Elections in Israel were held this week and it seemed to be a close race between Issac Herzog and Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu emerged victorious but what does this mean for the future of Israel? Netanyahu has been a polarizing figure for years in regards to the Palestinian question. For those that do not understand this conflict should know that basically the UN carved out the state of Israel for the Jews from the existing state of Palestine in 1948. Ever since then they have battled for the territory on and off again claiming it is their land. Between the 1990s and today, Netanyahu has brokered deals with Palestine but as of late he is more aggressive in denying Palestine rights and autonomy. He supported expansion of Jewish settlements in Palestine and in the last few clashes; Israel has bombed locations in Palestine indiscriminately. As a result, many innocent people were killed and an entire hospital for disabled Palestinians was leveled.
Netanyahu’s policies are problematic especially in the further destabilizing Middle East. It seems he has deep seeded animosity towards Arabs. In this election Netanyahu and his party expressed disgust that “the left” was bringing in Arab voters by bus. This is sickening because these are the citizens that Netanyahu will rule over. In reality Arabs are being marginalized through his regime. Arabs/Palestinians have no rights, no land and no representation. They have no option which is why some resort to radicalism. In no way am I condoning this violence but to stop it from happening, there needs to be open and constructive dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. According to Avi Shlaim, an international relations professor at Oxford, Netanyahu has a vision for a Greater Israel that can now go one of two ways: “either Greater Palestine, if political rights are granted to the 4.5 million Palestinian inhabitants of the Occupied Territories or – and this is by far the more likely scenario – an ethnocentric, undemocratic Jewish state, with only limited autonomy for its non-Jewish subjects. There is another word to describe the second outcome – apartheid (Netanyahu, Herzog and the Future of Israel).” This is what is happening today in Israel and apartheid is the only word to describe it.
At this point you have to wonder if there is a peaceful solution. The best option would be a two state solution. In this situation Israel and Palestine have their own state that adheres
to pre 1967 borders.This might work because many Palestinians do not seek the destruction of the Israel; they want a state or at least equal representation. In 2007, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal stated, “the problem is not that there’s an entity called Israel, the problem is that the Palestinian state is non-existent. There is a reality that Israel exists in Palestinian territory. The problem is that the Palestinian state does not exist. My concern as a Palestinian is to found this state.” However, Netanyahu is set out to prevent this from becoming a reality. While he is in power, there will be no dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians and no peaceful solution in the near future.