The End of Bennett’s Government?

Yossi Schwartz, ISL the RCIT section In Israel/Occupied Palestine, 08.04.2022

Bennett’s government that includes Meretz a “left” Zionist party is crumbling after Yamina MK and the coalition whip Idit Silman announced her resignation from the government. Her resignation means that Bennett’s government loses its majority in Knesset (the Zionist parliament), leaving him with 60 members the same number the opposition has. If an additional person were to leave the coalition, the government could be brought down by the Opposition that would disperse the Knesset.

The most leftist member of Meretz Mossi Raz in response to the killing of the police by armed Palestinians in guerrilla action wrote: “I came to the house of Huri Amir that lost its son Amir. I found there Netanyahu and I agreed with every word he said” [1]

Idit Silman did not resign over a serious issue like the repression of the Palestinians, the threats of a war against Iran, the racist policy toward Ukrainian or even worse against African refugees but whether the visitors to hospitals will be allowed to bring their hospitalized member of the family chametz food. Silman said that she “could not take it anymore,” and that she could not continue undermining the Jewish identity of the State of Israel, a reference to a disagreement she had with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz over allowing chametz (any food product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt that has come into contact with water and been allowed to ferment and “rise”) into hospitals over Passover. It is not the real reason for her resignation. MK Silman left the coalition after she was offered the 10th place in the Likud Party list in a future election and the position of Health Minister should the Likud – led by Benjamin Netanyahu – successfully form an alternative government.

However, Netanyahu’s right-Haredi alliance must have 61 members of parliament for a new government. It’s hard to imagine that the opposition’s Joint List, deeply opposed to Netanyahu, would support such a move. So, the Netanyahu-led faction— including after MK Silman’s defection – has just 54 seats. The result is a crisis of the Zionist state.

Bennett became PM of Israel on June 13, 2021 as Netanyahu was perceived as too corrupted. When the ruling class say that he is corrupted they mean that he only bribes some of them for his own benefit. Personally, Bennett is not less corrupted. Bennett has invested 50 million Shekel in his private home from the public treasury. His governments openly support the extension of the settlements in the West Bank, putting a cap of 5000 Ukrainian refugees, discrimination of African refugees. Under his government the violence of the settlers in the West Bank increased by 100%, seeking confrontation with Iran continues and the financial support for the forces of big capital continues.

From our perspective the choice between Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and Bennett’s government is the choice between syphilis and cholera. The only party we can critically support is the joined List as an expression of the struggle for democracy in the Zionist apartheid state. We can give it critical support as long as long it does not support any Zionist government. In 2020 the Joint List alliance told president Rivlin that all its 15 lawmakers would back Gantz as the next prime minister, a move that could potentially pave the way for a center-left Zionist government. This miserable move reflected their popular front class collaboration strategy that led them to bring weapons from Stalinist Russia to create the Zionist state used for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948.

This time is Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslims. Like in the previous year’s clashes between the occupied Palestinians and the oppressed Zionists broke out.

As this article is written, clashes between the Police and the Palestinians youth have continued for the third straight day near the Old City’s Damascus Gate in 1967 occupied Jerusalem. These clashes are Palestinian response to the right-wing settlers protected by the police visits to the Al Aqsa mosques. These settlers are known for their plans to replace the mosques with the third Jewish temple. The visit of the fascist ben Gevir to the mosques is protected by the police. To make this worse on earlier Sunday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in open provocation appealing to the right-wing Zionists toured the Damascus Gate area with Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and lawmakers from his Yesh Atid party.

Even Minister of war of Israel Gantz called Lapid’s visit a provocation:

“Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz called Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s tour at flashpoint Damascus Gate in Jerusalem a “provocation” during an interview on Monday. While speaking with 103FM Radio, Gantz was asked about Lapid’s Sunday afternoon visit, where he toured with Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and other members of his Yesh Atid party “Without getting into this specific tour, I say that we should not do things that are provocative; let’s not do things that undermine stability, which is critical during this period Gantz stated”. [2]

The Palestinian Authority had to publish a statement, by the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs which condemned “the operations of repression, intimidation and abuse practiced by the occupation forces in a provocative manner against Palestinians in Jerusalem.” The ministry claimed that the Israeli security measures are “an integral part of the Israelization and Judaization of Jerusalem.” It also accused Israel of working toward “changing the Palestinian and Arab features of Damascus Gate [3]”.

The statement said that Lapid was “inciting against the Palestinians… as if there are only Jewish holidays… in complete disregard for the existence of Muslim and Christian holidays, and in denial of the fact that it is the Jewish extremists who attack the Christian and Islamic sanctities and their followers Hamas called Lapid’s visit a “dangerous escalation and provocation,” Hebrew media reported. “We and our people have pledged to defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa by force and by all means at our disposal,” it added.” [4]

So far, the Zionist army arrested dozens of Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank, according to a local NGO on Wednesday. In a statement, the Asra Media Office said 16 Palestinians were detained in the town of Husan, west of Bethlehem, 13 in Silat al-Harithiya town, west of Jenin, four in Nablus, and two in Qalqilya the forces of occupation also arrested a Palestinian lawyer running in the March 26 local elections in Hebron, the statement said. Palestinian NGOs estimated that there are around 4,500 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, with at least 500 held under the Israeli administrative detention policy without charge or trial.

At the same time On Monday, eight Palestinians were detained during clashes at Damascus Gate. Saturday and Sunday also saw some clashes and at least 14 arrests. On Tuesday at least 6 Palestinians were arrested at Damascus Gate.

In addition, the Palestinian Authority “governor” of Jerusalem (an appointment by the PA), Adnan Gheith, was detained on Tuesday morning by the police, as clashes continued for the third straight day near the Old City’s Damascus Gate. Gheith, a resident of the village of Silwan who holds an Israeli-issued ID card, was released hours later after being served with a decision to extend an IDF order banning him from entering the West Bank. The order means that Gheith can’t arrive at the offices of the PA’s Jerusalem Governorate in the town of Al-Ram, north of Jerusalem, which is located outside the boundaries of the Jerusalem Municipality. It also means that he can’t participate in meetings with PA officials in Ramallah or in other Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

The same Foreign Minister of Israel Yair Lapid “explicitly accused Russia of war crimes on Tuesday, in the strongest comments against Moscow yet by a top Israeli official. “A large and powerful country has invaded a smaller neighbor without any justification. Once again, the ground is soaked with the blood of innocent civilians,” Lapid charged while in Greece, speaking alongside his Cypriot and Greek counterparts, according to a statement from his spokesman. “The images and testimony from Ukraine are horrific. Russian forces committed war crimes against a defenseless civilian population. I strongly condemn these war crimes,” Lapid said in reference to the alleged atrocities committed in the Kyiv suburb Bucha” [5]

What should we ask Lapid and what about Jenin 20 years ago? From April 3,2002 Israeli forces, comprising of more than 150 tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery, backed by F-16 fighter jets, continued to attack Jenin refugee camp, home to 15,000 Palestinian refugees, living on one square kilometer. From April 3, Israeli forces have shelled the refugee camp, with various heavy weaponry, including missiles, artillery, and other heavy ammunition. Water and electricity networks have been destroyed. Food and medicine supplies are prevented from reaching the refugee camp. Dozens of residents have been killed and injured. Many bodies are left under the rubble of demolished shelters and in the streets and alleyways of the camp.

From Sunday (April 7, 2002) evening 8 o’clock until tens of Israeli tanks and seven Israeli attack helicopters have continued to shell the refugee camp with heavy artillery and missiles. In the next 16 hours, more than two hundred missiles and artillery shells were fired on the refugee camp, killing at least 50 residents. Bodies are left in the alleyways and tens of injured have been left bleeding without any medical aid.

Israel has prevented reporters from entering the camp and later on denied that it committed a massacre. However, Shimon Peres was very worried about what will be the reaction when it will be discovered that Israel committed a massacre in Jenin:

“Foreign Minister Shimon Peres Peres is very worried about the expected international reaction as soon as the world learns the details of the tough battle in the Jenin refugee camps, where more than 100 Palestinians have already been killed in fighting with IDF forces. In private, Peres is referring to the battle as a “massacre.”

IDF officers also expressed grave reservations Monday over the operation in Jenin. “Because of the dangers,” they said, “the soldiers are almost not advancing on foot. The bulldozers are simply ‘shaving’ the homes and causing terrible destruction. When the world sees the pictures of what we have done there, it will do us immense damage.” [6]

The similarity between Russia’s war crimes and Israel’s war crimes and the similarity between Russia’s propaganda and the Zionist’s propaganda is striking. According to the Zionists Israel does not go to wars but to special operations. Israel does not attack but defend itself. Israel does not kill civilians; The Palestinians use civilians as human shields. Israel does not attack civil buildings. Israel does not kill children, old people and women.

Just replace the term Palestinians with Ukrainians and you get Putin word by word. How to explain this identical propaganda? Is it possible Putin says that he is doing only what Israel does? If Israel does it without being punished, why should Russia be punished? Or maybe the war criminal imperialists behave and speak the same?

If we return to the crisis of the Israeli state as a result of the governmental crisis it is a classical situation when Israel goes to a war and a possible war against Gaza, Iran, Lebanon or the PA is on the horizon. To illustrate this point:

From 1949 Israel brought in Jews from the Arab and North Africa to replace the cheap Arab workers that were expelled during the Nambe. They were put in shanty towns in tents, very poor hats and houses made of tin and asbestos. They were poorly paid for their labor. Israel imposed an austerity program and the inequality between the Ashkenazim and Mizrahim grew. From 1952 the people of the shanty towns began to rebel. In April 1956 the United Nations Trusteeship Council, declared that Jerusalem should be considered international territory and a demilitarized zone. By July 1956 the austerity program is broadened to include rationing of clothing and shoes, and it was necessary for the Zionist ruling class to form a chauvinist consciousness of the Jewish colonialist settlers of all the classes by a war. Prior to the war of 1967 Israel faced a deep economic crisis, prior to the second Lebanon war Israeli economy spiraled into hyperinflation.

The only way for the Israeli working class to escape this extremely dangerous circus is to break with Zionism and join the struggle for a Palestinian workers state from the river to the sea as part of the socialist revolution of the region that will form the socialist federation of the Middle East.

The right centrists “socialist struggle” the section of the ISA in Israel equates the armed struggle of the Palestinians with the Zionist terror. In their last statement on the killing of 11 Israelis including two policemen part of the Zionist oppressive state apparatus they write:

The wave of Palestinian terror inside the green line is the worse since 2015 and it leads to escalation in the national conflict … The situation of discrimination, poverty, the policy of divide and rule is the ground on which Palestinian reactionary nationalist terror is growing. …the only answer to this terror is solidarity… …Say yes to a joint struggle of Jews and Arabs against another bloody war. For equal peace and democracy including the equal right to self -determination and independent state. Say yes to a socialist change and welfare state. No to poverty and blood shedding. solidarity and equality instead of the capitalist society” [7]

To begin with the killing of two policemen is terror for the Zionists who do not differentiate between civilians and armed terrorists in uniform who are part of the capitalist state apparatus. Trotsky in his writing on Germany wrote:

“To rely upon a president is to rely upon “the state”! Faced with the impending clash between the proletariat and the fascist petty bourgeoisie – two camps which together comprise the crushing majority of the German nation – these Marxists from the Vorwaerts yelp for the night watchman to come to their aid. They say to the state, “Help! Intervene!” (Staat, greif zu!). …To this Brüning could reply, unless he preferred silence: “With the police force I could not handle fascism even if I wanted to; but I wouldn’t even if I could…The effect which the appeals of the Social Democracy produce on the state apparatus, on the judges, the Reichswehr, and the police cannot fail to be just the opposite to the one desired… At the moment that the “normal” police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium – the turn of the fascist regime arrives.” [8]

“In case of actual danger, the social democracy banks not on the “Iron Front” but on the Prussian police. It is reckoning without its host! The fact that the police was originally recruited in large numbers from among social-democratic workers is absolutely meaningless. Consciousness is determined by the environment even in this instance. The worker who becomes a policeman, in the service of the capitalist state, is a bourgeois cop, not a worker. Of late years, these policemen have had to do much more fighting with revolutionary workers than with Nazi students. Such training does not fail to leave its effects. And above all: every policeman knows that though governments may change, the police remain” [9]

Thus, while for Trotsky the police are an enemy, for the social democrats, they are workers in uniform and so is for the ISA (formally CWI).

Secondly the terminology of national conflict to describe the resistance of the Palestinians to the Zionist’s oppression is the language of Zionism not of Marxism. Like the Stalinists and like the IMT of woods they recognize the right of the settler colonialists to self-determination. Trotsky unlike them did not recognize the right of the white settlers in South Africa to self-determination:

“The South African Republic will emerge first of all as a “black” republic; this does not exclude, of course, either full equality for the whites, or brotherly relations between the two races – depending mainly on the conduct of the whites. But it is entirely obvious that the predominant majority of the population, liberated from slavish dependence, will put a certain imprint on the state” [10]

“There was in Israel another party by the name of Mapam that tried to combine Zionism with Marxism. It disappeared years ago but left its stepchild in the form of Meretz and of “socialist struggle. Mapam was also part of an international tendency that included the Spanish POUM. The POUM was a member of the “London Bureau” of centrist Marxist parties… Other members included the Independent Labour Party in Britain, the Workers and Peasants’ Socialist Party (PSOP) in France, and Poale Zion later on it became Hashomer Hatzair-Mapam.”

Mapam program stood for coexistence between the Palestinians and the Zionist settlers “For peace and national solidarity. Mapam entered the 1948 coalition government with David Ben-Gurion. Mapam’s executive committee advocated Jewish–Arab coexistence, opposed the expulsion of civilians and was in favor of the right of refugees to return to their homes after the war. It opposed the destruction of Arab houses. At a Mapai Centre meeting, 24 July 1948, Ben-Gurion accused Mapam of hypocrisy, citing events at Mishmar HaEmek, he said: “They faced a cruel reality… [and] saw that there was [only] one way and that was to expel the Arab villagers and burn the villages. And they did this, and they were the first to do this” [11]

For a Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!


[1] (Hebrew)







[8] Leon Trotsky What Next? Vital Questions for the German Proletariat Part I

[9] Trotsky: The German cops and the army From What Next? Vital Questions for the German Proletariat

[10] Leon Trotsky Letter to South African Revolutionaries (April 1933)

[11] Morris, Benny (1988). The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947–1949. Cambridge University Press. P 142, 159

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