The agreement struck between the representative of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud), and that of his future National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit), provides that the latter will head an autonomous armed force.
The Ministry of National Security will take over the attributions of the former Ministry of Internal Security while acquiring new powers. It will supervise not only the national police (Mishtara), but also the border police (Magav) which until now was answerable to the Ministry of Defense. The agreement also provides for the creation of a large-scale National Guard and a reinforced presence of reserve troops within the border police.
Mr. Ben-Gvir is a Kahanist, meaning a disciple of Rabbi Meir Kahane who demands the expulsion of Arab citizens from Israel and the establishment of a theocracy. He makes no secret of wanting to use the border police to expel Arab populations, be they Muslim or Christian. The expansion of the border police will depend on the budget allocated to it by parliament (Knesset).
Itamar Ben-Griv’s party will also be in charge of the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, whose environmental police will be able to impose its law on the Bedouins. It will chair the Knesset’s Internal Security Committee, the Knesset’s special committee for the Israeli Citizens’ Fund (which oversees state revenue from gas drilling), in addition to filling the slot of deputy minister in the Ministry of Economy.
Outgoing Defense Minister Beny Gantz remarked that establishing “a private army for Ben-Gvir in the [West Bank] is dangerous…and will create real security holes.”
Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to sign two more agreements involving two other far-right formations.
One must understand what is happening and not allow oneself to be blinded by preconceived ideas. There are several forms of “Zionism”. Benjamin Netanyahu was a “revisionist Zionist”, follower of Vladimir Jabotinsky (of whom his father Benzion Netanyahu had served as private secretary). As a young man, he professed that Palestine is “a land without a people for a people without a land.” He was, consequently, in favor of expelling all Arabs. Furthermore, he advocated the idea that the State of Israel should expand “from the Nile to the Euphrates” (Eretz Israel). However, he proved to be rather moderate during his 16 years as Prime Minister. He was considered to have evolved. In reality, he had simply adapted to his conservative majorities and to the spirit of the times. Today, when the Straussians are in power in the United States behind Joe Biden and when his personal friend Volodymyr Zelensky leads the “integral nationalists” in Ukraine, Benjamin Netanyahu has found at last the opportunity to make his youthful dreams come true.
In the coming months, anti-Arab pogroms will take place in Israel, Jewish settlements will sprout on the fields of Arab peasants, and Israeli weapons will be sent to Ukraine. These are not separate issues. It is the same ideology that will be at work in the US State Department, in Tel Aviv and in Kiev.