Don’t believe the (liberal Zionist) hype: Israel’s elections ratified the apartheid status quo

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 63 Comments
Livni Tzipi Livni of the Hatnuah party on the right, speaking with Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich (Photo: Nir Kafria/Haaretz)

The liberal Zionist wing of the American Jewish community are deluding themselves about the results of the Israeli elections.

They see the Israeli elections as a triumph for politicians who are going to revive the peace process with the Palestinians and make vital moves to “save” Israel, in their words, from the scourge of apartheid or a one-state solution with equal rights for all. But their rhetoric about the outcome of the elections represents a fantasy with little bearing in the reality of what the Israeli government is and will continue to be: a settlement expanding, occupation supporting right-wing government that is committed to the suppression of Palestinian rights within the Green Line and in the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli government, in other words, will remain committed to the status quo of apartheid.

Both J Street and Americans for Peace Now, two reliable barometers of American liberal Zionist opinion, sent out statements hailing the results of the elections. Israel’s election results “provide a new opening for peace and a chance to construct a coalition committed to pursuing a two-state solution. It is important to note that there will be more explicit supporters of the two-state solution in this Knesset than in the last,” crows J Street. “The big winner in the election, the centrist Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party, has already made it clear that one of its key demands is a revival of the peace process. The Labor Party also increased its strength.”

Americans for Peace Now’s statement was similar, if a bit more measured. “The elections revealed an Israeli electorate that, like its counterpart in the United States, voted in large numbers for progressive values, for change and for hope – as demonstrated by the strong showing of Yair Lapid’s new party,” Debra DeLee, the group’s president, said in a statement.

The spin is enough to make your head hurt. What’s the reality?

Let’s start with Yair Lapid, the handsome Israeli television host whose party took everyone by surprise by garnering 19 seats in the Knesset. Lapid has been derided as a man who has no ideological core, willing to go where the wind blows. And the wind is blowing towards joining a government with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government pummeled the Gaza Strip, killing over 100 civilians. The talk in the Israeli media is that Lapid will likely be Netanyahu’s foreign minister, able to put a pretty face to the world while defending an ugly system.

Lapid’s statements on the Palestinians and where he campaigned tell you all you need to know about this supposedly “centrist” man dedicated to a “peace process” with the Palestinians. The Palestine Center’s Yousef Munnayer points to this statement by Lapid, which shows how the “Liberal Zionist gravitation toward Lapid shows that the movement is by definition more about being anti-Netanyahu than anti-occupation or pro-liberation or anything else”:

While it may be true that the humane thing is to remove the roadblocks and checkpoints, to stop the occupation immediately, to enable the Palestinians freedom of movement in the territories, to tear down the bloody inhumane wall, to promise them the basic rights ensured to every individual. It’s just that I will end up paying for this with my life. Petty of me perhaps to dwell on this point. After all, how important is my life when compared to the chance for peace, justice and equal rights. But still, call me a weakling; call me thickheaded – I don’t want to die.

That statement from Lapid was made in 2007. More recently, he campaigned in the settlement of Ariel, deep into the occupied West Bank and which sits on valuable water reserves stolen from Palestinians. Haaretz reported in October 2012 that “Lapid said the Palestinians would have to recognize that the large settlement blocs of Ariel, Gush Etzion and Ma’aleh Adumim would remain within the State of Israel.” All of these settlements are illegal under international law and effectively foreclose the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state. And as this site recently noted, Lapid recently said that Israel “must at last get rid of the Palestinians and put a fence between us.”

This is hardly a man interested in genuine peace with the Palestinians. (The hilarious cartoonist Eli Valley has a humorous take on the fiction of Lapid here.)

Then there’s the notion pushed by J Street and Americans for Peace Now that, contrary to the all the media projections, this was an election that did not see a lurch to the right. It’s true that there was not a big leap to the far-right, and you could say that on domestic issues enough Israeli voters went for the center. But on the other hand, Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu still garnered the most seats and the far-right Jewish Home party snagged 12 Knesset seats. So in fact the right remains in power, still deeply committed to the same destructive policies J Street and Americans for Peace Now deplore.

Munayyer debunks this fictional take in this piece on The Daily Beast’s Open Zion blog:

This election outcome does mean that Israel has shifted right. Some breathed a sigh of relief when Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party only garnered 11-12 seats instead of the expected 14-15, and believed this meant that the notion that Israel was shifting right was unfounded. Well, there are two significant problems with this. First, the Jewish Home party significantly exceeded the number of seats—seven—that its components (remnants of the National Union and Jewish Home of 2009) received in 2009. The number of seats they received this time would have been higher if not for an increased turnout in the Tel Aviv bubble, where voters are largely oblivious to the occupation but wary of anything religious.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, the number of seats Bennett’s party receives is not the only metric of rightward shifts in Israel. Take for example the fact that during the primaries for the Likud—which led the self-proclaimed most pro-settlement government in Israeli history—that party elected even more pro-settler elements into its leadership. The Likud, which then merged with Avigdor Lieberman, the man who was routinely referred to as “far-right” and “ultra-nationalist” only one election ago, is the largest party in the Israeli political system and now has others to its right. Last, keep in mind that while the members of the governing coalition and some of their natural allies were openly and staunchly pro-colonization and even annexation, no party in the Zionist opposition vociferously challenged the Israeli settlement enterprise—with the possible exception of Meretz, which took in a grand total of 7 seats. Those 7 seats, by the way, were considered a remarkable and unexpected triumph.

J Street also mentions the the Labor Party, which garnered 15 Knesset seats (compared to the party’s 13 seats in the previous government), as reason for hope. But the Labor Party leader’s Shelly Yachimovich sees no problem with the West Bank colonization project. “I certainly do not see the settlement project as a sin and a crime,” she told Haaretz.

I’ll end with both of these organizations’ praise for Tzipi Livni. Livni, of course, was foreign minister when Israel waged its punishing assault on the Gaza Strip in 2008-09, killing 1,400 Palestinians. Livni is the woman who famously said that it was “good” to go “wild” on Gaza–which is exactly what the Israelis did, as they rained down white phosphorus on a civilian population and killed civilians left and right.

And before the elections, +972 Magazine ran this piece by blogger Idan Landau that conclusively shows why Livni is not going to be the person to bring peace:

Do you remember the Palestine Papers? For a brief moment, in January 2011, the world reeled at the exposure of documents from the talks held between the PA and Ehud Olmert’s government in 2008. The Israeli team at the talks was led by Tzipi Livni, who negotiated with the head of the Palestinian team, Abu Alaa. The embarrassing documents were immediately denied by both parties; after all, they presented the Israeli side as obstinately rejectionist and the Palestinians as sycophantic collaborators.

Livni played a central part in this historical fiasco: it was she who rejected, with unconcealed contempt, Abu Alaa’s meek attempt to discuss the partition of Jerusalem (“Huston [sic], we have a problem,” Livni sneered, apparently unaware she was presenting Israel, not the PA, as afloat in outer space.)

The liberal American Zionists are utterly delusional, grasping at any straw to try and convince the world that there is a possibility for a two-state solution and that Israel can make peace. But “peace” on Lapid and Livni’s terms is no peace at all, let alone justice. Both of those figures who J Street and Americans for Peace Now are celebrating have nothing to offer but continued maintenance of an apartheid status quo. I have the same question that Phil Weiss has: when will liberal Zionists give up their dream? It’s dead in the water right now, with no signs of the (mythical) liberal, democratic Israel they love. And the elections don’t change that reality one bit.
 

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist and graduate student at New York University's Near East Studies and Journalism programs. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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63 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    January 24, 2013, 2:25 pm

    “It’s just that I will end up paying for this with my life.”

    Holy crap these people pathological drama queens. What a sick joke that the lives of 6 million people are hostage to losers with this mental defect.

    • seafoid
      January 24, 2013, 3:28 pm

      That is what they did to Rabin.
      He is probably right. But if they do nothing they’ll lose it all.

      I keep dreaming
      That Israel has it all
      Oh I’m still craving
      to populate Hevron with Jews
      Although our morality is fading
      But soon we will shine

    • Avi_G.
      January 24, 2013, 4:49 pm

      Yair’s thatrics can be directly traced to his father, Tommy Lapid who was a journalist, albeit a fascist.

      I recall in the 1990 when he was a regular guest on an Israeli political TV show, his racist diatribes about Palestinians were an integral part of his rhetoric.

      • seafoid
        January 24, 2013, 5:50 pm

        Wasn’t Tommy Lapid the head of the Shinui party ? What happened to Shinui?

    • Inanna
      January 24, 2013, 10:33 pm

      Woody, it’s a real fear when your forbears made the Palestinians pay with their lives. Lapid knows what was done to the Palestinians and fears the retribution of zionism’s victims. He, like all zionists, are governed by fear of the original sin of the creation of the state of Israel.

      • Tzombo
        January 25, 2013, 7:54 am

        Exactly. Reminds me of the fears of white South Africans or the fears of slave owners that still echo in the US.

  2. seafoid
    January 24, 2013, 2:27 pm

    West Jerusalem is a mess as well. The city voted United torah judaism, likud and shas in their top 3.

  3. Castellio
    January 24, 2013, 2:39 pm

    This is an extremely important post. Thank you for working on it.

    For those who have studied Zionism’s organization and goals in America from the 1920s and on, this falls into a pattern of misrepresentation, not miscalculation.

  4. Chespirito
    January 24, 2013, 2:41 pm

    Great analysis, thanks–

  5. David Doppler
    January 24, 2013, 2:48 pm

    I think you are underestimating the import of the disappointing showing for the right wing. The drive toward another war, this time with Iran, to get the US to launch it and/or fight it, has lost all momentum. The worst of Israel’s policies arise out of a sense of existential threat – it’s them against us, and we need to do everything to win, even if we may regret some of it when more normal times return. Racism, land-grabbing, ethnic cleansing, brutal assaults and mass killing, this is what happens when tribes fight over territory. But the bomb cartoon showed Netanyahu to be a clown, people pulled back from the direction he was striving to lead, and now they want to rearrange the deck chairs. But when the march to war is stalled, all the policies that seemed justified when immediate death at the hands of the “other” was the perceived reality, can no longer withstand scrutiny as normal times return. If the US starts to apply some pressure to Israel, if the US and global press start presenting more of the naked racism and other boorish behavior that Mondoweiss has made available to its readers, it will not be long before real liberal, progressive values again assert themselves. Let’s see what Lapid is saying in a year.

    • Mooser
      January 24, 2013, 5:47 pm

      “If the US starts to apply some pressure to Israel, if the US and global press start presenting more of the naked racism and other boorish behavior that Mondoweiss has made available to its readers, it will not be long before real liberal, progressive values again assert themselves”

      “again” assert themselves? And when was the first or other time these “liberal, progressive values” asserted themselves in the Zionist project? Please, take your time, and start with Herzl and Ben Gurion….

      Israel wouldn’t know what a progressive, liberal value is if it bit them on the tuchas. I know this is so trivial that it’s easy to overlook, but the entire project is founded on dispossession.
      Anyway Dave, if you are going to wait for liberal, progressive values to “reassert” themselves in Israel, don’t try to pass the time by foregoing regular respiration.

      • Mooser
        January 24, 2013, 6:13 pm

        I’m sorry Dave, everybody hopes for the best, hopes for the least amount of violence, most everyone will accept that perfect justice for the Palestinians probably won’t be achieved, and I think that most Israelis are also victims of Zionism.
        But pretending there is a liberal, progressive component to Zionism which will “reassert” does nobody any good. The Zionist’s machinations in securing and running Israel isn’t the only, or by any means the most horrible colonial scheme ever, it’s just another one. There’s no reason why we can’t look at it squarely.

      • Sibiriak
        January 25, 2013, 11:43 am

        Mooser:

        …most everyone will accept that perfect justice for the Palestinians probably won’t be achieved

        Probably??

    • ToivoS
      January 24, 2013, 8:51 pm

      Alex’s analysis is pretty much right on. Though there were three small advances. 1) Israel’s new government is less likely to attack Iran, though it looked like the chances of that ever happening were low to begin with. 2) The rightward shift in the Israeli electorate seems to have stopped, at least for the moment, but has not been reversed. 3) The fascist party that Kahane’s backers built just went from two seats to none.

      The important point is that the process of ethnic cleansing and colonial expansion in the WB will obviously continue. At least on that issue a clear majority of Israeli Jews are in agreement though they want it to be done as quietly and in a way that doesn’t shock international opinion.

  6. seafoid
    January 24, 2013, 3:30 pm

    “And before the elections, +972 Magazine ran this piece by blogger Idan Landau that conclusively shows why Livni is not going to be the person to bring peace”

    link to americanhiking.chattablogs.com

  7. dbroncos
    January 24, 2013, 3:36 pm

    “Liberal Zionist gravitation toward Lapid shows that the movement is by definition more about being anti-Netanyahu than anti-occupation or pro-liberation or anything else”

    Exactly right. The liberal Zionists wring their hands over Netayahu being the face of Israel in the US. He’s obnoxious, insulting and contemptuous of our President, our Congress and our elections. Liberal Zionists are worried that he’s damaging Israel’s image in the US and that Israel’s American tax-payer benefactors will sour on Israel based on their bad opinion of Netanyahu. I’d say that’s a legitimate concern. It shouldn’t be underestimated how damaging an obnoxious, insulting figurehead can be to the reputation of an entire nation ( George W. Bush, anyone?). Fortunately, it looks like Netayahu will remain in his post as Israel’s primary spokesman. In persuing the ultimate goal of justice and peace, Netanyahu is much more sevicable than a sagacious snake in the grass like Shimon Peres.

  8. Citizen
    January 24, 2013, 3:44 pm

    In a way, Israel’s political system and it’s continual results reminds me of America’s. No matter which coalition of parties in Israel or which party in America wins, it does not change the core continual banking and war industries in either. In both cases, real opposition is always effectively barred from influence. The roots don’t change, no matter the bleach used on the tips to reflect in the sun. Yet there is one key difference: America does not literally settle its citizens on homesteads on foreign land it controls and exploits. Yet it funds Israel doing so. Nobody has done anything effective about this in many decades.

    Israel did not exist in the immediate years after WW2, and at that time, America’s reputation in the world was at its high point.

    Look what these two countries have done since then to show they devalue the lives lost in the last world war.

    What a travesty of justice and goodness well earned.

    History will show they are indeed Little Satan and Big Satan to speak in ancient biblical terms.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    January 24, 2013, 3:46 pm

    RE: “The liberal Zionist wing of the American Jewish community . . . [sees] the Israeli elections as a triumph for politicians who are going to revive the peace process with the Palestinians and make vital moves to ‘save’ Israel, in their words, from the scourge of apartheid or a one-state solution with equal rights for all. But their rhetoric about the outcome of the elections represents a fantasy . . .” ~ Alex Kane

    JOEL KOVEL 1-20-13:

    . . . As with everyone I know of in official political culture, Friedman assumes that Israel is a rational actor on the international stage who will obey the calculus of reward and punishment that regulates the conduct of normal states. The presumption is that if you tell it the truth, and even pull back US support, it will get the message, reflect, and change its ways. But Israel is not a normal state, except superficially. It will make adjustments, pulling back here, co-operating there, making nice when necessary, crafting its message using a powerful propaganda apparatus employing the most up-to-date social science. But this is simply tactical and no more predicts or explains the behavior of the Zionist state than an individual sociopath can be explained by the fact that he obeys traffic signals while driving to the scene of his crime. . .

    SOURCE – link to mondoweiss.net

    P.S. Sadly, I concur! ! !
    Catch Me If You Can Movie CLIP – Do You Concur? (2002) [VIDEO, 01:53] – link to youtube.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      January 24, 2013, 4:10 pm

      P.P.S. ALSO RE: “The liberal Zionist wing of the American
      Jewish community . . . [sees] the Israeli elections as a triumph for politicians who are going to revive the peace process. . . But their rhetoric about the outcome of the elections represents a fantasy . . .”
      ~ Alex Kane

      A MIDWINTER EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, sponsored by the makers of new Ziocaine Über-Xtreme®: It’s guaran-damn-teed to rock your effing world!™

      In the morning when I wake up and listen to the sound
      Of the birds outside on the roof
      I try to ignore what the paper says
      And I try not to read all the news
      And I’ll hold you if you had a bad dream
      And I hope it never comes true
      ‘Cause you and I been through so many things together
      And the sun starts climbing the roof

      It’s a dream
      Only a dream
      And it’s fading now
      Fading away
      It’s only a dream
      Just a memory without anywhere to stay ~ Neil Young

      Neil Young: It’s A Dream (Live at the Ryman Auditorium) 2005 [VIDEO, 06:35] – link to youtube.com

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      • kalithea
        January 25, 2013, 2:19 am

        The following is the twisted Zionist version of “I have a dream…”:

        “I have a dream. It is a dream rooted in ethnic cleansing….I have a dream that one day the state of Israel, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of criticism for justified injustice and oppression, will be transformed into a legitimate state free from all criticism and above all laws wherein Apartheid reigns supreme for the protection of all Jews and the Jewish state.”

  10. Citizen
    January 24, 2013, 3:53 pm

    Five Ways of Looking at the New Knesset: link to counterpunch.org
    Sometimes pictures or graphs are worth armies of words.

    • ritzl
      January 24, 2013, 7:39 pm

      Thanks. Good graphics. Derfner was 100% correct.

    • kalithea
      January 25, 2013, 2:31 am

      Democracy withers under Zionism. Zionism is Democracy’s cancer.

  11. JeffB
    January 24, 2013, 4:13 pm

    The parties all shifted right, the electorate shifted a bit left in terms of what parties they picked. Lapid is pretty close to where Likud used to be. I think if the Palestinians don’t agree we are going to see a unilateral Israeli peace. Something along the lines of Bennett proposed, which is fairly similar to Lapid:

    annex the settlement blocks including Ariel, possibly all of Area C.
    The international community rejects this annexation but isn’t going to genuinely do anything about it.
    Declare Area A and B independent.
    Maybe call A, B and Gaza a state or 2 states if not set them up as self governing colonies.

    Israel internally ties more of the privileges of citizenship to military service. Israeli Arab national service levels are rising about 10% a year already and if this continues by math alone the Arab Israelis willing to assimilate join the society as full members. Those that don’t end up with citizenship in the colony/state and some sort of residency permit.

    Conversion standards are lowered which most Israelis want. Right now mainly for the Russian community but working through this issue also creates a pathway for the Israeli Arabs.

    Not the prettiest solution but a workable one.

    _____

    And finally Israel is not now nor has it ever been a liberal state in the western sense. When it was founded it was Eastern European labor, basically a right socialist country (often known as fascist). American influence and contact is exposing Israelis to Republican ideas making it more like a neo-conservative country. Meretz is pretty much the only European liberal kind of party and they do 5-10%.

    • Mooser
      January 24, 2013, 6:15 pm

      “And finally Israel is not now nor has it ever been a liberal state in the western sense.”

      So, gosh, what happened to the “shared values” with our plucky little democratic ally?

      • JeffB
        January 25, 2013, 1:48 am

        Any western culture country is going to have more shared values than one without it. Compared to their neighbors they have shared values. Japan is a very peaceful and democratic culture but ultimately Japanese culture is very Buddhist and very hard to penetrate.

    • kalithea
      January 25, 2013, 2:38 am

      “Not the prettiest solution but a workable one.”

      If one considers the piles of dead bodies that it will cost “a workable solution”.

  12. MHughes976
    January 24, 2013, 4:29 pm

    I think it was indeed a vote for the status quo, ie for continuing the ‘life-preserving’ road blocks, for settlement business as usual and for half-hearted offers to negotiate. It was also a refusal by the Israeli electorate, which is not made up of complete idiots, to back Netanyahu in either of his two confrontations, with Iran or with Obama. So the initiative passes to Obama, who probably will not make much use of it, but could if we wished make genuine efforts to end the confrontation with Iran once the demonised Ahmedinajad is out of the way.

  13. Avi_G.
    January 24, 2013, 4:38 pm

    Alex, you hit a home run with this article.

    • Mooser
      January 24, 2013, 6:02 pm

      “Alex, you hit a home run with this article.”

      Alex could very well win an MVP before the season’s over.

    • eGuard
      January 25, 2013, 2:11 am

      Avi, indeed. Best overview of the results I have seen & learned from. And describing nicely the deceitful position of the U.S. liberal Zionists. Spinning and twinning: an Israeli electorate that, like its counterpart in the United States, …

    • kalithea
      January 25, 2013, 2:40 am

      I would call it in touch with reality.

  14. Donald
    January 24, 2013, 4:39 pm

    “They see the Israeli elections as a triumph for politicians who are going to revive the peace process with the Palestinians ”

    I think that at least in some cases there’s a more cynical explanation–a lot of people use a professed support for the 2ss as a get-out-of-jail free card. Nothing actually has to happen (except the building of more settlements), but people can pretend that there’s some sort of peace process going on that will solve everything at some indefinite point in the future. Some know this , while others are self-deluded.

  15. sardelapasti
    January 24, 2013, 4:45 pm

    Why the heck are we discussing things in the pirates’ own words, like “right, left, center, right-center-right, 118 degrees center-left”, etc?
    Completely ridiculous and without any interest except in the potential for spin and affabulation.
    Are they getting the hell out of the occupied areas and letting the owners of the entire land at least build a really autonomous state without interference, yes or no? As long as the answer is no (and it is no for almost all of them except an almost invisibly thin sliver of deserters and real opposition) there is no use in any of the stupid left-right ping-pong terms. Let’s leave them to the Zionists.

    • kalithea
      January 25, 2013, 2:44 am

      Exactly. There’s no such thing as Left or Center Left in Zionist politics, because there’s no such thing as Democracy under Zionism.

      • yonah fredman
        January 25, 2013, 8:28 am

        sardelpasti and kalithea- There’s something called resolution 242 of the United Nations. Left Zionists consider 242 the basis of a livable future. What do you consider the basis of a livable future? What army will control Lydda airport in your vision?

      • sardelapasti
        January 25, 2013, 9:20 pm

        Who does that Propaganda-Abteilung stooge (or robot?) thinks he is, commanding people to engage in discussion with him? Have you ever seen more ridiculous questions? Zionists quoting UNGA resolutions, ooooh yeah!

  16. Ramzi Jaber
    January 24, 2013, 6:35 pm

    “Israel’s elections ratified the apartheid status quo”, I totally agree Alex.

    BEWARE THE ILLUSION OF CHANGE.

    They are all the same.

  17. Taxi
    January 24, 2013, 7:09 pm

    I took a good look at the article’s foto and lo and behold it was a talking foto and this is what I heard:

    Tzipi: Darling, that’s a beautiful shade of lipstick you’re wearing tonight.
    Shelly: You like it?
    Tzipi: Yes, very Apartheid chic.
    Shelly: I love it too, it’s raspberry flavor.
    Tzipi: That’s wild, Booboo.
    Shelly: Uhuh, just lovely.
    Tzipi: Do you mind if I study it up-close while mondoweissers prattle on about justice and peace and war crimes.
    Shelly: Honey, I’ve always admired your sense of priority and proportion – go ahead, knock yourself out. The anti Apartheid brigade, in fact the whole freaking world can KMA and talk shit about israel till their teeth fall out for all I care. So long as my lips look good, of course – oh and my hair too.
    Tzipi: You’re so cool, I bet you too can give Gaza a real good makeover.
    Shelly: Nobody can paint Gaza like you do, Tzipi. I mean all that White Phosphorous does wonders for the skin, right – and YOU thought of it na-aah YOU did it – you did it and you were the first!
    Tzipi: F*ck Gaza – can we get back to the lipstick now?
    Shelly: Sure. I think yours needs touching up.
    Tzipi: Really? Looking bad right now?
    Shelly: Uhuh, a couple of faded patches.
    Tzipi: Shit! I hate that, don’t you? Hold my seat while I go fix it in the bathroom. Don’t let that dicky metrosexual Lapid take my seat, okay?
    Shelly: Well… I’ll try, but… he does know a lot about lipstick and hair too.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 25, 2013, 1:30 am

      taxi, you’d make an excellent scriptwriter. but shelly’s color is pure prune. and livni? she needs some chapstick.

      • Taxi
        January 25, 2013, 3:43 am

        Annie,
        I went for raspberry cuz when I hear the word raspberry I think of gas escaping from the ehm human backdoor – it’s the influence of two decades spent living in London where people would often use the word ‘raspberry’ to politely describe the anti-sociable pong.

        @Kalithea,
        Vampires are way better looking than politicians. More honest about their blood-lust too.

    • kalithea
      January 25, 2013, 1:36 am

      These two have no clue just how ugly they really are because when they look in the mirror, there’s no reflection.

  18. American
    January 24, 2013, 7:28 pm

    ”I have the same question that Phil Weiss has: when will liberal Zionists give up their dream?”’

    Never.
    They believe the crap……65 years of brainwashing in their heads.
    If it weren’t so maddening, it would be sad—actually it is sad and painful to see people desperately try to rationalize and explain how their dream can be saved.
    The lib zios keep refusing to let anyone give Israel the surgery it needs…they want a painless solution and salvation for Israel’s cancer…in total denial.

  19. Blank State
    January 24, 2013, 7:29 pm

    “Lapid has been derided as a man who has no ideological core, willing to go where the wind blows.”

    In other words: Israel’s Obama.

    • kalithea
      January 25, 2013, 1:20 am

      I really don’t like Obama; but even I find that comparison offensive. Lapid looks like an arrogant, shallow blowhard. More like Trump.

      • yonah fredman
        January 25, 2013, 9:40 am

        Although Phil Weiss’s prediction of Netanyahu’s political demise were premature, the resounding lowering of his status compared to the rising stars of Lapid and Bennett was the primary story of this election. Netanyahu’s lame duck status has been declared by these results and by Larry Derfner. But don’t count Netanyahu out yet. He has no heir apparent in the Likud and Lieberman’s status is iffy and he has no heir either.

        Lapid is the most visible new entrant to the scene. To be upset that he speaks against Palestinians and Hannan Zoabi is an understandable reaction of those who love Palestinians and Hannan Zoabi, but to dismiss him as Donald Trump is very shallow.

        Lapid’s father was Tommy Lapid, a politician who came from the tradition of journalism. Lapid is much better looking than his father and being a video journalist rather than a print journalist he is slicker. but to dismiss him as a Donald Trump is simplistic and unhelpful. It is not analysis. It is anti analysis.

  20. Blank State
    January 24, 2013, 7:37 pm

    “The drive toward another war, this time with Iran, to get the US to launch it and/or fight it, has lost all momentum”

    Actually, not so. For instance, Lapid has not expressed a reluctance to see military action against Iran. Her has, however, expressed a reluctance to launch a unilateral military action against Iran. Seemingly, he’s fine with such an aqction, as long as American soldiers are dying alongside the Iranians and Israelis. Of course, the fewer Israeli deaths, the better, if he is the model of what we have come to expect of the Israelis.

    American deaths resulting from such an action??? Oh, well, thats just a price we have to pay for having such a “valuable ally” as Israel.

  21. kalithea
    January 24, 2013, 7:59 pm

    Tell me something I don’t know…

    “Liberal” Zionists if such an animal exists, are the worst kind of Zionists. They know the deal is dead; they know the only way to fulfill their Zionist dream is to cheat Palestinians of land that is rightfully theirs; land that is already occupied by loonie immigrants from Moldova who they know perfectly well are there to stay. In fact the two-state is a pipe dream and a sham that keeps Palestinians under the Zionist yoke indefinitely. Libie Zios just want to have their cake and eat it too…they represent the ultimate greed, because, these so-called librrrrrrl Zionists are living a cushie, sweet life in New Jersey, NY, Boca and California while clinging to a Zionist dream that they’re holding on to for a “rainy day” and they could care less that Palestinians are being strangled by the occupation and their rights stomped on by immigrant Zionist lunatics. F! Their two-state corpse.

  22. ritzl
    January 24, 2013, 8:04 pm

    Well done, Alex. Good wrap up, and foundation for discussing the near-term dynamics in Israeli politics. Namely, neutral or no change wrt to Palestinians, yet increased forces to annex (which of course drives policies away from neutral/status quo, etc. etc. etc., in circularity; i.e. in terms of government, it can’t be ignored by the “centrist” members, if it is exacerbated by the nutso-colonizer faction of the coalition).

    Not sure the Israeli body politic can ignore that much of a pressing issue though, as much as they may want to, banal faces of Lapid or Bennett at MFA or not.

    It’ll also be interesting to see if Shas (12) goes with (or how much it goes with) the enemy of my enemy tack. Is Lapid’s (19) inclusion (and Likud’s embrace, however tactical) enough of an affront to the Haredim for them to identify with Palestinian-Israelis as victims of the system, and form some tepid, common, though transitory bond?

    It seems to me that this hypothetical coalition is possibly more unstable than a straight “conservative” or traditional coalition, even given its numerical advantage. Time will tell, I guess.

  23. yourstruly
    January 25, 2013, 12:54 am

    israel’s elections ratified the status quo?

    apartheid?

    the need for diverting attention?

    yet with some movement away from an iran war?

    fear of war and sudden violent death?

    of being alone in the world?

    justice for palestine?

    that there be peace on earth?

    goodwill to all living beings?

  24. kalithea
    January 25, 2013, 1:32 am

    This guy Lapid would sell his soul to anyone who fast-tracks him to PM. Come to think of it, does he even have a soul? Do any Zionists have souls?

  25. kalithea
    January 25, 2013, 1:56 am

    Zionist kingmaker and king-in-waiting all rolled into one vapid lapid. No hope there…let’s boycott their ass, asap!

    PN really stands for Peace Never. They must think we were born yesterday, lol! If they think there’s hope with this lapid; THEY must have been born yesterday. But methinks they’re really playing us for fools these librrrul Zios in sheeps’ clothing.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 25, 2013, 2:05 am

      methinks they’re really playing us for fools

      more likely they’re clueless wishful thinkers kalithea

  26. clubroma
    January 25, 2013, 4:32 am

    I can’t believe the attention and scutiny given to the latest Isreali election. Surely you realise that its irrelevant. Over the last 40-50 years, the so-called ‘liberal zionist’ have made gains and even held government. Its not going to change the momentum for ‘greater Isreal’. The last person to try and make a change ended up with a bullet in his head.
    Isreal has 2 basic desires, (1) Land and (2) War .
    This election hasn’t changed that equation.

  27. yonah fredman
    January 25, 2013, 7:43 am

    In answer to the question: when will liberal zionists give up on their dream of a two state solution, the answer is: after (not immediately after, but certainly not before) the PLO gives up on a two state solution and asks for one man one vote. Until that time, the politics will not demand anything of the liberal zionists. (The politics rather than the idealism.)

    • Castellio
      January 25, 2013, 5:56 pm

      A fair comment.

      If the Palestinians are fighting for a two state – whatever that means – then the liberal Zionists will concur, delay, and covertly expand. We know this empirically.

      If the Palestinians demand one person one vote in a unified state then the liberal Zionists will…. ?

      • Sibiriak
        January 26, 2013, 12:34 am

        Castellio:

        If the Palestinians are fighting for a two state – whatever that means – then the liberal Zionists will concur, delay, and covertly expand.

        Until *forced* by external and internal pressures to acquiesce to a territorially shrunken, semi-sovereign, demilitarized Palestinian “state”.

        If the Palestinians demand one person one vote in a unified state then the liberal Zionists will….

        …Categorically reject that demand, since it is incompatible with Zionism.

      • JeffB
        January 26, 2013, 8:19 am

        @Castellio —

        If the Palestinians demand one person one vote in a unified state then the liberal Zionists will…. ?

        Do exactly what they did in the 1950s. Perceive RoR plus democracy as a threat to the Jewish state and be unabashedly and openly willing to resist.

        _____

        In 1973 The Israelis were doing badly in their war against Syria. They sent up a second group of armor to hold off the Syrians for a few days till the main armor groups could arrive. It was entirely possible they would fail to hold Syria.

        Moshe Dayan ordered Israeli planes were loaded up nuclear weapons in case their 2nd round tank forces in Golan didn’t hold out long enough for the main armor to arrive. What generally isn’t understood in the west is that what Israel was planning on nuking would have been the Syrian armor in Israel proper, near Israeli cities. Let me just repeat that. When actually confronted with the possibility of the choice of , in reality not in theory, Israelis decided they would rather hit their own cities with nuclear weapons than live under an Arab government.

        Now let me compound that. Everyone Israel knows this. And everyone (more or less) thinks Dayan made the right decision. There is a broad consensus in Israel that’s how much they don’t want to live in an Arab state.

        Liberal Zionists will reject RoR + one-man one vote in a heartbeat without having to think twice.

      • ritzl
        January 26, 2013, 7:03 pm

        Agree, Castellio. It is a fair comment.

  28. joemowrey
    January 25, 2013, 9:37 am

    This is the same form of delusion that so-called progressives in the U.S. suffer from concerning Obama. It’s a guilt thing. They can’t admit they have supported something (and/or someone) which is so obviously contrary to their core values and beliefs. So liberal Zionists support Zionism and progressives support Barack Obama. Rather than accept how mistaken they have been, they live in la-la land and pretend this will bring about change. Sad, really.

    • JeffB
      January 25, 2013, 5:20 pm

      @Joe Mowrey —

      America is a two party state. In a closely contested election not supporting Obama would have been supporting Romney. Progressives learned their lessen when they frivolously supported Ralph Nader and got George W Bush elected president with a Republican Senate and House.

  29. Sibiriak
    January 25, 2013, 11:39 am

    All of these settlements are illegal under international law and effectively foreclose the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state.

    Perhaps most “liberal [sic] Zionists” really don’t believe that a Palestinian “state” has to be contiguous, and that this will do:

    annex the settlement blocks including Ariel, possibly all of Area C.

    ….Declare Area A and B independent.
    …call A, B and Gaza a state

  30. piotr
    January 26, 2013, 11:11 am

    A positive and yet realistic view of the election results is that “Lapid will go where the wind will blow”. And he collected votes more or less on that platform.

    In other words, “middle Israeli voters” expects a peace process in which they will get as much as Israel can get away with. The politicians should press to get as much as possible, but not to the point of dangerous Masada-like inflexibility. Netanyahu with his feints and occasional concession which were derided by the right wing fanatics, however minor, represented that consensus well until the purge of moderates inside Likud. (Additionally, the merger of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu damaged the illusion that the later party represents the interests of recent immigrants from USSR/CIS, but these issues are not relevant at the moment).

    Thus the missing ingredient is “the wind”. The most modest requirement is that Israel agrees to negotiations with the precondition of settlement freeze including East Jerusalem. If American liberal Zionists will once again try to stop that, they will remain idiots and hypocrites, and of course the same goes for the rest of American liberals. The wind has to come from USA.

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