Israel was promised a change in 2021. However, Netanyahu's policies still dominate.

Israel was promised a change in 2021. However, Netanyahu's policies still dominate.

The departure of Israel's prime minister has long been heralded as a new era. So why is everything exactly the same?

Two recent videos best portray the end of 2021, a milestone that coincides with the first six months of Naftali Bennet's "government of change." Interestingly, neither is from the new government, but from the opposition, whose spirit still dominates Israel's political and social scene.

In an infamous recent incident, far-right MP Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was single-handedly propelled into parliament by Benjamin Netanyahu while unsuccessfully seeking to win elections, pulled a gun on a Palestinian citizen of Israel working as a parking. guard, claiming he felt "threatened" by him.

A few days later, Ben-Gvir posted a video of himself on Twitter saying, "Israel has to go back to targeted eliminations, not only in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank], but also in Ramla and Lod. It's time to take them down."

In other words, an Israeli MP openly encouraged killing Palestinian citizens of Israel in mixed Arab-Jewish cities. Have you heard any public outcry? Any sanctions imposed by the coalition government or at least by its leftist side? Neither have we.

Before that, Netanyahu, now leader of the opposition, warned the Western world that the government that replaced him was trying to ruin Israeli democracy.

Such statements are common among Israeli opposition politicians, but about Netanyahu himself when he was in power. Indeed, it is unprecedented for Netanyahu, who in office behaved like a one-man machine bent on degrading Israel's democratic institutions, to do so in English, in what appears to be an urgent appeal to Western lawmakers to save Israel from the people who dethroned it ... .

After all, he is the one who led the campaigns against Breaking the Silence, the Israeli NGO dedicated to publicizing atrocities committed by Israeli military authorities in the occupied territories.

A common motive for all the attacks on Israeli human rights activists was to question why they were making statements in English and not just holding them domestically by communicating in Hebrew. Well, that was when Netanyahu was prime minister. Out of office, the rules changed. Or rather, there are no rules.

These two seemingly minor incidents certainly do not reflect any promise encapsulated in the title "government of change." They expose a sad reality: Netanyahu and his proxies still cast a giant shadow. Or, as someone wittily told Middle East Eye, "the new government is like Bibi's government, only more educated."

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