The anniversary of the Rabin assassination might have been a time for the mainstream media to pronounce that the settlers won and Israeli society is dominated by rightwing extremism. Nope! Two leading news organizations resolved Israel’s international image problem today by seeking to sell Benjamin Netanyahu and his rightwing education minister Naftali Bennett as moderates.
In the New York Times, reporter Isabel Kershner says that Israeli politics have shifted since Rabin, but there’s now a “moderate” center that wants a two-state solution. That pesky near-50-year occupation? Most Israelis want to end it:
So far, the general desire to end Israeli rule over the Palestinians, together with the perceived impossibility of achieving a peace deal in the foreseeable future, has led to paralysis.
Instead, many Israelis appear to be seeking a more moderate middle way. The right-wing Jewish Home party, which sits in the governing coalition and promotes settlement construction, proposes annexing about 60 percent of the West Bank and allowing some kind of autonomy for the 40 percent heavily populated by Palestinians, analysts say.
A new low for the @nytimes – Describing Israelis who want annexation of WB as “moderate”
Donald Johnson writes that the Times is learnin to love apartheid: “The racist contempt and narcissism of mainstream Israeli society is presented as a sensible consensus. Her article is a masterpiece in how to present apartheid support as a sad pragmatic embrace of reality and giving up of illusions.”
There is one way [Israel] has moved forward and that is. When Rabin was laying out this approach, when Rabin was basically telling me he was going to do a partition with the Palestinians either through negotiations or through separation so that Israel could retain its Jewish democratic character– one thing that has changed is that there is at least an increasing consensus among many within Lkud that you will accept a two state outcome. The Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in his UN speech this year talked about two states for two peoples. Now that’s not where Likud was when Rabin was prime minister.
But again: Netanyahu came out against a Palestinian state in order to win reelection in March. And his U.N. statement is regarded by many as mere lip service; a sop thrown to the international community, on which he is doing nothing.
Israeli society is today “fascistic,” as the liberal Zionist Glen Weyl puts it: its political leadership is shot through with racist, paranoid and militaristic elements. The U.S. media persists in whitewashing this truth because it is under pressure to present Israel as a reasonable western society. And the Democratic Party is corrupted in the same way. Next week the party thinktank, the Center for American Progress, will host Netanyahu. CAP chose AIPAC over President Obama.