In the January issue of the newspaper Gerçek (Truth), the Turkish language newspaper of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP), a piece was published on the reactionary nature of the new Israeli government, established under Benjamin Netanyahu’s premiership. Now, for the last few months, this government’s desire to take control of the Israeli judiciary has dragged the country into a major crisis. The most important pillar of this is the draft bill prepared to deprive the Supreme Court of its power to exercise oversight and to give the executive branch a decisive say in the selection of the members of this court. This is another case of rapidly multiplying powers all across the world that defy the rule of law. Moreover, in this way, Netanyahu is trying to avoid corruption allegations against him. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
The arrangement resulted in masses taking to the streets in opposition to the reactionary government. In addition, Israel’s closest allies, both the U.S. administration and the U.S. Jewish community, began to react to this attempt, first diplomatically and then openly. The president of Israel, Isaac Herzog, also displayed fierce opposition. Finally, inside the Netanyahu government, the Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant went public on Sunday, March 26, stating that this step puts Israel’s security in peril.
Netanyahu’s dismissed the Minister of Defense in response. This led to the sudden eruption of large demonstrations on Sunday, March 26, alongside the demonstrations that have been taking place every Saturday for weeks. On Monday, 80 thousand people took to the streets spontaneously.
In the end, the reactionary coalition at the helm of Israel seems to have stepped back in the face of this backlash. At least for the moment being. Netanyahu announced that the bill was delayed until the next parliament session (that is, mid-April). In doing so, he made another concession to Itamar Ben-Gvir, one of his most reactionary partners, who played an important role in the dismissal of the Minister of Defense. Ben-Gvir, who is sitting in the seat of the Ministry of National Security, has been demanding the establishment of a militia which would answer to him directly and whose purpose would be aggression against Palestinians. And indeed, he got his way.
What does the crisis of Zionism mean for Palestine?
We have just stated the first outcomes of the crisis of Zionism. The fact that Ben-Gvir will have the authority to establish a “National Guard” can only bring about worse massacres for the Palestinians.
However, one should further elaborate on the question. Can a beneficial result come from the sharpening of the internal contradictions of the Zionist enemy and thus weakening it to some extent? To answer this particular question, it is important to know the reasons leading to the resignation of the Minister of Justice in the reactionary government, Yariv Levin, which is the culmination of these internal contradictions. There are two main reasons for the resignation. The first is that the army is also split into two fractions in the face of the bill and this will create some weakness. Secondly, the possibility exists that the disappearance of the “independence” of the Israeli judiciary will lead the soldiers of the Zionist army to be tried in international courts. In other words, one strand of the opposition to the government’s seizure of the judiciary stems from the concern that it will work against the occupation of Palestine and harm Zionism.
The Arab people have succinctly summarized the “democracy” demands in Israeli demonstrations. Israelis are practically saying: “Democracy for us! Apartheid for the Palestinians!” After all, the laws that the protesters are trying to preserve are the ones that are the basis of ethnic cleansing, collective punishment of the Palestinians, administrative detention of the Palestinians, and the Apartheid system in general! There are outlier objections that confront these loves, but they are rather weak!
Wherever there is movement, there is hope!
But it should not be forgotten that the consciousness of the masses does change in action. To say that this struggle of the hundreds of thousands is unlikely to lead to any change in consciousness goes against the great dialectic between practice and consciousness. Something interesting happened in the gigantic mass struggles. The national trade union center in Israel, Histadrut, has recently declared a general strike, although, at first sight, the issue had nothing to do with the class issues. The bosses’ organization immediately opposed this. Perhaps one of the important reasons why Netanyahu took steps to cool the problem was the possibility of the struggle unexpectedly turning into a class struggle. Yes, Histadrut is a Zionist organization. But one should not underestimate the possibility that the general strike would go far beyond the will of the ones who triggered it.
When Netanyahu suspended the issue, the general strike became moot. But, just for now. The question stands: If the Israeli working class were to take part in this gigantic mass action, could both the character of the action and the consciousness of the masses who have carried out the actions transform? The struggle that will be revived after mid-April could provide us with the answer to this question.