Swift change in attitudes on same-sex marriage portends swift change on… marriage to Israel

on 35 Comments

Do the attitudes we express on this site reflect a general American trend? Absolutely. Chemi Shalev in Haaretz writes that Israel’s image is swiftly changing among young cultural leaders, so fast it may not be possible to convince Americans to like Israel anymore. Note his analysis of the new generation of Americans who know Israel as the butcher of Gaza. And he calls American support for Israel that country’s number one asset. Oh the entitlement issues of the bully with a rich uncle.

Shalev begins by citing polling, then moves on to the inevitable disaffection with Israel among young liberal Democrats.

older, conservative and Republican Americans tend to prefer Israel over the Palestinians by overwhelming numbers, while younger, liberal and Democratic Americans are more ambivalent…. Thus, while Israel’s continues to enjoy substantial overall support in the American public, its weakest links are to be found among the groups that are now on the ascendant on most domestic and social issues of the day…

It is tempting, for example, to comfort oneself with the assumption that support for Israel comes with age, that young liberals who are now equivocating about the Jewish state will evolve over the years and become strong Israel-supporters, just like their elders. But that intuitive theory is rebuffed in a paper published earlier this year by Israel’s Institute of National Strategic Studies (INSS)…

“Generations seem to develop views toward Israel that guide their opinions throughout their lifetime,” the authors note. If that is true, then the so-called Millenials born after 1980, will maintain their tepid support for Israel throughout the coming decades as the Israel-backing Silent Generation and Baby Boomers slowly leave the stage…

…one cannot ignore the general global trend of liberal-leftist criticism of Israel – which, at its extreme, translates into a negation of its very right to exist. This is a trend that started after the Six Day War, was exacerbated during times of wars and intifadas, and is becoming permanently entrenched the longer that occupation and political stalemate continue. American Democrats, in fact, are far more supportive of Israel than most leftist or social democratic parties throughout the world, with the exception, perhaps, of Australia’s Labor Party. 

…Nonetheless, most current Israeli decision makers tend to view America’s intellectual and liberal elites – which include many American Jews – with same kind of distrust and disdain that they show toward Israelis of the same ilk. They increasingly respond to liberal criticisms with outright hostility that far-too-often and far-too-quickly degenerates into accusations of anti-Semitism. This dialogue of the deaf drives an ever-deepening wedge between Israel and the driving forces behind the liberal wave that seems to sweeping America in ever increasing intensity on issues ranging from gay marriage to legalization of marijuana. Ultimately, it may lead to a realignment of American attitudes toward Israel as well…

No one should be under any illusion, however, that the distance between Israel and the increasingly gay-backing, gun-hating, grass-smoking American population is anything less than a dangerous threat to its number one strategic asset, relations with the U.S. Given the speed in which American attitudes are changing on other issues, this danger may be lurking just around the corner.

I find Shalev’s bumptious tone in this piece amusing. Like, Oh those fickle Americans. Annie Robbins points out, in sending this piece along, “What’s driving this change is… the ideology of apartheid. Israel’s descent is in direct proportion to the rise of the internet; the more people know, the worse it gets.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .

Posted In:

35 Responses

  1. yourstruly
    April 6, 2013, 11:34 am

    so liberal america is a dangerous threat to israel’s number one asset, its relations with the u.s?

    & said “danger” may be just around the corner?

    justice for palestine?

    right on time

    • W.Jones
      April 6, 2013, 12:06 pm


      Hopeful comments looking forward to desegregation in the Holy Land are helpful to avoid despair. But as you know, supporters have a tendency to exaggerate, so part of me is skeptical or pessimistic when it comes to ideas that it is about to happen. People were slaves in the Americas for several hundred years. How many chained generations is that, coming from Africa, passing down customs and hoping for freedom?

      For a long-living angel it might be like watching the sun come up, walking by the sea. It’s dark out, you can see blue on the edge of the round “map” of the world. You look at your clock, and it’s already been time for the dawn. Where is it? You keep looking. Nothing. You look away and look back. Nothing. Minutes go by. You look less and less. One time you look again and there it is, a round gold marble on the horizon.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 6, 2013, 2:26 pm

        hmm, not so sure i would describe Chemi Shalev, the author of this article .. as “supporter”, in the way you used it. just saying.

      • W.Jones
        April 6, 2013, 3:52 pm


        I’m just making a general observation, and was not specifically referring to Mr. Shalev.

      • W.Jones
        April 6, 2013, 4:14 pm

        On a sidenote, Mr. Shalev writes in “Mirror Mirror on the Wall”, speaking of the government: “Thus, the true threat comes… from these lethal, home-grown, democracy-disdaining anti-Zionists“.

        In an article on Beinart, Mr. Shalev writes:

        Peter Beinart is on a crusade to save the patrimony of liberal Zionism in Israel and America… Netanyahu is the arch villain, the embodiment of everything that has gone wrong with the Zionism that Beinart swears allegiance to… Beinart… lambasted the Jewish establishment for… betraying the historical values of liberal American Zionism. ‘Saving liberal Zionism in the United States − so that American Jews can help save liberal Zionism in Israel − is the great American Jewish challenge of our age.’

        Wouldn’t Mr. Shalev say he does support the State or the nationalism behind it, but not many of the government’s policies?

      • sardelapasti
        April 7, 2013, 1:00 am

        W. Jones – Well said.
        In fact, one wonders if even a major change in the opinions of a large majority of these “liberals” is likely to have any effect, considering the absence of any democratic process in US policy (and the fact that the whole of the so-called Jewish population makes up no more than 3%.)
        The Jewish voters don’t count, except when supposed to be represented by the powerful Zionist lobby.

  2. Hostage
    April 6, 2013, 12:18 pm

    Chemi Shalev in Haaretz writes that Israel’s image is swiftly changing among young cultural leaders, so fast it may not be possible to convince Americans to like Israel anymore.

    I agree. In my own circle of acquaintances there has been genuine shock expressed, time and again, over the racist tone of run-of-the-mill news coverage of events by the Israeli press. That’s even true of outlets like Haaretz and Ynet who sanitize or tone down their English editions. The virulently racist public opinions expressed by average Israelis in talkback posts or in news interviews have convinced most of my friends and younger family members that they don’t like Israel anymore and that there aren’t any shared values or traditions worth maintaining the status quo.

  3. Blownaway
    April 6, 2013, 12:26 pm

    Unfortunately as we have seen in the UC system in California on BDS votes, the evolution is not fast enough. Young leaders don’t have the stamina to withstand the withering assault that the organized lobby brings to bear against them. By the time the marriage breaks up the kids will have been grown and gone and nothing will be left

    • W.Jones
      April 6, 2013, 5:10 pm

      “Young leaders don’t have the stamina to withstand the withering assault”
      Good point. Phil, MJ Rosenberg, and Blankfort are noteworthy particularly for their bravery.

      • sardelapasti
        April 7, 2013, 1:02 am

        W. Jones – “Phil, MJ Rosenberg, and Blankfort are noteworthy particularly for their bravery.”

        Isn’t Rosenberg a notorious Zionist?

      • Citizen
        April 7, 2013, 10:43 am

        @ sardelapasti
        Yes, MJ Rosenberg is merely trying to get his Zionist buddies to put a better PR face on Israeli conduct–he does see that the endless settlements are not helpful in this regard. In comparison, Blankfort is a real humanist, concerned with supporting the highest universal values.

      • W.Jones
        April 7, 2013, 9:15 pm

        I was referring to his losing his job for speaking out about the state’s problems, and used this as an analogy for the students’ experience. It seems to me that would make him “brave”, even if he did not change his views to accept a full pluralist society.

        Regarding Rosenberg’s own views, I don’t know them to a strong degree, but I think at this point “notorious” would be misleading.

  4. RudyM
    April 6, 2013, 12:36 pm

    This seems like a pretty shaky comparison. Gay marriage fits with a general trend toward what might be called lifestyle politics. Liberalizing drug laws, mentioned in the quoted passage, tends to fit in with that trend as well. In my view, there is a frightening degree of disengagement (among millennials) on issues of foreign policy, economics (particularly economic issues most relevant to the recent financial crisis/crises), and civil liberties. I admit this is based on personal impressions. I don’t have any hard statistics (if they ever are hard) to back up this observation. Also, the traditional signifiers of gay male sub-culture are usually FUN just like America’s hyper-extroverted culture is FUN FUN FUN. Palestinians are less immediately and obviously fun. Obviously they can be, but it’s not close to being the first thing associated with them in American popular culture.

    While in some way I find the rapid change in attitudes on gay marriage to be dizzying, it has also been a long time coming. Before gay acceptance hit the mass media, there was a history of openly gay figures in high culture unapologetically asserting their identity. I feel that I have some perspective on this thanks to having been seriously interested in poetry in my youth, which, on the side, gave me a bit of a capsule history of the struggle for gay rights. I don’t see any corresponding long-term high culture movement or drift on the issue of Palestinian rights. (Reading lots of modern/contemporary American poetry left me as ignorant as I was otherwise on this particular issue.)

    But I agree that if a major shift on Israel-Palestine has occurred on the part of opinion makers, then at some point that could lead to a surprisingly swift change in public opinion. Also, no doubt the internet has made it easier to get out facts and analyses which otherwise would have gone unheard. It’s still new enough that one can’t predict what further changes it will lead to, though, again anecdotally, I don’t observe many of the young people around me taking much advantage of the internet as a source for alternative information. I see a lot of them glued to Facebook and more interested in watching videos of people eating live tarantulas. Or Glee episodes.

    But I hope INSS’s worries are justified!

    (As an aside, I am not pleased that public opinion is so easily pushed around by the mass media.

    And apologies for so much half-assed social commentary in this post.)

    • Annie Robbins
      April 6, 2013, 2:52 pm

      rudy, i agree with you on connecting the shift to ‘supporters of Gay marriage’. i think that is more code for progressives or liberals. shalev’s headline was “Israel’s great challenge: gun-hating, gay-backing, grass-smoking young Americans”

      and i don’t think this is grass smoking related either. here’s my opinion, the author is putting this out as analysis but i think what it signifies is that public opinion has already shifted on i/p and they are explaining how.

      here’s what the article doesn’t say; that “staggering 75%-33%’ gap on this matter” (between “conservative Republicans” and “liberal Democrats” on i/p)…only 21 or 22% of americans identify as republicans anymore. i’m not sure how many dems there are but it’s a LOT more. which means the power of the 67% (what’s left over when you subtract the 33% dem israel supporters ) becomes magnified. plus he points out many of those conservative reps are older, ie, dying off. then he says this to soften the blow:

      The entire “partisan gap” on support for Israel created in the past two decades, after all, isn’t so much a decrease in left-wing backing for Israel as a dramatic increase in right-wing support that stems from the growing prominence of Israel among Evangelical Christians and their increasing dominance of Republican politics.

      ah, no. it is very very much a decrease in left wing backing for israel (only 33%). if there was MORE of a dramatic increase in rightwing support, then it wouldn’t be a problem would it? so what’s 75% of 22% worth? well, it’s worth a lot if they own the media, but you can only cover up big disenchantment numbers for so long.

      now take a look at the Israel Policy Forum …they have read the tea leaves. from 3 days ago:100 American Jewish leaders urge Netanyahu to show readiness to make ‘painful territorial sacrifices’

      The signatories to the letter include well-know philanthropists such as Charles Bronfman, Danny Abraham, Lester Crown and Stanley Gold; former U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Dov Zakheim; former U.S. Congressman Mel Levine; former AIPAC executive director Tom Dine; Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt; President of United Reform Judaism Rabbi Rick Jacobs and his predecessor Rabbi Eric Yoffie; Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson; Warner Eisenberg co-founder of Bed, Bath and Beyond; Peter Joseph, Chairman of IPF; former UJA Chairman Marvin Lender; Richard Pearlstone, former chairman of the Jewish Agency and Marcia Riklis, Campaign Chair of the UJA Federation of New York.

      Israel Policy Forum is not a left wing org. the writing is on the wall.

      • sardelapasti
        April 7, 2013, 1:11 am

        Annie – Don’t forget that gay rights, private guns, or more generally equality among (non-Mideastern) Americans is not a critical issue, and some amount of democracy is allowed there. Not on issues like government guns, international energy supply, etc. Democracy stops there and turns to naked fascism, until the helicopter-on-the-roof moment. Even before Obama’s abolition of the Rule of Law, it has always been like that. So even if there was a major change among the 2-3% that calls itself “Jewish”, even if they in turn changed the majority opinion, I can’t see anything substantial happening in the US in the absence of physical defeat.

    • Citizen
      April 7, 2013, 11:02 am

      My experience has been like yours. (Anti)Guns, (Pro)Gays & Pot. American youth totally on board. There’s no military draft, and most American kids no longer grow up with guns as (most especially rural) America once did. Gaydom is largely accepted (except in the bible belt to a somewhat significant extent), having been pushed by Hollywood for decades now (same as multiculturalism as part of being individualistic in the Maslow sense), and Pot, yes indeed! The economic and fiscal cost of what it will cost US taxpayers to make marriage genderless in terms of all the tax money involved in doing this–they never think about. And they see no slippery slope at all in terms of polygamy, incest, or bestial love. For most of them, money grows on trees, although the parental tree protective branches and leaves are increasingly highly strapped. Part of that points to how our younger generations are increasingly dependent on government funding (almost as much as all the corporate welfare built into the IRS tax code). The real impact of our foreign policy is barely visible to our young, same as it remains so to their parents. Again, there’s no military draft.

  5. Citizen
    April 6, 2013, 12:38 pm

    Annie’s on the ball: “”What’s driving this change is… the ideology of apartheid. Israel’s descent is in direct proportion to the rise of the internet; the more people know, the worse it gets.”

    Nothing like YouTube clips of actual footage of Israelis in daily action and, for more intellectual youth, some delving into the history of the state of Israel and Zionism, and America’s part in rubber-stamping it all, nothing like the internet to get beyond institutional propaganda, whether Israel’s or the US government’s, or US main Media’s, or US Universities’, over the years.

    Not only will Israel get its comeuppance, but so, eventually will international banking.
    The times, they are a-changing….

    Who can look at that famous painting of Custer’s Last Stand today and not chuckle? (BTW, most of the troopers were very poor, young immigrant guys from Ireland, weren’t they?) When I was a kid, that painting moved many a young (ignorant) heart. Israel has been busy turning Anne Frank into nothing, and it’s no secret Israel’s treatment of what’s left of actual Shoah survivors remains dismal.

  6. Citizen
    April 6, 2013, 12:54 pm

    I need to ad that I think Israel would change over night but for the Israel Lobby, these well-off American jews with money and power who bribe the US government representatives and wannabees, and officers, and those running our main media. Too, all those American jews who make careers and lucrative agencies out of presenting themselves as the jewish voice in America. They don’t represent any jew I personally know with any depth.

    • W.Jones
      April 6, 2013, 5:06 pm


      I met a sweet elderly peace activist who does not match that. On the other hand, he says most people at his place of worship won’t talk to him because he disagrees with the State.

  7. Krauss
    April 6, 2013, 1:45 pm

    This change is also seen in the way Israel is portrayed in popular culture. From Cobert’s destruction of Ambassador Oren, to the SNL skit about Hagel and the Israel Lobby, to Bill Maher’s quip that based on what he saw in the Hagel hearings, you’d be forgiven for thinking Israel owns Congress to the Netflix series House of Cards which played the Israel lobby angle very strongly.

    All these things happened within a timespan of maybe 2-3 months, in 2013.

    And let’s not forget the glasnost we’ve seen in the last 2-3 years. Ehrenreich’s article in the NYT magazine wasn’t even possible three years ago.

    • Joe Ed
      April 7, 2013, 8:19 am

      Maher was ripping the GOP. He was portraying the idea that Israel owns Congress as ludicrous. He has drunk deeply of the Zio kool-aid

    • Citizen
      April 7, 2013, 11:07 am

      @ Krauss
      Yes, all of what you list is breaking news heralding a new era. What I don’t get is that Obama’s handlers don’t sufficiently get it yet. They could go right over the top of the GOP and their own Democratic PEP leaders, but they don’t. They keep Obama on a very short leash, and he’s shown he won’t risk anything by being a real leader.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    April 6, 2013, 3:50 pm

    RE: “Chemi Shalev in ‘Haaretz’ writes that Israel’s image is swiftly changing among young cultural leaders… Note his analysis of the new generation of Americans who know Israel as the butcher of Gaza. And he calls American support for Israel that country’s number one asset. Oh the entitlement issues of the bully with a rich [i.e. enabling – J.L.D.] uncle.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: I would call American (enabling) support for Israel that country’s number one problem, because it enables Israel’s occupation/colonization of the West Bank!

    JACLYN FRIEDMAN (from “It’s Time for Some Israel Real Talk”):

    [EXCERPT] . . . I love Israel. As an American Jew, the dream of Israel has held me in thrall since I was a small child. The day I wept at the Wailing Wall was one of the most transcendent and emotional of my life. But loving someone doesn’t mean helping them do whatever destructive thing they want. Call that enabling or co-dependence, but it’s not love. I love Israel like I’d love a drunk friend who wants their car keys. . .

    SOURCE – http://prospect.org/article/it%E2%80%99s-time-some-israel-real-talk

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 6, 2013, 3:56 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “How Israel Is Like an Alcoholic Mother”, by Megan McArdle, The Atlantic, 3/22/12

      [EXCERPT] . . . What is it Alex Portnoy overhears his mother say to her friends, apropos of the lengths she has to go to to get him to eat? “I have to stand over him with a knife!”
      To be a bit more serious for a moment, though, Chesterton famously quipped: “My country, right or wrong is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying: “My mother, drunk or sober.” Well, yes, but she is your mother, drunk or sober, right? Similarly, it is your country, whether your country is right or wrong. The question is what that entails. If your mother is a drunk, and begs for another drink, are you obliged to give it to her? Presumably not.
      But are you obliged to devote yourself to getting her to dry out? That, it seems to me is the real
      heart of the question. I think many of Beinart’s critics — like Jeffrey Goldberg — would say: that’s exactly how they think about Israel and the settlements. They are against them. . . They think they were and are a grave and historic mistake…
      . . . So they are doing what they can to convince their mother to check herself in and dry out. But she’s their mother. If it takes her a long time to convince, they’ll keep trying. If she slips a drink on the sly, they’ll try to hide the liquor better, but they’ll forgive her. [In other words, they will act as “enablers”. ~ J.L.D.] And, whatever she does, they certainly aren’t going to call the cops on her, and give the neighbors (who never liked her, even have tried to get her evicted) the satisfaction of seeing her humiliated by her own son in public. After all, she’s their mother. [Let’s call this “constructive engagement”! ~ J.L.D.]
      Well, talk to a few children of alcoholics, and you’ll discover that “my mother, drunk or sober” is not always a tenable proposition. Sometimes, for some people, the sense of obligation to one’s mother is trumped by a sense of obligation to oneself, and to protect oneself from her disease. And that, in a nutshell, is what Beinart is saying. She may be my mother, yes, but if she keeps carrying on, I don’t care what the neighbors say, and I don’t care if she never speaks to me again afterward: I’m going to call the cops on her. . .

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/how-israel-is-like-an-alcoholic-mother/254939/

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 6, 2013, 4:03 pm

      ● P.P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA [Enabling]:

      [EXCERPT] . . . In a negative sense, enabling is . . . used in the context of problematic behavior, to signify dysfunctional approaches that are intended to help but in fact may perpetuate a problem.[1][2] A common theme of enabling in this latter sense is that third parties take responsibility, blame, or make accommodations for a person’s harmful conduct (often with the best of intentions, or from fear or insecurity which inhibits action). The practical effect is that the person himself or herself does not have to do so, and is shielded from awareness of the harm it may do, and the need or pressure to change. It is a major environmental cause of addiction.[3]
      A common example of enabling can be observed in the relationship between the alcoholic/addict and a codependent spouse. The spouse believes incorrectly that he or she is helping the alcoholic by calling into work for them, making excuses that prevent others from holding them accountable, and generally cleaning up the mess that occurs in the wake of their impaired judgment.[citation needed] In reality what the spouse is doing is hurting, not helping. Enabling prevents psychological growth in the person being enabled and can contribute to negative symptoms in the enabler.*
      One of the primary purposes of a formal Family Intervention with alcoholics/addicts is to help the family cease their enabling behaviors. . .

      SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling

      * “Down, down, down we [the U.S.] go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.”

      • DICKERSON3870
        April 6, 2013, 4:09 pm

        ● ALSO SEE: “Enabling – When ‘Helping’ Doesn’t Really Help”, By Buddy T, About.com Guide, 3/05/11

        [EXCERPT] Many times when family and friends try to “help” alcoholics, they are actually making it easier for them to continue in the progression of the disease.
        This baffling phenomenon is called enabling, which takes many forms, all of which have the same effect –
        allowing the alcoholic to avoid the consequences of his actions. This in turn allows the alcoholic to continue merrily along his (or her) drinking ways, secure in the knowledge that no matter how much he screws up, somebody will always be there to rescue him from his mistakes. . .

        SOURCE – http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info2/a/aa052197.htm

        ● AND SEE: “Are You an Addiction Enabler?”, By Sunrise Recovery

        [EXCERPT] The problem of alcoholism or drug addiction is often shared by two people. There is a substance abuser and there is an enabler.
        The enabler may be a spouse, life-partner, relative or friend. The substance abuser and the enabler are partners in a co-dependent relationship that encourages or overlooks the abuser’s unhealthy behavior. The enabler makes excuses for and protects the substance abuser, often out of a misplaced sense of loyalty or love. As a result, the substance abuser’s problems with addiction are prolonged. . .

        SOURCE – http://drugrehabranch.crchealth.com/staff-articles-and-drug-treatment-news/are-you-an-addiction-enabler/

        ● P.P.P.P.S. COMING SOON – New Über-Xtreme Ziocaine Ultra SR (Sustained Release) Transdermal Patch®: Let The Good Times Roll!™

      • DICKERSON3870
        April 6, 2013, 4:29 pm

        BB King: “Let The Good Times Roll” (From “Legends of Rock ‘n’ Roll” DVD) [VIDEO, 03:52] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYB5vLzEHvI
        The Cars: “Good Times Roll” (Live, 1978) [VIDEO, 03:29] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6G-qb1RRCo

  9. American
    April 6, 2013, 3:52 pm

    Neither here nor there, but if chimps can” think about their thinking” why can’t Zionist and their fanatic Christo Zio brothers…are they lower on the evolutionary scale than chimps? Is that what distinguishes cult joiners and followers from rational people……they have no metacognition?


    Georgia State University: Humans’ closest animal relatives, chimpanzees,
    have the ability to “think about thinking” – what is called
    “metacognition,” according to new research by scientists at Georgia State
    University and the University at Buffalo. Michael J. Beran and Bonnie M.
    Perdue of the Georgia State Language Research Center (LRC) and J. David
    Smith of […]

    • Stephen Shenfield
      April 6, 2013, 6:15 pm

      Of course, being human they are biologically capable of self-reflective thinking and a few of them exercise that capability. But they also (correctly) perceive such thinking as a threat to the solidarity of their ethnic group, which is what matters most to them, and therefore go to enormous efforts to suppress it in other co-ethnics and also in themselves.

      • Citizen
        April 7, 2013, 11:09 am

        @ Stephen Shenfield
        You mean like….David Duke does?

  10. Keith
    April 6, 2013, 5:20 pm

    “And he calls American support for Israel that country’s number one asset.”

    Indeed it is. Israel is dependant on the US in a number of areas. I believe this dependency suits American Jewish Zionists just fine as it puts them in a position of power brokers between Israel and the US. An Israel independent of US patronage would lessen their power, hence, something that they would work against.

    Also, focusing on American Jews, in order win over the liberal Jews, Israel would have to do things adamantly opposed by American Jewish Zionists. These are the guys who have the clout and support a Jewish state, not a state of all of its citizens. This is the group of “power Jews” that are critically important to Israel to maintain predictable US support, hence, the group Israel needs to respond to.

    In any event, we are in the process of a rapid restructuring of the global political economy as neoliberalism is imposed globally, with corporate/financial control locked in. In just a few years, the entire landscape will have likely changed dramatically. I seriously doubt that Israel or its Zionist supporters will make significant changes until things settle in.

    • Citizen
      April 7, 2013, 11:12 am

      Mmmm, when will that be, when the Cypress solution takes hold in EU, then in America, when you find your bank account has been seized to pay for your government leaders’ excesses, their collusion with the big bankers worldwide?

      • Keith
        April 10, 2013, 3:11 pm

        CITIZEN- “Mmmm, when will that be….”

        If I were to speculate (when have I ever resisted?), I would guess that huge changes will be attempted during Obama’s final term as the capitalist nobility attempts to create a form of global neo-feudalism (we are moving in that direction now). All of these changes are more-or-less linked, and must be evaluated in toto.

  11. piotr
    April 7, 2013, 11:49 am

    I read Shalev differently than Phil, so I was initially surprised that he used epithet “bumptious”. A clinical description of American society somehow went under Phil’s skin. Perhaps this is a feeling of being treated like a fish in a fish tank used in a behavioral study. Yet the audience of Shalev is Israeli and his intentions and attitudes should be measured in that way.

    My view is that the basic problem of Israelis is that: on what basis should they resolve the conflict with Palestinians (or “handle the conflict”, as one of the options is not to resolve it at all). A distinct minority view is that some values should be involved like fairness, values that are in no way Jewish (merely universal). Another distinct minority thinks that everything is fine if it follows the will of the Lord (including the Messiah who will come soon). The majority view is that Jews have their interests and the duty of their government is to represent those interests, to the maximum extend. And what is this extend? How far can Israel go? Israel not being a superpower relies on limits set by other nations. And among those nations USA has a key role.

    In that context, Shalev addresses the discovery of the Israeli right wing that contrary to scare mongering of liberals, Israel can get away with the current policies which is expanding settlements and making the lives of Palestinians hard enough so they would eventually go away. “Transfer” would achieve the same effect faster but there is a wide consensus that Israel would not get away with that, however desirable. But will it work in the long term?

    Here Shalev argues that in the long term it will not work. He tries to be cool and clinical, but nevertheless makes a very caustic statement about the rightwing government and its backers ” most current Israeli decision makers [..] increasingly respond to liberal criticisms with outright hostility that far-too-often and far-too-quickly degenerates into accusations of anti-Semitism. This dialogue of the deaf […]” Importantly, he presents the criticism of Israel as a “trend” that cannot be stopped by mere Hasbara.

    Descriptively, Shalev undermines the basis of the right wing policies. He is mum about the alternative. He is a conformist intelectual after all, a species we know only too well from USA.

  12. seafoid
    April 7, 2013, 4:09 pm

    Attitudes to same sex marriage changed while attitudes to poverty hardened. Culture changed, economic views didn’t. Israel love is cultural.
    Very interesting.

Leave a Reply