it by incrementally stealing Palestinian land. It declares all Jerusalem sovereign Israeli territory.
Shamasneh family members are Likud's latest victims. Ten members were ordered to leave their Sheikh Jarrah home by yearend.
It's a prominent East Jerusalem neighborhood. It's home to around 2,800 Palestinians. It's known for distinctive landmarks. It's strategically located.
Settlers want it. They've encroached for years. Dozens of Palestinian families were dispossessed. Hundreds more are at risk.
Shamasneh family members lived in Sheikh Jarrah for decades. Israel lawlessly claims ownership of their property. Whatever settlers want they get. Land theft is official policy.
Continued Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu governance assures hardline business as usual. It means rogue state policies will continue. So will Palestinian suffering.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.