Who said Stalinism is dead?

Yossi Schwartz, ISL the RCIT section in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 10.05.2022

After voting with the right-wing government, the general secretary of the Joint List’s Hadash faction says it will back the bill to dissolve the Knesset.

From the perspective of the international working class and the Palestinians citizens of Israel the difference between Bennett’s government and a government led by Netanyahu is the difference between syphilis and cholera. The only principled way to deal with a motion of non-confidence brought up by the opposition led by Netanyahu is to abstain. Not to support one or the other.

The joint list has attacked the Islamist Ra’am party, correctly but opportunistically as they themselves tried to join a Zionist government as well, for joining the government of the far-right Bennett as traitors to the Palestinian people. This week the Zionist parliament – the Knesset – returned from its vacation and Netanyahu brought a motion of non-confidence. However instead of abstaining, the Joined list voted with the government of Bennett. Then after the vote, leaders of the joined list have announced that if the opposition will bring another motion of non-confidence they will vote for it, but that there is no chance that the opposition will bring such a motion. The following are the newspaper reports:

The Arab Joint List on Monday May 9 voted against a no-confidence motion in the Knesset, a move that kept Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition government alive.The Arab Joint List, which is not a member of the coalition but has six seats in the Knesset, justified its move as a way to block former long-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from returning to power.After the vote, it said it will not back any move that returns Netanyahu to power, stressing at the same time that it will only act for the interests of the Arab community in Israel” [1]

On March 10 in the morning, we were informed that “the head of the Joint List party would not commit Saturday to joining any possible vote of no-confidence to bring down the government if it means helping opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu. MK Ayman Odeh said it is still too early to talk about dispersing the Knesset, despite the government having lost its narrow majority in the parliament last week when MK Idit Silman, a member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s own Yamina party, quit the coalition Though Odeh said the current coalition is “a bad right-wing government” that is harming Arab Israelis, he stressed that Netanyahu is not a viable alternative in his view. “If anyone thinks we will partner with Netanyahu for a constructive vote of no-confidence – no way,” Odeh said during an interview with Channel 12 news. Odeh noted that “no one has approached us” from the government in the wake of the recent developments. Asked if fellow joint list member MK Ahmad Tibi could decide to vote to bring down the government, Odeh insisted that none of his party’s faction would break ranks.” [2]

On the same day we are informed that Hadash secretary-general Mansour Dahamsheh tells The Times of Israel that if a motion to dissolve the Knesset is brought to a vote tomorrow, the Communist Arab-Jewish party’s three MKs will vote in favor. Another Hadash official confirms Dahamsheh’s remarks, but argues the right-wing opposition is “not stupid enough” to bring a motion they still may not win. [3]

If the opposition brings such a motion to a vote but fails to muster 61 lawmakers in support, they cannot bring another such motion for the next six months.

This rotten political practice brings to mind a joke Jabra Nicola used to tell about the principles of the non-principled. A man is sitting in the cinema theater and in front of him a man with a high hat. The man asked the man with the hat: “will you please remove your hat I cannot see.” The man with the hat said: “No this is a principle.” After a few requests the man behind removed the hat with force and said: ”A principle but this is a bald head“!

When some hardline Stalinists organized a coup against Gorbachev, the weekly paper of the Stalinists in Israel, “This is the way” supported the coup that was a Mickey Mouse coup. After it fail “This is the way” wrote “Anyone who says we supported the coup will be a liar.”


[1] https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israeli-government-survives-no-confidence-motion-with-help-from-arab-joint-list/2583205

[2] https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/secretary-general-of-joint-lists-hadash-faction-says-itll-back-bill-to-dissolve-knesset/

[3] timesofisrael.com/liveblog-may-10-2022/

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