A political analyst says the United States is keen on rebranding its relationship with Israel, not because the regime has changed under new prime minister Naftali Bennett, but because Washington has suffered humiliations at the hands of ousted premier Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ramzy Baroud, a Palestinian-American journalist and the editor of the Palestine Chronicle, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday, a few days after the Israeli parliament (Knesset) voted 60-59 in favor of a new cabinet, ending Netanyahu's 12-year consecutive tenure as prime minister.
Bennett will head the cabinet for a little over two years before his centrist ally, Yair Lapid, takes over. The new coalition is made of eight parties that are united only by their shared disdain for the hawkish right-wing leader known as Bibi.
Baroud said Bennett is no different than Netanyahu, citing his anti-Palestinian comments.
Bennett’s Yamina “is a decidedly racist political party. Their meager seven seats at the Israeli Knesset (parliament) were garnered through their constant appeal to the most violent and racist constituencies in Israel, whose oft-repeated chant 'Death to the Arabs' is a daily reminder of their sinister political discourse,” he said.
“Bennett is often cited for this famous statement from 2013: “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that”. But there is more to the man’s politics than such an abhorring declaration. Keeping in mind that Israeli leaders do not perceive any form of Palestinian resistance to be legitimate, and, in their eyes, Palestinians are either terrorists or potential terrorists, consider the following ‘solution’ offered by Bennett to deal with the problem of ‘Palestinian terrorism,’” he added.
“Then Israel’s minister of education, Bennett, in 2015, proposed the building of a ‘deterrence’ wall, one which ‘demands that incitement be ended and that terrorists are shot dead before they have a chance to hurt innocent people.’”
The journalist also noted that the administration of US President Joe Biden wants people to believe that Bennett is different because Washington is fed up with Netanyahu’s criticisms of Washington.
“American politicians are fawning over Bennett and his main coalition partner, and future prime minister, Yair Lapid. They are eager to turn a new page, and move forward past Netanyah’s tumultuous years. Bennett is expected to visit the US in July, while Lapid has already been invited by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to visit Washington. Meanwhile, a large Israeli military delegation headed by Israeli army chief of staff, Aviv Kohavi, should already be in the US to discuss various subjects, including Iran, Hezbollah and to ‘negotiate’ yet more US gifts to Israel in the form of military hardware,” he said.
“The US is keen on rebranding its relationship with Israel, not because Israel has changed, but because Washington has suffered repeated humiliations at the hands of ousted Netanyahu. Under Netanyahu, the US found itself often accused of not doing enough for Israel. Even Obama’s $3.8 billion annual military aid package did not spare him the repeated Israeli verbal assaults. Biden is willing to do whatever it takes to avoid that sordid scenario.”
Baroud further stressed that Bennett is clearly ready to play along with Washington because it is “a win-win” for both sides.
“He is eager to present himself as the antithesis of Netanyahu. And by making such a ‘concession’, he would surely be expecting Washington to reciprocate,” he said.
The expert emphasized that the US had for months pleaded with Netanyahu to tone down his attacks on Washington, to no avail.
He also referred to an article by the Times of Israel which said, “Unlike its predecessor,” the Bennett administration “would voice its criticism (of Washington) in private.”