Israel’s new political crisis is rooted in foundations of the racist state

Soldier Hidden In Forestsource: Socialist Worker
published: 10 June 2022

Israel’s government looks headed for collapse. Questions of the occupation of Palestine – and the very existence of the Israeli state itself – are at the heart of the crisis.

Right wing prime minister Naftali Bennett is in deep trouble after failing to uphold a crucial law governing settlements in the occupied West Bank.  The “Judea and Samaria law”—using the name Israel uses to imply the West Bank should belong to it—extends Israeli civilian law to its citizens in West Bank settlements.

It’s a cornerstone of Israel’s apartheid system as it privileges Israeli settlers over West Bank Palestinians, who live under military rule. Every Israeli government—and most Israeli parties—have voted to renew this law every five years ever since Israel invaded and occupied the West Bank in 1967.

But Bennett’s minority government narrowly lost the renewal vote on its first reading on Monday. If it loses a further vote on 1 July, more than 475,000 Israelis in West Bank settlements will live under the same military law as Palestinians.

For most Israeli politicians, this had nothing to do with principle or opposition to settlements. Only two members of Bennett’s coalition rebelled against the vote—a member of the “left wing” Meretz party, and the Arab party Ra’am.

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