Regardless of Netanyahu’s political future, Israeli policies towards Palestinians will remain unchanged.
“There are places where the character of the State of Israel as a Jewish state must be maintained, and this sometimes comes at the expense of equality. Israel is a Jewish state. It isn’t a state of all its nations. There is place to maintain a Jewish majority even at the price of violation of rights.”
— Ayelet Shaked, Israeli Minister of Justice
If scandal-plagued Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, exits his country’s political scene today, who is likely to replace him? And what does this mean as far as Israel’s Occupation of Palestine is concerned?
Netanyahu, who is currently being charged with multiple cases of corruption, misuse of government funds and public office, has, for years, epitomized the image of Israel internationally.
In Israel, Netanyahu has masterfully kept his rightwing Likud Party at the center of power. Even if as part of larger coalitions — as is often the case in the formation of most of Israeli governments — the Likud, under Netanyahu, has shaped Israeli politics and foreign policy for many years.
As Israel’s Jewish population continues to move to the right, the country’s political ideology has been repeatedly redefined in the last two decades.
Now, a negligible eight percent of Israeli Jews see themselves as leftwing, while a whopping 37 percent consider themselves rightwing. Although 55 percent see themselves as center, the term itself does not represent what political centers traditionally do in other countries.
For example, it is quite acceptable to be a member of Israel’s center and support the idea of forced expulsion of Palestinian Arab natives living in Israel. Forty-eight percent of all Israeli Jews, in fact, do.
But what does all of this mean for the Palestinian people, for the Israeli Occupation and for a just solution to the ongoing suffering in Palestine?
Here are some characters that are seen as possible heirs to Netanyahu’s political throne.