The New Extreme Right-Wing Government and the Arab Revolution

Yossi Schwartz ISL the section of the RCIT in Israel (Occupied Palestine), 8.1.2023

The new far right government in Israel

It is clear to those who follow up the news from Israel that the new government led by Benjamin Netanyahu is the most right-wing government in the history of Israel. It is an extreme nationalist and racist government committed to the annexation of most of the West Bank and in support of open discrimination which means for example the right of doctors not to treat Arabs or members of the LGBT community. It intends to give itself the power to override, by a simple majority in the Knesset, any of the Court’s objections to their laws, even if they violate the Basic Laws, which serve as Israel’s elements of constitution. A full constitution is beyond the vision of the racist MK’s. They also want to allow the appointment of judges according to the political majority of the moment, like in the United States. And similarly for the attorney general and the government’s legal advisors.

The former government of Bennett and Lapid killed more Palestinians, many of them children, than by Netanyahu in any other year since 2015. This killing by Bennett-Lapid prepared the road for the return of Netanyahu and his partners from the extreme right.

Now we have the same crowd that supported Bennett and Lapid once again in the streets in support of democracy for the Jews: “Around 30,000 people assembled at HaBimah Square, spilling out onto nearby streets. The protesters waved Israeli and LGBTQ+ pride flags, and raised banners against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government. The activists marched to the Tel Aviv Museum, where leaders gave speeches. A second march set out after the speeches” [1]

They slammed Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who on Wednesday unveiled the government’s long-promised overhaul of the judicial system that aims to weaken the Supreme Court.

Aaron Barak the former president of the Supreme Court said years ago that the role of the Supreme Court of Israel is to provide an umbrella to shield Israel from what is considered in other countries war crimes.

The anti-Netanyahu Black Flag movement said that “the coup d’état will encounter a nation of Israel determined to guard our democracy – and [the reforms] will fail…” The Saturday protest follows a rally in front of the home of Levin on Friday by hundreds of activists from the Darkenu civil society movement, who claimed that the High Court served as a “flak jacket” to protect IDF soldiers from being brought to the International Criminal Court. “The Override Clause and Levin’s moves to weaken the justice system would hurt IDF soldiers, and hurting our soldiers is a red line,” Darkenu CEO and former Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria warned. “We demand from Minister Yariv Levin not to abandon our soldiers to the Hague.” [2] This message was the main message of the demonstrators. In simple words let our soldiers kill the Palestinians.We want democracy for the Jews that Netanyahu and his partners are endangering.

The Similarity with the Rand General strike

This demonstration brings to mind the South African labor Party and the whites only trade unions that went on a general strike known as the Rand strike against the government to maintain their privileges in 1922. In December 1921 the mines, the electrical power stations (the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company or VFP) and the engineering companies announced wage cuts and an end to piecework and underground contracts for white workers, from January. It was also widely held that the color bar, which guaranteed white workers their jobs on the mines, would be scrapped. All attempts by the Mine Workers Union and the South African Industrial Federation (SAIF) to secure arbitration were rejected by the Chamber of Mines, saying that no outside arbiter could judge the financial position of the mines. The workers responded by calling for a strike. On 31 December they set up an Augmented [strike] Executive, consisting of the executive of the SAIF and representatives from forty affiliated unions, under the chairmanship of Joe Thompson. The white coal miners came out on 2 January and, in one of their most myopic of moves, told black workers to stay out of the struggle. There was no call for solidarity action. Supervised by officials, the black workers. The revolt on the Rand was confined exclusively to whites. Despite the presence of Africans at some of the rallies they were not involved in the strikes or in the revolt that followed. Nor was there any appeal to black workers to join the strike, although some white miners condemned African workers for scabbing. Consequently, it can come as no surprise that there was no support from any black organization.

 “The SALP, pusillanimous and blinkered by its belief in segregation, confined itself largely to parliamentary politicking. The white working class, intent on maintaining its privileges, used its organizational base in the trade unions to fight for its own sectional interests. The struggles they engaged in, against mine-owners, industrialists and public services, were bitter, but were circumscribed by remaining inside the arena of white settler society.” [3]

“Through the 1920s and 1930s, at least, most members of the Communist Party averred that this was an outstanding example of the struggle between the ruling class and the workers, even though there were racist aspects that were deplorable. The Trotskyists did not dissent. The Spark, organ of the Workers Party of South Africa, carried an article on the strike, in November 1935, in which it described the struggle as one between classes, and commemorated the strike as one of the great events in working class history. Edward Roux, in his biography of S.P. Bunting, and one of the pioneer young communists who demanded that the party organize Africans in the early 1920s, was more critical of the communist position in 1922. Yet he also took the position that, wrong as some of the party had been, they had been correct in supporting the strike”.[4]

Later on, the Stalinist party admitted that the strike was racist.

“The slogan ‘For a White Africa’ appeared everywhere during the strike and, in retrospect; this stamped the events of 1922 as racist… The interpretation given to this slogan by many trade unionists, and by the CPSA, was related to the prevailing standard of living of whites, and the contrasting conditions under which blacks lived. With white miners earning seven to ten times more than blacks, their replacement would increase the mines’ profitability considerably. It would also lower wage levels and reduce all standards of living. The position of the CPSA was spelt out in an editorial in the International of Friday 27 January 1922: “There is no … future for the white workers under capitalism. Communism alone can make South Africa a white man’s country, in the sense that Communism alone can secure to every worker – whatever his color – the full product of his labor. Only when that is secured will a White man be safe: only then can you begin to talk of a ‘White South Africa”’ [5]

“By using the slogan of the day, the writer of the editorial came close to endorsing the worst aspects of white supremacy. All the attempts to swing the argument against the capitalists (’the only real black man’!) used the same race prejudices that afflicted white society. Despite appeals to revolutionary events in Russia, and rational arguments against trying to hold onto an unreal status quo, the party’s definition of a ‘white South Africa’ was fatally flawed.” [6]

The right-wing government and the Arab revolution

While we the ISL oppose this extreme right-wing government, it is not a fascist government as the Stalinist claim. Were it a fascist, Odah and others would be attacked by the army and the police and sent to camps. Fascism’s aim is to destroy the working-class movement, to atomize the workers. In Israel they do not need fascism because the Jewish working class is Zionist and does not show any solidarity with the Palestinian workers. As long as the Jewish working class and the poor and even the lower middle class will remain Zionist, they would not be able to change society.

We have to understand that this extreme right government is moving Israel another step to its end. It will force the Arab local ruling class to break relations with Israel because of their fear of the masses and the Arab revolution. Most likely they will do it too late and the Arab revolution will end their rule.

The point today is not to embellish the middle-class movement that wants democracy for the Jews only as “Hadash” and “Socialist struggle” that adapt themselves to the middle-class protesters do, but to orient ourselves to the Palestinian struggle and prepare for the Arab Revolution.

The right centrist “Socialist struggle” has declared: “Netanyahu and his Likud partners tried yesterday to use the appointment of Amir Ohana as speaker of the Knesset, the first out-of-the-closet gay in the position, as a fig tree. But the appointment, of someone who has previously served as a minister in the Likud government, does not in the least change the fact that this is a ruling coalition that wants not only to perpetuate but to exacerbate discrimination against LGBT people, against women, against the Arab-Palestinian public, against asylum seekers and non-Jewish immigrants in all fields of life – from education, through housing to public transportation”

Pay attention to the order that put the Arab citizens of Israel after LGBT and after women and not one word on the Palestinian struggle in the West Bank and Gaza.



[2] Ibid


[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

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