The new rightwing coalition in Israeli politics allows Jeffrey Goldberg to describe his political fantasy:
here’s my fantasy: A unity government of the mainly secular Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu party and a new, mostly secular centrist party that would have the votes to actually make progress on synagogue-state separation issues.
Goldberg elaborates on the fantasy; and it is all about the liberalization of Israeli society. But there is absolutely no reference to Palestinian freedom here. To what power such a “secular centrist” party would have over Israel’s fundamental problem: occupation and apartheid rule over more than 4 million non-Jews.
My political fantasy is that if all the governed were granted the right of consent to their government– a principle we’ve enunciated in the U.S. for more than 200 years– then liberal Israelis and liberal Palestinians would form a political coalition to marginalize the fundamentalists in both societies. Put another way, if blacks didn’t have the right to vote, Virginia would be squarely in the Romney column right now, and everyone would be thankful he’s not Sarah Palin. That’s Israel.
P.S. That’s not a fantasy for Zionists. Two years back Peter Beinart made this statement in a dialogue with Jeffrey Goldberg:
PB: I’m not asking Israel to be Utopian. I’m not asking it to allow Palestinians who were forced out (or fled) in 1948 to return to their homes. I’m not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I’m actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel’s security and for its status as a Jewish state. What I am asking is that Israel not do things that foreclose the possibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, because if it is does that it will become–and I’m quoting Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak here–an “apartheid state.”
Just imagine an American writer saying he wasn’t interested in full, equal citizenship for Jews? Goldberg would have been all over it. This passed without comment.