Palestine Solidarity Campaign responds to Israeli elections and calls for regime change
Campaigning group Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has responded to the 2019 Israeli elections which took place on Tuesday 9th April, highlighting that Palestinian human rights and international law will continue to be violated regardless of who becomes Israel’s Prime Minister.
The Israeli elections come just a month after Benjamin Netanyahu, who is hoping for re-election, publicly reasserted that Israel “is not a state of all its citizens.” His main opponent, ex-army chief Benny Gantz, released a video in January 2019 claiming credit for the destruction of 6231 targets in Gaza and the killings of 1364 Palestinians, boasting that “parts of Gaza were sent back to the Stone Age”.
Whilst Palestinian citizens of Israel are allowed to vote in the elections, the recently-passed “National State Law” in Israel enshrines discrimination against them into the constitution. Since 1948, Israel has passed over 60 laws which discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in housing, welfare provision, education, public works and building permission.
In the course of the election, Netanyahu has promised to annex Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank, seeking to entrench the de facto sovereignty Israel is exercising over the 2.8 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank under Israeli military control which denies them basic human rights. None of these Palestinians have voting rights in the Israeli elections; nor do the millions of Palestinians refugees who have been forcibly expelled from their homes since 1948.
Campaigners assert that whoever emerges as Israel’s Prime Minister will share certain core beliefs that Israel holds the right to settle on all of historic Palestine, that the rights of Jewish citizens should be privileged above those of Palestinians, and that Israel should allow neither the creation of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state nor the alternative of a single bi-national democratic state.
PSC has called for fundamental regime change in Israel in order to end the country’s violations of international law and human rights, stressing that none of the options for Israel’s new government will offer this; rather, all candidates for Prime Minister have demonstrated commitment to ongoing military occupation and apartheid.
Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “The problem with Israel is not simply its government – the problem with Israel runs far deeper than that. At its very core, Israel is a regime which structurally dispossesses, excludes and discriminates against the Palestinian people. We know that, regardless of how the new Israeli government is constituted, it will only bring further racism, ethnic cleansing and violence against the Palestinians. It is incumbent upon the international community to hold Israel to account for its ongoing violations of international law and human rights – and we will continue to do exactly that.”
Notes to editors:
- Netanyahu says that Israel “is not a state of all its citizens”: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/10/benjamin-netanyahu-says-israel-is-not-a-state-of-all-its-citizens
- Benny Gantz boasts that “parts of Gaza were sent back to the stone age”: https://www.timesofisrael.com/only-the-strong-survive-gantzs-new-campaign-videos-laud-his-idf-bona-fides/
- Israel’s “Nation State Law” receives widespread criticism: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/19/israel-adopts-controversial-jewish-nation-state-law
- How Israeli law discriminates against Palestinian citizens: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/07/ways-israeli-law-discriminates-palestinians-180719120357886.html