Israeli election revealed ‘a total lack of political mobilization against’ the occupation

Days ago we published Alex Kane’s analysis that the occupation won in the Israeli election. That view now has support from several other poll-watchers. Yesterday I pointed out David Remnick’s view that Israel did not move to the left with this election, and that the Israeli indifference to Palestinian suffering is tragic. Yousef Munayyer sounds the same themes in a grim post analyzing the results and finding that “Israel runs a brutal military occupation over millions of disenfranchised Palestinians and has done so for decades, but the vast majority of Israelis are detached from this reality. The occupation has become relatively cost-free for Israelis.”

Munayyer focuses on the great middle of Israeli Jewish voters, to whom Yair Lapid appealed:

How is the non-settler, non-Arab Israeli vote split? Rather than perpetuate these misnomers of right and left which are less appropriate for this type of system (I explain more of this here), I’d rather look at it as the divide between Netanyahu’s friends, or natural allies, and his “frenemies” (those who have been in opposition but could still join his coalition).

Well Munayyer says that vote splits 56-44 for Netanyahu’s friends. I.e., the centrist mass of Jewish voters is right-leaning. Indeed, as I discovered when I interviewed Jerusalemites in November. Munayyer says the long-term trend is for Israeli Jewish society to get more rightwing:

The Zionist parties in opposition to Netanyahu consistently exclude Arabs from possible coalitions. But a steady and growing Arab voting block means the space for the Zionist non-Netanyahu vote continues to shrink. Add to this the fact that the settler vote, which is naturally allied with Netanyahu and again not reflected in this chart, is also steady and growing, significantly. 

So this means that, yes, structurally Israeli politics is set on a high-speed course toward the right. There really isn’t any other realistic option. There is only one way this really changes. Something revolutionary needs to occur among non-Arab, non-settler Israeli voters to shake up this dynamic. In a sense this already has, and the popular mobilization that brought Israelis into the streets in 2011 to protest the high price of cottage cheese, among other things, was reflected in the relative success of parties like Yesh Atid and Labor. 
 
But the total absence of political mobilization against Netanyahu’s colonial policies toward the Palestinians was also reflected. Parties like Labor and Yesh Atid, which are the so-called “center-left,” are largely mute when it comes to challenging the occupation. If anything, Lapid’s support for perpetual Israeli control of settlements like Ariel and Maale Addumim, plus his insistence on the perpetual occupation of of Jerusalem, shows that the “center” itself has moved right on issues related to occupation and Palestinians.
 

Does the opposition have any potential to push for an end to the occupation? Put simply, no. That opposition will be led by Labor, whose showing in this election was extremely disappointing. They won only two seats more than they did in 2009, despite the demise of Kadima, which should have meant lots of voters for them to pick up. But even if they had done better, it would have been discouraging. Labor leader Shelly Yachimovitch avoided the occupation like the plague in her campaign. Indeed, she did almost nothing to challenge Bibi [Netanyahu] on defense in any way. If Livni does not join the government, she will be the loudest voice in the opposition calling for negotiations, but, as we saw during her time as Foreign Minister from Kadima, her willingness to actually conclude a deal does not match her rhetoric, which itself is the product of the failed Oslo process to which she remains wed…

But anyone who believes this government is going to do anything more to end the occupation is simply dreaming. What it does have the ability to do is cast more of an illusion than its predecessor. With all the new settlement units that were announced just in the past year, this government can actually accelerate settlement growth significantly without announcing new plans. In other words, they can expand quietly, without the controversy the last government constantly courted. This government can also say nicer things to the Palestinians, even find a way to sit down with them if they can do the dance well enough, without ever having to make any real progress. That’s what this election left us. The picture is not pretty.

For the counter-view, here is the latest from Jeremy Ben-Ami at J Street, “Window of Opportunity” in which he sees Obama throwing himself into the peace process:

We should take heart that the centrist heart of Israeli politics is alive and well, and the seemingly inexorable rise of the ultra-right has been halted. There remains a solid majority in Israel for a two-state solution. Netanyahu’s do-nothing policies were rejected by both the right and the left. Given the circumstances, this result is almost the best we could have hoped for and far better than expected.

An ultra-right wing government stacked with backers of the settlement movement would have made it very difficult to make progress toward a two-state solution. A broader, center-right coalition including some prominent supporters of a peace deal opens a window of opportunity for President Obama to launch a new initiative to solve the conflict with the Palestinians. The State of the Union Address on February 12 presents an early opportunity to make his intentions clear.

As soon as the new coalition is in place, Secretary of State Kerry should visit the Middle East to lay the groundwork for renewed diplomacy, as he intimated he might in his confirmation hearing yesterday.

We will then urge the President to put forward his own blueprint and timetable for an agreement and to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah later this year to kick-start the process.

I guess we’ll know pretty soon how likely is this scenario, of American action.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 44 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Krauss says:

    Here’s the thing that everyone, even smart people like Remnick, have missed. The only reason Lapid got so many votes was because he understands one fundamental truth: there isn’t any serious debate inside Israel on the Occupation anymore. The Israeli public know Lapid won’t rock the boat, so then it became a referendum on the economy, where Bibi’s neoliberal policies are quite unpopular. Bibi would have preferred a candidate like Livni, no matter how flawed she is, she is still far more focused on the ‘peace process’ such as it is.

    Therefore, the Israeli (Jewish) consensus on permanent Occupation and Apartheid would have emerged and people would have taken an economic hit in exchange for Likud policy on the foreign arena and on the Occupation.

    Remnick didn’t buy the myth of Lapid the peacenik, but he never went far enough to explain just how meaningless this victory for Lapid is. Simply because the right has already won the debate. It’s over. As soon as you see a genuine pro-peace emerge, no matter how fractured, the Israeli public will overwhemingly vote for Likud and the settlers.

    Finally, something many missed is that a record 40 MKs are now Orthodox Jews in the Knesset. If you look at the Jewish Orthodox parties they are Shas and United Torah Judaism, together they hold about 19 seats. But then you got a bunch of Orthodox Jews in Likud too as well as in Bennett’s party.

    Netanyahu could form a coalition of 61 with only the Orthodox parties. With Kadima he gets to 63, and it’d be a quite stable coalition. He doesn’t really need Lapid but he needs a public face to drive the austerity through and Netanyahu also understands that the Israeli public wants more from the Haredi. After all, Bibi wants the next term as Prime Minister as well. He knows what needs to be done to get re-elected a fourth time.

    A final word on the comic mass delusion among liberal Zionists in America.

    My favorite delusional Zionist was and remains J.J. Goldberg from the Forward, who went straight ahead last summer when Mofaz and Netanyahu made their ‘megacoalition’. Goldberg almost spat out his excitement – after all, he has bought the myth of ‘moderate Bibi shackled by his right-wing coalition’ full stop – that now, finally, “Bibi is unwound to begin his push for peace that he couldn’t do earlier”. A few weeks later the coalition collapsed.

    Now he’s back, at Beinart’s Open Zion and sarcastically slams the ‘smart money’ for being totally wrong. Lapid is a peacenik and how dare we not see this?

    If history is any guide, JJ Goldberg will be wrong this time too.
    In fact, it’s suffice just to make some basic observations about the MK’s who got elected. Israel has shifted further to the right on the Occupation and Apartheid, but now cottage cheese prices from Jews in Tel Aviv matter more too, that is true.

    • American says:

      ‘Krauss says:
      January 26, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Here’s the thing that everyone, even smart people like Remnick, have missed. The only reason Lapid got so many votes was because he understands one fundamental truth: there isn’t any serious debate inside Israel on the Occupation anymore.””

      From what I read in the Israeli papers Lapid campaigned mainly on ‘domestic issues’….wealth inequality, housing, jobs etc……I think the domestic issues accounts for the votes he got.
      The fact that he is a inexperienced political newbie and has joined Netanyahu says he won’t be any kind of leader for ending I/P….he will probably play around with domestic issues and follow Netanyahu on everything else.

    • Ramzi Jaber says:

      Michael Koplow had an article in Foreign Affairs (Jan 23, 2013) on the election results concluding:

      “In short, neither the rise of Yesh Atid nor Likud’s decline means that the Israeli center won. Rather, they show that the hard-line right opted to move even further right, and the non-ideological right opted to back a softer version of the agenda it already supported.”

      It just echoes what Kraus concluded:

      “In fact, it’s suffice just to make some basic observations about the MK’s who got elected. Israel has shifted further to the right on the Occupation and Apartheid, but now cottage cheese prices from Jews in Tel Aviv matter more too, that is true.”

      Having lived with the occupation for years and seen Israeli/Zionist politics first hand, I share the following:

      The ruling party or coalition does NOT matter. The Zionist goal remains the same: take ALL the land of Palestine while MINIMIZING the number of Palestinians in it. Pure and simple. Everything else is just spin to fog the true Zionist colonial goal.

    • seafoid says:

      Krauss

      Nobody in Israel will get elected by telling the voters”We can’t continue like this- we need peace. It will save our country but your income will fall by 20%”
      So the occupation rolls on and brings Israel ever closer to the cliff.

  2. joemowrey says:

    Much the same as elections in this country revealed a total lack of mobilization against war, extrajudicial assassinations, extraordinary rendtition, etc. etc. The societies in both Israel and the U.S. have at their core a narcissistic mind set. Just one of the “shared values” we hear so much about.

    • JeffB says:

      Joemowrey –

      extrajudicial assassinations

      The reason there is no opposition to extrajudicial assassination is that there is no other center-left plan for dealing with Al-Qaeda. They’ve been really impressive over the last decade fighting the US in about 40 countries and picking new territories.

      I don’t think anyone is thrilled with the idea of the having huge numbers of killer robots bombing people based on a list secretly drawn up at the White House, including Obama and Brennan. I think everyone agrees there needs to be more checks and balances and ultimately this isn’t a great way to conduct foreign relations.

      If you know of another viable suggestion given all the manifold problems I think everyone left to right is all ears.

      • American says:

        “If you know of another viable suggestion given all the manifold problems I think everyone left to right is all ears.””…jeffb

        I would go along with extrajudicial assassinations in some cases. …one being if the US and Israel can use them as war strategy then our enemies are entitled to use them against us. I would even say that if our ‘leaders’ can use extrajudicial imprisonment and without trials by law that citizens have the right to retaliate ‘outside of the law’ also.
        When one side makes up their own rules and laws then any opposers have the right to make up their own also.
        If you create a gunslinger Wild Wild West than you have to live in it and take your chances.

      • Mndwss says:

        “They’ve been really impressive over the last decade fighting the US in about 40 countries and picking new territories.”

        “If you know of another viable suggestion given all the manifold problems I think everyone left to right is all ears.”

        Are all ears open now?

        Get out of those 40 countries.

        Take a hint, if people do not like you and try to kill you, you must be doing something wrong….

        It is just a viable suggestion….

      • sardelapasti says:

        “If you know of another viable suggestion given all the manifold problems I think everyone left to right is all ears”

        If they don’t know it they have nothing between the ears: Get the fxx out of wherever you don’t belong.

      • lysias says:

        Simply ignoring Al Qaeda would do less harm than indulging in drone killing.

      • Extrajudicial assassinations in Israel are politically motivated, and have nothing to do with Al Qaeda.

      • Hostage says:

        I don’t think anyone is thrilled with the idea of the having huge numbers of killer robots bombing people based on a list secretly drawn up at the White House, including Obama and Brennan. . . . If you know of another viable suggestion given all the manifold problems I think everyone left to right is all ears.

        That’s pathetic. The President is murdering men of military age in signature killings because an analyst/bureaucrat suspects them of acting suspiciously. In the alternative we are killing people on the basis of tips obtained from their political enemies that is no more reliable than the information that caused Senator Ted Kennedy to be stopped and questioned five times because his name appeared on the government’s secret no-fly list.

        The only viable solution is the one we came up with by national consensus two hundred years ago in the 5th and 6th Amendments and the rules of evidence for treason in Article III of the Constitution. They were affirmed in landmark cases, like Ex parte Milligan and Reid v Covert and no creature of the Constitution, including the President or the Congress has any authority to violate them.

      • jimmy says:

        maybe talk with them…

      • joemowrey says:

        JeffB,

        Ah yes. How do we “deal” with Al-Qaeda? Your comment suggests you actually believe that randomly killing people we deem to be a threat makes us “secure.” Oh, and if a few of their innocent neighbors die in the process, gosh, sorry about that. The bloody history of European and Western intervention and destruction of Muslim/Arab countries and their cultures aside (in answer to the question, “Why do they hate us?”) the fact is, slaughtering people we “suspect” are “terrorists,” along with their inconveniently placed wives and children, only produces more “terrorists.” It is not just an immoral and barbaric behavior unbecoming of civilized cultures, it is a counterproductive strategy.

        “They” don’t “hate us for our freedoms” (which are ever diminishing, by the way). They hate us because we rape and pillage their countries, their cultures and their economies, then kill their families.

      • ritzl says:

        @JeffB “all ears”…

        Well, if that’s the case, then talking to “them,” with the first and most demonstrably sincere expression of that/some/any desire for actual dialog and/or problem solving being stop killing them and their families before the fact (i.e. actually solicit and address the problem), is the way out of this self-perpetuating, war-mongering/-reveling morass. That would seem to belie your “all ears” observation.

        In the case of the US, we don’t talk to “them,” at least as indicated by the public pronouncements and/or contradictions in those pronouncements. In the case of Israel, it’s never been tried, certainly at any good faith level.

        The fact that we (US) don’t appear to be “all ears” seems to be the result of some political enforcement mechanism, because it sure doesn’t seem to be a product of any core problem-solving desire.

        I have to say that reading your recent comments here, you seem to completely gloss over, or outright ignore, The Obvious in your analyses and contentions. That seems so, I don’t know, obliviously self-serving? It’s like you’re assertively trying to say that 30% of the/an issue is the whole issue, and get the rest of us to subscribe to that. It’s strange (and easily recognized) behaviour, though not uncommon, particularly on this issue.

        • JeffB says:

          @ritzl –

          We have talked to them. During the 1980s we were heavily involved with them. During the 1990s we worked together on things like Kosovo. In places like Iraq we certainly had serious negotiations that the effects of their policies would be throwing Iraq into the Iranian orbit.

          They want stuff we have no intention of giving. They are attempting to get it by force. We are attempting to resist by force. In other places the roles are reversed. It is not like we don’t understand each other’s motives.

          Talk to them is a silly cliche. At the very least put forward a real proposal that you think they would accept and we would be willing to offer.

          Of course we have a real desire to solve the problem. Al Qaeda is a couple hundred billion dollar a year bleed on the economy. Al Qaeda is well aware of the cost, track it and talk about it quite frequently with pride. They are well aware of our genuine desire.
          _____

          As for my all ears comment is was directed at critics of the drone policy not Al-Qaeda.

        • In places like Iraq we certainly had serious negotiations that the effects of their policies would be throwing Iraq into the Iranian orbit.

          please! this is absurd. how could AQ or any entity possibly be perceived as throwing iraq into iran’s orbit more than our invasion of iraq and literally hand delivering the government to iranian proxies like hakim and the badr brigades trained in iran? don’t pretend AQ’s was responsible for ‘throwing’ iraq into iran’s orbit. we’re not idiots here.

          They want stuff we have no intention of giving. They are attempting to get it by force. We are attempting to resist by force.

          iow, you don’t think we are in a competitive resource race. we’re just doodling around in the ME as the globe’s policemen. somehow your argument isn’t compelling. the rise of AQ was directly related to US imperial interests in the ME. that’s not really in dispute. we’re notin the role of ‘resistors’ in the ME. we’re the invaders.

        • JeffB says:

          @annie

          please! this is absurd. how could AQ or any entity possibly be perceived as throwing iraq into iran’s orbit more than our invasion of iraq and literally hand delivering the government to iranian proxies like hakim and the badr brigades trained in iran? don’t pretend AQ’s was responsible for ‘throwing’ iraq into iran’s orbit. we’re not idiots here.

          First off US policy was always to encourage a Sunni coup. When we ousted the Ba’ath government we had no interest in creating a Shia state, we had an interest in peacefully developing the resources of Iraq and shifting which companies got the oil contracts. It was only after the Sunni uprising, led by Al Qaeda that we fully backed the Shiites. And incidentally as soon as the Sunni became more cooperative, we became more balanced.

          Yes, Al Qaeda made their choice. Iraq could have remained a Sunni controlled state.

          . the rise of AQ was directly related to US imperial interests in the ME.

          The rise of Al Qaeda was directly related to anti-Nassarist positions during the cold war. If you want to consider anything the US does as “imperialism” then sure. But that’s not really meaningful. Because under your theory you would have Al Qaeda helping us during the 1980s advancing imperialism, Al Qaeda on both sides during the 1990s and Al Qaeda fighting imperialism during the 2000s. We want control the resources, the Soviets wanted control of the resources, Al Qaeda wants control of the resources, pan Arabists movements want control of the resources, local populations want control of the resources. The various players all compete with one another. They resist us, we resist them.

          Al Qaeda isn’t anti imperialistic, look at the recent violence in Northern Mali or their actions in the Sudan. Looking at any place where you examine how the populations live where Al Qaeda has taken control its hard to consider them “good guys” in your imperialists vs. brave natives narratives.

        • First off US policy was always to encourage a Sunni coup….. It was only after the Sunni uprising, led by Al Qaeda that we fully backed the Shiites.

          source.

        • JeffB says:

          @annie

          Sure: 1996 link to guardian.co.uk
          1998 the Iraq regime change act is when we decided to change the regime.
          Ahmad Chalabi and the debate about how to topple saddam in the leadup to war: link to newyorker.com

          And as for how that went awry: link to en.wikipedia.org

        • jeff, just blockquote the section that demonstrates how AQ threw iraq into iran’s orbit more than our invasion of iraq, after all that was your allegation.

          you can’t blame AQ for our invasion of iraq. what a piece of garbage.

          as for ‘US policy was always to encourage a Sunni coup.’ just provide a blockquote demonstrating how we encouraged a sunni coup after we invaded iraq. or are you going blame our invasion on AQ? AQ was not in iraq when we invaded it. we set up a shia government soon after the invasion,which was part of the plan. in fact sunnis were systematically purged from government positions. so please don’t pan off our alliance with shia as the fault of AQ. of course people were going resist our invasion.

          you can’t say oh, you resisted therefore we just had to throw iraq over to iran and make it your fault! spare us.

          this is from hersh 3/02 a year before we invaded iraq.

          Exile groups supported by the I.N.C. have been conducting sabotage operations inside Iraq, targeting oil refineries and other installations. The latest attack took place on January 23rd, an I.N.C. official told me, when missiles fired by what he termed “indigenous dissidents” struck the large Baiji refinery complex, north of Baghdad… The I.N.C.’s critics note that Chalabi, despite years of effort and millions of dollars in American aid, is intensely unpopular today among many elements in Iraq… The key participants, known to some C.I.A. officials as the “gang of four,” include representatives from the fiercely anti-Saddam Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; its archrival, the Kurdistan Democratic Party; the pro-Iran Supreme Islamic Council for Revolution in Iraq, a Shiite resistance group; and the Iraqi National Accord, headed by Ayad Allawi, a doctor who left Iraq in the seventies. The factions are now meeting regularly in London,

          that’s your own link.

        • Shingo says:

          Looking at any place where you examine how the populations live where Al Qaeda has taken control its hard to consider them “good guys” in your imperialists vs. brave natives narratives.

          False argument. The fact that they are anti imperialists does not mean they are good guys.

  3. seanmcbride says:

    The Mideast peace process and two-state solution as hatched by liberal Zionists like Shimon Peres and Dennis Ross was a con game from the very start — and liberal Zionists are struggling to stretch out this con game for as long as possible, while the Israeli government continues to establish facts on the ground to support the messianic mission of building biblical Greater Israel.

    For anyone to be taken in by this scam in the year 2013 would be utterly shameful and disgraceful — and speak poorly of one’s mental faculties.

    • jon s says:

      Here’s my take on the election results :

      1. We’ve been told for years that from year to year, election to election, Israel is inexorably drifting to the Right. Well, that wasn’t the case this time. Netanyahu and his party were given a slap in the face, losing around 1/4 of the votes they received last time. Lots of people have had it up to here with the palace intrigues of the Bibizantyne Empire. It’s true that part of that loss went to other extreme Rightwing parties, especially Bennet’s Habayit Hayehudi. But that’s not the whole story: there was also a shift from the Right to the Center (thus Lapid’s achievement) and from the Center to the Left (thus Meretz’ achievement. ) Not a victory, but moderately encouraging.
      2. The Center : past experience shows that Center parties are one-hit wonders . They always disintegrate before the next elections : “DASH”, the Center Party, Shinui, Kadima…Maybe the “Center” is an illusion in Israeli politics.
      3. Labour: Yehimovitz thought she could campaign purely as a Social Democrat, while ignoring the “gorilla in the room”: the “minor” matter of the territories, the settlements, the Palestinians, war or peace…Sort of reminded me of the “Don’t mention the war!” episode of Fawlty Towers.
      4. Meretz: there’s something to be said for integrity, hard work and staying loyal to your principles. Great job ! (and –maybe next time- not an all-Ashkenazi faction.)
      5. The Arab vote: a higher percentage of Israel’s Palestinian citizens voted compared with the previous election, but, still, too many don’t vote. If the Arab turnout had been the same as in the Jewish sector- Netanyahu wouldn’t be Prime Minister.

      • ritzl says:

        Well said, jon s. Particularly on #5.

        Given the vote totals, this time they’re as always marginal, but there are noises being made about inclusion in government this time. That is new, imo.

        Whether they would or would not be is a separate issue. I don’t remember ANY discussion of them being included, ever. This suggests that there is an embryonic dynamic coming into play in Israeli politics. A dynamic that points to a new tack in solving this problem.

        I hope Palestinian-Israelis take note. There’s significance there, but it’s really hard to tell what, or the extent of, that significance is at the moment.

        I think it signifies that, despite all the left-right-centrist BS analysis, and despite all the willful ignorance in Israeli voter preference (to ignore, or that the Occupied Palestinians are ignorable, replaced by “as-if-’it’-wasn’t-happening” “domestic” focus), the central issue of Israeli politics isn’t going to go away. I hope Palestinian-Israelis are buoyed by that, and respond in the future.

    • One thing should never be forgotten. This was the Allon plan long before Mr Ross added to the sum of human woes. I will try not to break Godwin’s law, but there are definite parallels.

  4. yourstruly says:

    re: going from the ultra right to the broad center right?

    for giving peace a chance?

    or for the final stand?

    masada?

    on whose mind?

  5. American says:

    “As soon as the new coalition is in place, Secretary of State Kerry should visit the Middle East to lay the groundwork for renewed diplomacy, as he intimated he might in his confirmation hearing yesterday.
    We will then urge the President to put forward his own blueprint and timetable for an agreement and to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah later this year to kick-start the process”

    Oh sure…lol
    Nope, O should not go and not give them what they want—->which is to be center stage in “phony peace talks” to tamp down or remove the heat they are getting from EU and the rest of the world.
    It’s another ploy, don’t do it.
    Better to ignore Isr entirely unless O is ready to go in loaded for bear and actually ‘intervene’ and I doubt he’s up to that.

  6. Bumblebye says:

    All the ptb in Israel want is for the status quo to continue. Every day they gain a little more control over a little more stolen Palestinian land, and never are there any adverse consequences for them – only for the Palestinians.
    Our own corrupt politicians (those of all three major parties who are members of their respective ‘friends of Israel’ groups) attended a shindig organised by BICOM on the eve of the election, pushing the settlement product ‘Sodastream’.
    link to liberalconspiracy.org
    “Organisers of the event were publicising the Israeli company SodaStream (a fizzy drinks makers), having the company’s carbonators on hand to provide soft drinks. Sodastream was name-checked by Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub from the platform and BICOM was thanked for promoting a great Israeli export. “

  7. jimmy says:

    once again I will ask Phil and co. to start a newsletter with best articles of the week from Mondoweiss…

    hand deliver them to every member of congress…maybe with some sort of reference to…the weekly standard…if you read that…then you should read this

  8. amigo says:

    link to 972mag.com

    Link to Yair,s party platform.

    Hardly a centrist as the hasbara brigade would have the world believe.

    Here is Mark Weiss writing in the Irish Times today.

    “Mr Lapid supports renewing peace negotiations with the Palestinians”

    Of course he does but does he support genuine Peace Talks or just the usual playing for time talks while illegal settlement expansiuon continues.

  9. Before the elections we were warned that the elections would belong to Bennett and Feiglin. In fact the star of the elections was Yair Lapid. Is he a sign that the future will be good for the Palestinians? No. But is his ascendancy as bad as news as Bennett and Feiglin. No. But those who hate Israel would have preferred the real haters of Arabs like Bennett (policy) and Feiglin (a true hater of all nonJews in Israel’s domain), rather than Lapid with his penchant towards the center.

    Will Lapid bring the utopian age? No. But he is better news than Feiglin and Bennett. But you, Mondoweiss denizens, would prefer the blatant haters than anything mixed. But you dudes, can’t even talk to Meretz. (not that Meretz has any power, but you hate anyone who uses the word Zionism or the Jewish people or the Jewish future or anything that says anything but Satanism and pure evil about anything Jewish except intermarriage and conversion.) of course, I exaggerate. so don’t take me literally.

  10. amigo says:

    ” No. But is his ascendancy as bad as news as Bennett and Feiglin. No. But those who hate Israel would have preferred the real haters of Arabs like Bennett (policy) and Feiglin (a true hater of all nonJews in Israel’s domain), rather than Lapid with his penchant towards the center.”yf

    “Lapid said that he does not care what the Arabs want. “What I want is not a new Middle East, but to be rid of them and put a tall fence between us and them.”

    Or,

    Israel “must at last get rid of the Palestinians and put a fence between us,” he said, adding that “there will be no ‘new Middle East,’ but at least there won’t be three million Palestinians in Israeli territory.”

    So he is not a real Arab hater?.

    Only in zioland could that claim be found.

    Now if you can enlighten us as to what this “Israeli Territory” looks like, then we can discuss his Penchant for the centre.

  11. I will study the comments made by Mister Lapid to read the context. I have heard this quote before. He wants a total divorce between Israel and Palestine. I think this is his context. I would not use his language. I don’t share his goal. But what is your goal in the I/P conflict? One state where everyone gets along and sings kumbaya. Lapid does not believe in that. He believes the Arab spring and its spirit, as in the spirit of the current tense of Morsi and MB in Egypt, Hamas in Gaza and anarchy in Syria, is a spirit that bodes ill for Jewish Israelis. Do you disagree? But in that spirit. he wishes the Palestinians away. You wish the Zionists away and he wishes the Palestinians away. Neither you nor he will get your way.

    • Ramzi Jaber says:

      yonah, please explain to me what you see the meaning of a “Jewish AND democratic” state to be in the context of the Zionist agenda? Thank you.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Ramzi Jaber,

        yonah, please explain to me what you see the meaning of a “Jewish AND democratic” state to be in the context of the Zionist agenda? Thank you.

        There is another way to approach this issue: does yonah believe that white Christians in the United States and Europe should have the right to treat non-white Christians (including Jews) in the same way that Israel treats Palestinians?

        Is yonah consistent in his support of modern democratic values?

      • Ramzi Jaber- Jewish and democratic can be a contradiction, but it need not be, as in: the only aspect of Jewish refers to the official holidays or it refers to the immigration policy favoring Jewish immigration.

        I realize that referring to the Arab population as a demographic danger, which is very common, is an anti democratic impulse. Although i must confess that there is a real danger (maybe not clear and present danger, but not totally outlandish either, as in Muslim Brotherhood taking over Israel through the ballot box and the Israeli nonJewish population voting in a Morsi to be the prime minister of Israel.)

        The US polity is based on the US constitution, and even though the history of the US has an ethnic character to it, that ethnic character is changing and the existence of the constitution is the essence of what America stands for. Israel (from a Zionist point of view) stands for the idea that the Jews are unsafe as a minority, which was certainly the case in Europe between 1881 and 1945 and as far as can be pointed out, is true, or would be true in the Arab Islamic world 2013 where any minority group is in danger. To ensure Jewish majority status and the desire for pure democracy that has no ethnic character are contradictory, nonetheless, pure democracy does not exist in many places in the world and thus to demand pure democracy is not unrealistic, but it is setting a high standard.

        • Ramzi Jaber says:

          yonah, thanks for the reply.

          You state “Jewish and democratic can be a contradiction”. Actually, it IS a contradiction, not it CAN be. Look at Iran and Saudi Arabia, even maybe Pakistan and Egypt (although they had elections, the society is not democratic). I cannot see a way around having to chose one of the two: religion or democracy. Israel must chose ONE.

          The USA Founding Fathers have understood this and hence enshrined the separation of state and religion (although it may not look that way with the Tea Party, extreme republicans, and fundamentalist Evangelicals).

          As to the”real danger” you describe where Moslems would overtake Israel at the ballot box and endanger the Jews, this line of thought is grounded in the fact that Zionism deliberately confused the narrative by wanting a country as opposed to protecting the Jews where Zionism used religion to connive world powers to grant it a state in Palestine. That is where the problem started.

          Growing up under the Israeli occupation in Palestine, I recall the countless stories and anecdotes that my grandparents told me about the totally peaceful and mutually respectful co-existence between Palestinians (Christians and Moslems) and Jews who lived in Palestine before the Zionists arrived. That all changed when the Zionists arrived and started to steal and claim Palestinian land to establish a STATE. The focus of Zionism should have been and should now be on protecting the Jews as a minority in any and every country in the world, not to take someone else’s land or to try to defend how Israel is democratic and jewish at all costs including killing Palestinians and keeping an entire nation emprisoned without basic human rights or dignity. It is for this reason that you see a “real danger”, caused by the Zionist agenda.

          So yes, there is no pure democracy since humans are not perfect. But trying to mix democratic and Jewish will not work as evidenced so far after more than 60 years. Jewish Israelis need to recognize that fact for the benefit of all and humbly start the reconciliation process with those they wronged.

    • So if you make a two state solution impossible through colonisation and occupation, and you find a one state solution risible, then do tell us what your solution is. No doubt the standard Israeli solution – the status quo, which is an apartheid Israeli state. Lapid and all the other demagogues think they can keep the apartheid state with the pretence that Palestine is divorced from them – exactly the same ‘solution’ as S Africa tried to foster on the world with its creation of artificial bantustans. Meanwhile the IDF keeps up the harassment, punishment and killing it routinely practises – 4 deaths of unarmed civilians this week, but not news in hands-on-its-ears Isurreal.

      • justicewillprevail- I supported Meretz in this last election, so do not equate my position with Lapid’s position. I do not know that his proposal can stand the test of time and I suspect it cannot.

        Lapid was barely on my radar a few weeks ago and I am still trying to adjust to his sudden appearance. Compared to someone like Livni, he seems to have a bright future in Israeli politics, so therefore he is someone we will have plenty of time to deal with. It is less than a week since the elections and attempting to dissect or digest Lapid, the new kid on the block, is just beginning. The tendency here on this web site in the comments section is to categorize and dismiss. No need to understand him. He ain’t no centrist. He sux. He’s a racist. He’s donald trump. He’s oprah winfrey. These aren’t attempts to understand him. They reflect the general dismissal of “dialogue” to the point that there’s no need to understand. Who needs a magnifying glass when you have a paint brush to paint in broad strokes. No need to understand. Well, sorry. That’s a pretty sorry excuse for reporting or interest in the situation. I have more at stake and feel we need Sherlock Holmes rather than Tom Sawyer’s friends.

  12. May I respectfully suggest that more important than Mr. Lapid’s election to the Knesset, was Moshe Feiglin’s.

    Feiglin is a reincarnation of Rabbi Meir Kahane. But whereas Kahane had to create his own party to run for, and win a seat in, the Knesset, and both he and his party were eventually expelled from the Knesset, Feiglin ran on the Likud ticket and thus will never be expelled.

    When the Likud allowed a Kahanist to set up a faction inside itself, it made a dramatic turn away from the anti-racist consensus that heretofore had predominated. Menachem Begin (and Jabotinsky) at least claimed to be anti-racist. Feiglin makes no such claim.

    That Feiglin now sits within the ruling party’s Knesset bloc, and heads a faction that won 26% of the Likud membership’s vote in an internal party leadership vote, speaks volumes about how far Kahanism has come in recent years.