4th March 2020
For the third time in less than a year, Israelis headed to the polls in an attempt to elect a government. In all three elections, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party had the most votes but failed to amass a majority of the seats in parliament. While pundits in Israel debate the antics of representative democracy, the differences between Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz, and the costs of continued elections, Palestinians have watched silently from the sidelines.
It is quite ironic that the Joint List alliance, filled with Palestinian Arab lawmakers, is helping to prevent a majority of seats for the Likud. In fact, it’s something that I relish. I cannot help but be impressed by MK Ayman Odeh and others of the Joint List, who remain a thorn in the side of Netanyahu and the Israeli right. This speaks less to Israel’s self-proclaimed “democratic values” that are boasted of whenever the existence of its Palestinian citizens and their participation in Israeli elections are brought up, and more to Palestinian resiliency in the face of horrid dehumanisation.
Not all Palestinians who live under Israeli military rule and law voted. From their point of view, Israel’s elections are merely bickering between a multitude of jailers who are seeking to win over voters with promises of how they will further cage Palestinians.