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Opinion: Netanyahu And Bennett Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin

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Netanyahu is out.

A long batting inning is over, and as far as credits are concerned, they are war crimes and corruption for self and the family and not for the country or the people.

That sums up the ex-PM Netanyahu’s tenure as PM of Israel. His stature had become too big compared to the military and economic might of his country, Israel, whose geographical importance is that it can keep vigilance on Arab countries. It keeps an eye on reservoirs of natural oil and gas, acting as an outpost of US imperialism.

Even though Netanyahu has been ousted, his replacement is just as right-wing, capitalist, and islamophobic.

He had become a synonym of Zionism, loved by a section of his countrymen. He was part of world leaders, who came up to power due to massive retreat or degeneration of the bourgeois democracy and which accelerated after the demise of the USSR and the start of neoliberalism. The latter unleashed several anti-working-class measures like ending all the welfare measures in education and health services, transport, old-age homes, subsidies for the farmers on electricity, water, seeds & fertilizers, women’s safety measures, and children/orphans’ care facilities.

Right-Wing Populism And Neo-liberalism

The laws in all the nations, who embraced neoliberalism ensured the end of labor laws that protected the working class or at least was a hurdle to the employer’s will to fleece the labor power at its will. Farm Laws, as well as Environment Laws, were either annihilated or enacted to help the capital (in all its forms) to accrue maximum profit, which was sagging due to regular economic crisis, or rather, has become chronic. The economic booms, since the late 20th Century have been relative and not in absolute terms as before. Now the economic booms meant controlled economic dooms. The further accumulation and growth of capital is no more limited to the profit (from the market, despite monopoly pricing) but even through plunder of the working people, public property, and natural resources.

Poroshenko, Trump, Narendra Modi, Bolsonaro, Netanyahu, and many others were not only welcomed in such era to take over the state power as the prime political managers of the capitalist class but even promoted by the latter, through media, social media, huge capital investment, blatant misuse of state power, including the judiciary and even military. They created fake childhood stories, matching that of the ‘saints’ or charismatic persons, fake educational qualifications, read statements written by content writers, and read them through a teleprompter. Mass mania or mesmerized people, who love spectacles, are created to promote such personality cults to fool the masses.

They were essentially criminals, corrupt, and educationally almost zero. In fact, they were ignorant and superstitious. Read their statements, they are available on thousands of sites, including Google and all other search engines. But what attracted the bourgeois class to fall for them? Their ability to speechify and carry out drama in public, including the ability to cry ‘for the people’s miseries, create imaginary enemies and rally the masses against the enemy, rouse religiosity, and national chauvinism. Venezuela is an example, where Juan Guaidó was to take over power through a military coup, openly being espoused to do so by the US government and its intelligence services, and the Venezuelan bourgeois class, but failed.

Few wickets of the international monopoly capitalists (imperialists) are down, but does that make any difference? New political order is ready to fill the vacancy if these fascists and dictators become untenable for the masses and the people’s rising resistance and the capitalist class and its think tank decide to change their guards. The liberals, social democrats, centrists, and pseudo-left-wing, etc. will do the needed!

Netanyahu Is Ousted But Nothing Will Change

Benjamin Netanyahu is not indispensable but can be easily replaced, by another such character or a more suitable to the changing scenario, according to the new economic, social, political order. See a report by Aljazeera, “Many Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza have dismissed a change in the Israeli government, saying the nationalist leader due to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would likely pursue the same right-wing agenda.

Representational Image

Palestinians have already accepted there will be no change under the current government.

This is though due to their decades-old experiences and repression by the Zionist state, but the fear is right. The change of the guard may give some relief to the Palestinians but that will be short-lived. And we are also not sure, how long the amalgamated government will continue, which is replacing a 12 years old regime, one of the worst dictatorial states. 4 elections in 2 years in Israel have failed to bring any single party to power with a full majority. This shows that there is resistance to Netanyahu’s party and policies, but this negation is not for the peace for the two ‘states’ in Israel but due to various other reasons. The Communist Party of Israel is too small and ineffective to intervene in the ongoing politics, though it did carry out processions against the Israeli bombing in Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank.

Naftali Bennet is the new PM of Israel, who is as good or as bad when talking about the Zionist dream of expansion, similar military as well as economic policies. He is a millionaire and boasts of being tech-savvy and had previously held the post of Defense Minister. He is part of one of those top Zionist leaders, who supported the annexation of the West Bank. He ex-ally of Netanyahu.

He heads a coalition government of the right-wing, centrist, and leftist parties with Arab representation and a thin majority (60 against 59). Their common minimum program to oust Benjamin Netanyahu and run the government, too, is weak. In the meantime, the ex-PM will undergo trial on corruption charges, which he was avoiding with his ministerial powers.

These Changes Achieve Little, If Anything

Ousting of many such leaders in Ukraine, the US, Pakistan, etc. is not the end of a personality cult, a very strong and potent weapon in the hands of the bourgeois class, but just a shake in the quiet pond. The racism, cult or identity politics, religiosity, national chauvinism will continue, sometimes more and on the other times less, depending on the fall or rise of the people’s resistance against their falling life standard and also on the severity of the crisis in the capitalist class. These are mere symptoms of the deep contradictions in the imperialist capitalist world, and unless capitalism, in all its forms, is not superseded by socialism, mankind, as well as the environment, will continue suffering.

The task of the revolutionaries, the world over, is very obvious: unite the working class and the oppressed people in their respective countries, with internationalism as the goal, as socialism can not be in a single country for long. Class unity and struggle is the revolutionary path and no revolution will succeed without them.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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