Despite the fact that this cycle of electoral campaigns and divided parliaments has produced a monotonous and insurmountable repetition of editorials on Israel’s bipolarity for four years, it seems that among the intangible confusion of routine, elements sometimes stand out that give ideas hackneyed new luster, but at the same time they force the older actors to wake up before the vigor of today.
Obviously, the last and most powerful of these appearances has been the figure of Itamar Ben Gvir, the character who during the electoral campaign promoted his party, Religious Zionism, to the best results in its history. So much so that you only have to look at the ease with which his phenomenon has found a place in the analyzes that all the correspondents in Israel have had to send to their headquarters after the November 1 elections. And it is not that they had an alternative, because the political dynamics of the last five years, despite the interest that their very subtle changes may arouse in the geeks of Israeli politics, would have crystallized again as is if it were not for the intervention of Ben Gvir. The racist cowboy and Indian killers have arrived shooting to save the show.
In these last five years, the wind has never blown so favorably in favor of a Netanyahu government. However, it is a wind that he does not control, and that scares him, accustomed as he is to understanding politics as his personal board.
Now the negotiations to form a government begin, a task finally entrusted to the tireless Benyamin Netanyahu, accused of corruption and a central figure in the stormy Israeli electoral climate, either by identification or by opposition. Bibi, as he is affectionately known, has begun his round of consultations with those who should be his natural partners, that is, all those who do not fuss with the mere idea of facilitating his return to the presidency. It is, for the most part, the constellation of orthodox and ultranationalist parties, whose theological and political differences are sometimes confused with each other. It is because of the apparent conservative nature of this bloc, and because of Netanyahu’s own wake, that the headlines coming from Israel keep repeating something that, however obvious it may be, is still true: Israel is headed for government. most right-wing in its history.
However, now that the different parties have to sit down to negotiate something begins to manifest that should not sound so unnatural, namely that the right also has bitter enmities and that old politicians will always have betrayals waiting against upstarts, even when his followers call a blind alliance.
There are already some tabloids that claim that the disagreements between the partners, such as the unwillingness to hand over the Ministry of Finance to Smotrich, a party mate of Ben Gvir, are based on pressure exerted by the United States government to steer Netanyahu away from the radical corner and prevent key ministries from falling into the hands of “settlers” or the “ultra-Orthodox.” But, without ignoring these reasons, I am more inclined to think that all this is a calculated maneuver by Bibi that seeks to put out the embers of ultra-rightist passion that have been burning since election night. In these last five years, the wind has never blown so favorably in favor of a Netanyahu government. However, it is a wind that he does not control, and that scares him, accustomed as he is to understanding politics as his personal board, in which he can win or lose, but always dictating the rules.
Negotiations continue and we will see what result they reap, both for some and for others. Whatever happens, Itamar Ben Gvir, the man of the headlines, will also be the man of the next government. He cannot entertain Netanyahu’s hopes otherwise, much as he would like to. The true, brave, honest right is now represented by this man who brings his personal weapon to the Knesset, who defends the death penalty, who supports annexation, who promotes the exile of Israeli citizens, who justifies the assassination of Rabin, and who also does all this out loud and without any shyness. Bibi is now the coward, the liar, the realpolitik, who has been overtaken by the right. Aside from being the most right-wing government in history, the next government will also be the most upsetting for Netanyahu, eager to reclaim for himself the title of undisputed champion of the right, seized by that kind of buffoonish Clint Eastwood.
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