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Netanyahu Means War

As Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heads into a fifth term after running an openly racist and chauvinistic election campaign, the lasting consequences of his tenure are already obvious. He has left his country deeply divided, morally stained, and further than ever from achieving lasting peace in the region.

LONDON – After a bitter re-election campaign, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has secured his legacy as a leader more committed to domination than to peace. Over the course of the past decade, he has completely sabotaged any chance of reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis, and left Israel itself deeply divided.

All those who desire peace in the Middle East should be deeply worried about the consequences of Netanyahu’s policies, which will be felt for decades to come. Annexing occupied territories, disenfranchising Arab Israelis, and brutally subjugating the Palestinian people is a recipe for perpetual conflict between Israel and its neighbors. Even more ominously, Netanyahu’s rhetoric has added a culture-war dynamic to the mix, thus transforming a clash over land ownership into a “clash of civilizations.” That will encourage the forces of radicalism and extremism on all sides.

At home, Netanyahu has systematically turned Israel into an illiberal democracy. Through fearmongering and racism, he has sought to drive a permanent wedge between Israel’s Jewish majority and the Israeli Arab community, which accounts for around 20% of the country’s population.

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