Palestinian activists have today launched an online campaign to highlight the anti-Palestinian racism and discriminatory sentiment at the heart of Israel’s 37th Government, which was elected on 1 November last year but only took office at the end of December.
EuroPal Forum has organised the initiative — “Israeli Racism in Quotes: Israel’s 37th Government” — in order to document the depth of anti-Palestinian racism across what has been labelled by analysts as the most racist Israeli government since the establishment of the state in 1948. MEMO columnist Motasem Dalloul has said that, “The extremism bar was already set very high before Benjamin Netanyahu cobbled together his new coalition.”
According to the forum, the campaign will focus on statements from twenty-five individuals from the coalition government, with five statements being released per day for the next five days. The organisation told the media that it hopes that the statements will enable people to understand that the likely policies of the new administration, such as settlement expansion, enforced displacement and annexation, should not be viewed in isolation, but seen instead as the central modus operandi for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition government.
“The new Israeli government represents a clear and visible threat to the security of Palestinians living across historic Palestine and in the diaspora,” said the Chairman of EuroPal Forum, Zaher Birawi. “It is hoped that this campaign and other campaigns highlighting the nature of this new government will put pressure on decision makers to disengage from Israeli officials who support racist views and who seek to promote and uphold apartheid policies.”
Birawi added that it is “deeply disappointing” that British Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad met with two Israeli Ministers as recently as last week –Eli Cohen MK and Nir Barkat MK – that the campaign identifies as espousing racist viewpoints towards Palestinians. “The culture of impunity afforded to Israel and Israeli officials is unprecedented.”
EuroPal Forum said that part of its campaign will include a letter of concern being sent to parliamentarians in the United Kingdom and across Europe, and the release of additional statements focusing on the racism espoused by other Members of the Knesset, as well as by prominent members of Israeli society.