Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement that his Likud party will run a joint campaign alongside the Yisrael Beitenu outfit of his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in January's election indicates the trajectory of Israeli politics.
Netanyahu believes that the Likud Beitenu coalition would "strengthen the government, it will strengthen the prime minister and it will strengthen the country."
Lieberman has repeatedly demanded the "removal" of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whom he calls an "obstacle to peace."
This is because Abbas has petitioned the United Nations directly for international recognition of Palestinian sovereignty in response to decades of refusal by successive Israeli governments to take seriously the question of a two-state solution.
Israeli leaders demand bilateral talks "without conditions," which means no freeze on Tel Aviv's colonisation of the West Bank, including east Jerusalem.
Abbas's position among Palestinians has slipped in response to his erstwhile subservience to US rules concerning the peace process, which lay down immediate Palestinian acquiescence to Israel's demands while deferring consideration of key issues such as the status of Jerusalem and eventual state borders to the final stage of negotiations.
These demands include the notion that Palestinians recognise Israel as a "democratic Jewish state," which would institutionalise the current reality of 20 per cent of the state's citizens being at best second-class citizens.
Separation and demonisation of Israel's Arab citizens and Palestinians in the occupied territories has already created an apartheid-style situation, with acutely racist public attitudes to match it.
Lieberman has succeeded in taking his party from a fringe group to Israel's third largest on the strength of demands that Arab members of the Knesset should be executed for speaking to Hamas and that members of the Arab minority should have to swear an oath of allegiance to Israel, specifically as a Jewish state.
These racially discriminatory attitudes are now widely replicated among Israel's Jewish majority, as shown by a Yisraela Goldblum Fund inquiry carried out by pollsters Dialog.
A third of respondents would deny Arab citizens the right to vote, two-thirds would ban West Bank Palestinians from voting if Israel annexes it, three-quarters support Jews-only roads, about half would deport the 20 per cent Arab minority and, perhaps most surprising, over half recognise and accept Israel as an apartheid state.
Add to this a previous poll by Israel Democracy Index which revealed in May that 52 per cent backed Interior Minister Eli Yishai's slur that Africans, 60,000 of whom have fled war zones to seek sanctuary in Israel, are "a cancer on the body" of the country.
That is the background to last week's European Parliament decision, opposed by Labour and Plaid Cymru MEPs, to support an upgrade to EU-Israel trade in the sphere of pharmaceuticals.
It coincided with an appalling speech by David Cameron at a United Jewish Israel Appeal dinner in which he claimed support for Israel is in the DNA of people in Britain.
He lectured President Abbas that "there is no path to statehood except through talks with Israel," ignoring Tel Aviv's systematic frustration of this goal.
His speech could have been taken from any Establishment politician's offering on South Africa in the 1970s as the apartheid state lashed out against its own citizens and neighbouring countries.
Cameron's apology for apartheid will in time be as discredited and unmemorable as those uttered by his hero Margaret Thatcher and other reactionaries.
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