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Europe wearies of Netanyahu’s diversions

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In yet another sign that Israel has lost the plot, Europe is weary of the Israeli prime minister’s claims re Iran, writes Philip Stephens, lead columnist at the Financial Times, in a piece titled “Israel is losing its friends in the world:”
When Mr Netanyahu warns about the nuclear threat from Iran, even those who worry deeply about Tehran’s intentions, respond with a weary shrug. The warnings are seen as a diversion – an effort to distract from his refusal to accept a Palestinian state rather than a clear-headed assessment of a present danger.
Stephens’s piece is a full-on attack on Netanyahu for his latest settlement expansion, which guaranteed the passage of the British Parliament’s Palestinian state recognition, a monument of bipartisanship in the House of Commons. “Israel had lobbied hard against the motion. It was soon obvious it had lost its best friends.” This sounds like a call for regime change.
The Gaza onslaught, which killed 2100 Palestinians and left tens of thousands homeless, fosters only deep cynicism:
European governments had backed Mr Abbas’s initiative to forge a joint administration with Hamas as a prelude to serious peace talks [in April]. Now they speculate that the Gaza operation was Mr Netanyahu’s attempt to wreck any accommodation.
These episodes have… drained patience and trust and led many to believe Mr Netanyahu prefers a permanent state of war to a difficult peace. Yet the alternative to two states, as I have heard often during visits to Israel, is one state that comes to resemble apartheid South Africa.
Britain is sure to recognize a Palestinian state before long, Stephens says.
Obviously the British vote has made a big difference in the U.S. This new climate is why J Street is hammering on Netanyahu and settlements (after it abandoned the settlements as an issue a few years ago in favor of “borders”). And here is Peace Now’s Lara Friedman:
Israel is indeed losing friends in the international community. This is not because of rising global anti-Semitism, or successful Palestinian public relations campaigns.  Rather, it is because pro-settlement forces – Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of his Cabinet;  [Amos] Yadlin, [Elie] Wiesel  and their fellow travelers – are recklessly sacrificing Israel’s relationships and its future at the altar of Elad and its ilk, in the service of the messianic dream of Greater Israel.
Netanyahu’s Israel is increasingly on the defensive. Note what the Defense Minister said two days ago:
“I am not looking for a solution, I am looking for a way to manage the conflict and maintain relations in a way that works for our interests.”
Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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91 Responses

  1. Mikesailor on October 18, 2014, 2:27 pm

    What is fascinating is the total lack of foresight exhibited by not only the Israeli government but the Israelis and thei Zionist fellow-travelers as well. Apparently they harp on the fact that “only” 274 MP’s voted for Palestinian recognition, short of the 326 needed for a simple majority of the Commons. What they fail to realize is that both the Conservatives and Liberal Dems could have made an appearance and voted against the resolution if they really supported the “Jewish” state. But they didn’t. And only 12 opposed the resolution. The French, Spanish and Swedes appear poised to also recognize Palestine. Of course, the Israelis blame the US for letting their unpopularity reach these heights. Never do they look in the mirror. It is far easier to blame Obama. But slowly the chickens are coming home to roost. I don’r see how, barring an asteroid or some other unbelievable occurence, that the Israelis and their fellows can stop this slide. It has gained too much momentum and I don’t get the feeling that Obama will lift a finger to help them. I do agree with Mairav Zonsein from 972 however, that resolutions condemning the occupation and threatening sanctions against Israel for colonising and militarily occupying Palestine within either the ’48 borders, or at worst the ’67 borders. including East Jerusalem, the Golan and Shebaa farms would be a more effective route to statehood that merely recognizing Palestine without delineating any borders. It is also almost funny how the US media, especially the broadcasters on TV and radio (NPR, are you listening?), have gone out of their way to ignore this story.

    • RoHa on October 18, 2014, 10:22 pm

      “What is fascinating is the total lack of foresight exhibited by not only the Israeli government but the Israelis and their Zionist fellow-travellers as well.”

      The whole Zionist project seems to have been a bit short on foresight. The nearest to a long term plan seems to have been Ben Gurion’s “The old will die and the young will forget”.

      (And I hope that the FT has been misquoted. It would be shocking if such a high-ranking newspaper misplaced commas.)

    • Mooser on October 19, 2014, 1:48 pm

      “I don’r see how, barring an asteroid or some other unbelievable occurence, that the Israelis and their fellows can stop this slide”

      Just as a tangent, that certainly puts a new slant on a classic old joke.

    • Laurent Weppe on October 19, 2014, 2:32 pm

      What is fascinating is the total lack of foresight exhibited by not only the Israeli government but the Israelis and thei Zionist fellow-travelers as well

      The likudnik ruling class great hope was that the european far-right right would grow fast enough to fill in Europe’s halls of power a large number of raging racists pinning for the good old days of the colonial empires, when the only fate allowed to people of arabic decent living under the rule of european powers was to become an underpaid farmhand or a housemaid/rapetoy for the colonial latifundists: after all, they’d be the first to approve any and all abuses comitted against Palestinians.
      That’s why they allowed leaders of antisemitic parties to openly court them: if you lose support among the old patrician families, seek the more aggressive upstarts: it’s a basic rule of feudal realpolitiks.

  2. John Douglas on October 18, 2014, 2:47 pm

    This editorial, coming from where it does, is a good sign. I think it’s a mistake however to direct attention to Netanyahu. As a leader he has no center, no conviction. That’s why he’s there. ush and John McCain, he has a stern father he has to please (even after they have gone their way). Apartheid, the settlements, the killings of Palestinians, the bombing of children is Israel’s policy, Golda’s policy, Begin’s, even the sainted Rabin’s. If Netanyahu were to disappear tomorrow, it would still be policy.

    • MRW on October 20, 2014, 10:00 am

      Everybody is fed up with Israel. It’s like a rampaging friend or relative you finally want to march into a shrink.

  3. pabelmont on October 18, 2014, 3:02 pm

    Gerald Ford, it was once said, could not chew gum and walk at the same time. The Rt. Hon. Benj, Netanyahu appears to be unable to keep more than one thought, or project, in mind at one time.

    The Rt. Hon. Benj. has in mind the danger — as he professes to assess it — of an Iranian nuke and (therefore?) cannot also keep in mind the business of I/P.

    If EU folks are indeed ready to lose patience with these not-at-all-new antics, well and good. After all, they’ve had quite a while to consider all the Israeli diversions which they have allowed to divert them from the illegality of the settlements and the wall and the siege of Gaza and, as they might come to see it, of the occupation as a whole which appears an effort to take permanent hold of occupied territory by force of arms, contrary to UNSC 242 and UN Charter. They’ve had quite a while to think about how to react to these illegalities without embarrassment for their own tardiness in making such reaction.

    Better late than never will do, folks, Get on with it, please.

    • Walid on October 18, 2014, 3:22 pm

      Wishful thinking, the Europeans’ sense of guilt is still much stronger than their weariness. I wouldn’t expect any radical change of direction from them in the foreseeable future. It will take another generation.

      • bintbiba on October 19, 2014, 8:54 am

        Glad you’re back , Walid.

      • Laurent Weppe on October 19, 2014, 2:40 pm

        But since the heirs of antisemitic far-right parties have switched their main targets from Jews toward immigrants with muslim grandparents (their core membership is still antisemitic as fuck mind you, they just learned to be slightly less incompetent at hiding it), a growing number of people are saying “Are we’re going to give a free pass to this generation of would-be fascists simply because they slightly altered their list of boogeymen? And since they’re openly courting the far-right regime in power in Israel, doesn’t that make this country rulers the de-facto accomplices of the scions of fascism, regardless of whether they have holocaust victims and survivors in their genealogical tree?

        This european “sense of guilt” may actually end up fueling the increasing hostility felt by public opinions toward israeli leader.

      • lysias on October 19, 2014, 4:40 pm

        The target of the neo-Nazi Sweden Democrats (who unfortunately came in third in the recent elections) is Muslim immigrants. Some of the leaders of the Sweden Democrats are Jews.

    • wondering jew on October 18, 2014, 3:44 pm

      pabelmont- regarding Gerald Ford, I read somewhere that the version of gum and walk was a cleansed version of the original: can’t chew gum and fart at the same time. it is attributed to LBJ.

      I think the Gerald Ford Henry Kissinger team was a good team vis a vis the middle east, although of course, who knows if a reelected Ford would have had the same results vis a vis the peace with Egypt achieved by Sadat, Begin and Carter.

      • on October 19, 2014, 10:23 am

        Henry Kissinger is evil incarnate.

      • Laurent Weppe on October 19, 2014, 2:45 pm

        Funny thing, I heard that the gum & walk story was not an urban legend but the truth: that his nervous system had been so damaged by being repeatedly crashed into by fellow players during his football career that it actually left his motor skills permanently impaired.

      • Mooser on October 19, 2014, 2:52 pm

        “regarding Gerald Ford….fart/… Sadat, Begin and Carter.”

        Gotta say it. When Yonah does step out of the corner, and stops muttering, he turns out to be a sparkling and witty raconteur and astute political analyst.

      • lysias on October 19, 2014, 4:37 pm

        I wonder if all the violence that football players have recently been guilty of has been a result of damage to their frontal cortex, resulting in a loss of inhibition and self-control. Apparently blows to the head in football result in injury similar to that of soldiers subjected to the explosion of an IED.

    • just on October 18, 2014, 3:49 pm

      There’s nothing right nor honorable about Netanyahu.

      Israel (as it has devolved) is always the problem– never, ever part of the solution.

    • MRW on October 20, 2014, 10:05 am

      Gerald Ford, it was once said, could not chew gum and walk at the same time.

      Because the White House Press Corps specifically and purposefully spent two years destroying him because they were pissed he pardoned Nixon. They used photographic outtakes to make him look like a bumbling fool when, according to Teddy White, Ford was the most physically coordinated and graceful President of the 20th C. They did it on purpose, and crowed afterward that they “made Chevy Chase’s career.”

      • MRW on October 20, 2014, 10:10 am

        Don’t forget that Ford and Carter became great friends after Ford’s presidency until Ford’s death. Carter does not suffer fools. Walter Cronkite said in 2003 when asked who was the smartest Prez of the seven he covered: Carter, by far, he said. Cronkite said that Carter’s grasp of macro and micro issues was so prodigious that he had to study for two days before interviewing him. Only President that he had to do that with.

      • Qualtrough on October 24, 2014, 9:33 am

        Pissed? As well they should have been, for Ford was the one who decided that Presidents and other high officials are above the law. He might have been a nice guy and graceful, but he made a terrible decision that haunts America to this day.

      • Citizen on October 24, 2014, 3:57 pm

        @ Qualtrough

        And Obama decided to ignore Shrub Jr & his neocons’ fraudulent inducement to invade Iraq.

      • lysias on October 24, 2014, 5:20 pm

        Roger Stone’s new book Nixon’s Secrets claims Ford was blackmailed into pardoning Nixon because Nixon was threatening to reveal at a trial everything he knew about the JFK assassination, which would have included not only the CIA’s (and LBJ’s, if he was involved) involvement in the assassination, but also the way Gerald Ford on the Warren Commission lied about the position of one of JFK’s entry wounds.

  4. David Doppler on October 18, 2014, 3:17 pm

    Time for regime change. Long past due. And may the neocons be dropped like hot potatoes at the same time.

  5. wondering jew on October 18, 2014, 3:58 pm

    “Regime change” is usually used to refer to violence employed by outsiders or insiders to undo a nondemocratic leader. It was used vis a vis- Saddam Hussein and Bashir Assad, maybe Ghaddafi as well. It is cutesy to use it vis a vis Israel, when referring to a specific elected prime minister. When the American right speaks about Obama and the need for regime change, how do those not of the right react to the use of this term regarding a democratically elected leader.

    (Israel’s democracy is not up to the US standard of 2014 in many ways.)

  6. JLewisDickerson on October 18, 2014, 7:22 pm

    RE: “Europe wearies of Netanyahu’s diversions”

    SEE: “Spanish lawmakers reportedly to vote on Palestinian state”, timesofisrael.com, October 17, 2014
    Move follows British parliamentary vote to recognize Palestine and comes amid unilateral push for statehood at the UN
    LINK – http://www.timesofisrael.com/spanish-lawmakers-reportedly-to-vote-on-palestinian-state/

    • amigo on October 19, 2014, 2:18 pm

      2.
      a system or ordered way of doing things.
      “detention centres with a very tough physical regime”
      synonyms: system, arrangement, scheme, code;
      apparatus, mechanism;
      order, pattern, method, procedure, routine, policy, practice, course, plan, programme;
      diet, regimen
      “a favourable tax regime”
      a coordinated programme for the promotion or restoration of health; a regimen.
      “a low-calorie, low-fat regime”
      the conditions under which a scientific or industrial process occurs.

      At least two apply to Israel!!.

      Detention centres ( West Bank ) and diet as it applies to 1.8 million Gazans and of course Gaza is one big detention centre compliments of the Regime in Tel Aviv.

      Yup , definitely time for a Regime change and if the Zionists will not or can not then the International Community must step up to the plate and do it for them.But not through violence but BDS and any other peaceful resistance available to them.

    • Shmuel on October 19, 2014, 2:48 pm

      SEE: “Spanish lawmakers reportedly to vote on Palestinian state”

      A motion to recognise the Palestinian state was also submitted to the Italian Senate on Thursday.

      • RoHa on October 19, 2014, 10:01 pm

        And let’s not forget that Gwynedd County Council voted 42 to 3 in favour of suspension of trading with Israel, refusal to invest in Israeli establishments, and condemnation of “the over-reaction and savageness used” against Gaza.

        More about Gwynedd Council here.

        http://www.gwynedd.gov.uk/index.asp?Language=2&p=1&c=1

  7. Horizontal on October 18, 2014, 8:54 pm

    Europe can weary all they want so long as Israel controls their US veto in UN.

    True or false?

    • Walid on October 19, 2014, 1:31 pm

      “Europe can weary all they want so long as Israel controls their US veto in UN. True or false? ”

      100% true; Europe talks big but does very little about it. Look at how many times Israel destroyed self-help projects funded by Europeans with never a serious complaint about it from the Europeans, especially the guilt-ridden Germans.

    • MRW on October 20, 2014, 10:15 am

      Yeah, but “Europe” has these little irritants called voters.

  8. palijustice on October 18, 2014, 10:09 pm

    and I’m sure the European governments are well aware that it is Israel that has the nuclear weapons, not Iran. They also are probably know that Israel would have no qualms in using them.

    • Laurent Weppe on October 19, 2014, 2:49 pm

      And destroy the very safe haven where the rich israelis intends to take refuge once the unsustainable politics implemented by their figureheads causes the downfall of their little dominion?

      Won’t happen.

      • annie on October 19, 2014, 2:54 pm

        laurent, i don’t think palijustice meant israel would use their nukes on europe or the US. unless i misunderstood your meaning.

      • RoHa on October 19, 2014, 8:24 pm

        Palijustice can speak for him/herself, but Martin van Creveld regarded nuking Europe as an option for defending Israel. Let’s hope Laurent is right.

  9. Citizen on October 19, 2014, 9:21 am

    Germany initially rejected selling Israel cutting edge missile boats at deep discount ($382 M discount) to encourage Israel to stop its on-going illegal settlements. Germany has now reversed itself; Merkel will give Israel such a deal unconditionally. Why? Nobody seems to have a clear idea why the reversal. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/19/382811/germany-gives-israel-382mn-discount/

    • ivri on October 19, 2014, 3:05 pm

      Citizen: “Why? Nobody seems to have a clear idea why… “
      Well, when it comes to the moment of truth Germany does not have too much of a choice – they know that it is not only Israel`s physical security at stake here but also theirs, even if mainly (but not only) in the psychological sense of it. Playing Realpolitik here, the thing that outsiders easily understand, cannot be part of the equation – no matter how big is the temptation to do that.

      • amigo on October 19, 2014, 3:54 pm

        “Well, when it comes to the moment of truth Germany does not have too much of a choice – they know that it is not only Israel`s physical security at stake here but also theirs, even if mainly (but not only) in the psychological sense of it ” ivri

        Do please elaborate.

        And ,if you are so concerned about Israel,s physical security , then start demanding that Israel end it,s colonialist shenanigans and civilises itself.

        You sound just like a bully happy to beat up those weaker but then whining when someone decks you and puts you in your place.

        Flat on your butt on the ground.

      • Horizontal on October 19, 2014, 7:31 pm

        ivri ~

        Israel needs “cutting edge missile boats” for its physical security? From what? The Palestinian Fishing Boat Navy? Let’s face it — no weapon ever made or imagined can ever fill the endless maw of Israeli existential insecurity. Put another way, crooks never get a good night’s sleep, nor do they deserve one.

        It’s to laugh.

      • annie on October 19, 2014, 10:26 pm

        what? you’ve completely lost me with this last comment ivri. what are you talking about?

      • ivri on October 20, 2014, 1:47 am

        Annie: “you`ve completely lost me with this last comment”
        I understand – to really perceive this point you got to be either a Jew or a German

      • MRW on October 20, 2014, 10:17 am

        ivri, or is it inri?

        Get off Masada.

      • Mooser on October 20, 2014, 11:11 am

        “I understand – to really perceive this point you got to be either a Jew or a German”

        What a slimy little guy you are “ivri”. Slimy.

        What he just did, Annie, is call you a Nazi. Or maybe I’m wrong (it is, after all, a shocking contention) and “ivri” would like to explain that remark?

      • ivri on October 20, 2014, 11:45 am

        You are dead wrong Mooser. Such dark interpretations say more about you than me pal.

    • Walid on October 20, 2014, 12:38 am

      I keep wondering what Merkel’s father did during the war. There is something unnatural in all the stuff she keeps gifting Israel unconditionally in addition to increasing war compensations for what Germany did.

      • MRW on October 20, 2014, 10:18 am

        It’s called NSA conversations.

      • Citizen on October 20, 2014, 10:53 am

        I don’t know what he did during the war, but he left W Germany nine years after the war ended to be a Lutheran minister in E Germany, having converted from Catholicism. Some say her pattern of supporting Israel derives from having grown up under a regime that took no responsibility at all for the Holocaust. To the extent she’s trying to be fair and/or guilt-tripping as a German, it seems clear those sensibilities don’t extend to the Palestine people–although she’s been on record a number of times as supporting the end of the illegal Israeli settlements, which, like the US, she views as an obstacle to a 2-state peace solution: http://www.currentconcerns.ch/index.php?id=982

      • Citizen on October 20, 2014, 11:00 am

        Wiki says: “Little is known about Horst Kasner’s wartime service, and he was held as a prisoner of war at the age of 19. During his high school years he was a member of the Hitler Youth, with the last service position of a troop leader.”

        There is no citation supporting this text. However since he was a teen-ager during the relevant time, it seems very likely he was a member of the Hitler Youth and then conscripted.

      • Citizen on October 20, 2014, 11:12 am

        More info: “Angela Merkel’s father Horst Kasner died last September aged 85. Some secrets surrounding this enigmatic man have died with him, but quite a few things are a matter of public record. Born in 1926, he served on the Russian front during World Ward II and, at the age of 19 in 1943, was taken prisoner.
        How long he remained in Russian hands – and when he got back to Germany – is not recorded. But somewhere along the way, he became a clergyman, and married a Polish woman, Herlind Jentzsch, in 1952. She gave birth to Angela in 1954, and then three weeks later Kasner did what almost no other German had ever done: he moved from West Germany to the DDR. By choice, he became an Osti.” http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/revealed-angela-merkel-rigid-serial-conformist/

  10. ivri on October 19, 2014, 10:41 am

    Excuse me for being blunt but what else is news here. The British press, Left and Right, the Financial Times prominently included, has ever been anti-Israel, or, to use the beloved euphemism there: “critical of Israel policies”. That`s already a given and I would be (pleasantly) shocked to read a sympathetic article to Israel in the FT, The (London) Times, The Guardian or The Economist. To be fair this attitude is also present in other (West) European countries only that Britain has become the leader of that (to be fair it is not less fervent in some Scandinavian countries but they are too small to be considered leaders).
    Peculiarly, this “core role” keeps moving north in Europe. About half a millennium ago it was south west Europe that led it, with all Jews expelled from Spain, then it was south east Europe, with frequent pogroms, from which it moved to France (the Dreyfus affair as a prominent manifestation) and has culminated in an unimaginably horrible manner in (Nazi) Germany. This is an amazing historical phenomenon in its historical consistency all over what is referred to in Jewish folklore as “the cursed continent” constantly changing dressing, whether made on religious, nationalistic (“dual loyalty” accusations), ethical (Jews mix gentile blood in Passover bread), political (“Elders of Zion” protocols), financial-economic (Jews control everything) and recently national (Israel`s “sins”) grounds.

    • Mooser on October 19, 2014, 2:44 pm

      Gosh, Ivri, when you put it that way, it does seem like anti-Semitism is a sort of conspiracy against the Jews, doesn’t it? The entire world proceeds on its serenely just way, with only the Jews suffering. Everybody else has it good, we have it bad.

      And because anti-Semitism, we should listen to Zionists, who are special people on a mission from God to do what is best for Jewish people!

      • ivri on October 19, 2014, 3:24 pm

        It is not a conspiracy, Mooser, it is History and it is Europe, or rather the painful, if not tragic, Jewish saga in it – while a minority there over millennia.

      • Keith on October 19, 2014, 7:24 pm

        IRVI- “It is not a conspiracy, Mooser, it is History and it is Europe, or rather the painful, if not tragic, Jewish saga in it – while a minority there over millennia.”

        Tell me, Irvi, have you given any thought to what is wrong with Gentiles that they are such intrinsically evil people? Surely you have given the matter much thought in view of your eternal victimhood.

      • ivri on October 20, 2014, 1:42 am

        Keith: “Have you given any thought to what is wrong with gentiles… “
        The point is Keith that this is not about gentiles but Europe: whether Left, Right, Church… anything. Note how in the new-world countries, where the bulk of today`s (non-Israel) Jewry is concentrated, as the US, Canada, Australia, this problematic phenomena did not by and large repeat itself. In particular, in the religious segment there is even a coming together of Judaism and Christianity under the Judeo-Christian banner.

      • Keith on October 20, 2014, 11:07 am

        IRVI- “The point is Keith that this is not about gentiles but Europe….”

        Well, you are correct that historically Europe was an extremely violent place. I believe that in the 100 year war, one-third of the population of Prussia perished. Any feel for how the Jewish experience compared to that of non-Jews?

      • Mooser on October 20, 2014, 12:01 pm

        “Note how in the new-world countries, where the bulk of today`s (non-Israel) Jewry is concentrated, as the US, Canada, Australia, this problematic phenomena did not by and large repeat itself.”

        So what did they do wrong in the US, to get this result? They allowed Jews to live as individuals, not as either a protected or persecuted class, and organize their religion as they pleased, with no reference to the State, beyond following the law. The same for other religions.
        But I’m not worried, I know the Zionists will never allow the Jews (or anybody else) in Palestine that option. I mean, look at the terrible result for Jews in the US!

    • straightline on October 19, 2014, 4:25 pm

      I’m sure you’ve been told many times before ivri – it’s amazing how all the hasbarists have problems with retention – of the Guardian’s role in promoting the formation of the Zionist State.

      http://www.ucd.ie/ibp/MADissertations2009/DoyleKillian.pdf

      Just read the introduction.

    • MRW on October 20, 2014, 10:19 am

      I would be (pleasantly) shocked to read a sympathetic article to Israel in the FT, The (London) Times, The Guardian or The Economist. To be fair this attitude is also present in other (West) European countries

      Ya’ think that might be a clue?

      • straightline on October 21, 2014, 6:13 am

        The most surprising newspaper in ivri’s list is the Times of London. It is owned by Murdoch!

        If you are not happy with the London Times’ reporting of Israel I suggest you stick to the Yisrael Hayom.

  11. amigo on October 19, 2014, 12:14 pm

    The question is, Is Israel a true Democracy.Not according to former leader of Shin Beth and others.

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/Is-Israel-a-true-democracy-352445

    “I find it extraordinary how naïve or blind some Jewish Israelis are, and the author of this Ha’aretz editorial is no exception. Many, if not most Israeli Jews still believe, incredibly, that their country is a democracy like any other Western democracy, with real freedom of opinion and expression. “Avigail Abarbanel

    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/oppression-consensus-israeli-democracy

    “Israel arose as a secular, social democratic country inspired by Western European democracies. With time, however, its core values have become entirely different. Israel today is a religious, capitalist state. Its religiosity is defined by the most extreme Orthodox interpretations. Its capitalism has erased much of the social solidarity of the past, with the exception of a few remaining vestiges of a welfare state. Israel defines itself as a “Jewish and democratic state.” However, because Israel has never created a system of checks and balances between these two sources of authority, they are closer than ever to a terrible clash. ” Avraham Burg

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/opinion/sunday/israels-fading-democracy.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    • Walid on October 19, 2014, 1:42 pm

      “The question is, Is Israel a true Democracy”

      The same question could be asked about the US and other Western countries. In some ways, the answer would be “yes”, and in some other ways, the answer would be “no”. Both are in need of a tune-up.

      • amigo on October 19, 2014, 2:30 pm

        “Both are in need of a tune-up.” Walid.

        I was responding to Yonah and all the other zio apologists who claim Israel is a democracy and ergo should not be subjected to complaints from other democracies.

        Israel does not need a tune up .It needs a new engine ,new brakes and a new driver.I do agree some Western democracies could use an oil change .

        Nice to see you back .

      • Walid on October 19, 2014, 2:42 pm

        I agree with you 100%, amigo.

      • Keith on October 19, 2014, 7:47 pm

        WALID- “The same question could be asked about the US and other Western countries. In some ways, the answer would be “yes”, and in some other ways, the answer would be “no”.

        Indeed, while definitions of “democracy” may vary, I am of the opinion that there is no effective democracy among any of the Western “democracies.” In fact, these “democracies” should be referred to as “capitalist democracies” insofar as they are plutocracies with elections. Getting hung up on democratic mythology is a mistake. In the real world, the choice is between bureaucratic control by (primarily) governmental elites versus elite control emphasizing capitalist market mechanisms. The rule of money is a much more efficient and effective means of social control. While dictatorships are periodically overthrown, in the long run money overwhelms all opposition.

    • MRW on October 20, 2014, 1:50 am

      Good points, amigo.

  12. HarryLaw on October 19, 2014, 2:55 pm

    Of course the US is a Democracy, its the best money can buy.

    • oldgeezer on October 19, 2014, 6:41 pm

      The system is not broken as much as the electorate. The means and mechanisms to take control back from the lobby groups exists but as long as we educate ourselves on 30 second spots and soundbites it’s not going to happen.

  13. oldgeezer on October 19, 2014, 6:34 pm

    Apart from netanyahu and partners in crime, 75% of the Israeli public is against a Palestinian state.

    Israel refuses to make peace and doesn’t seek it. The joy of dispossessing others and stealing their property has corrupted their society totally.

    972mag.com/most-israelis-oppose-palestinian-state-new-poll-shows/97833/

  14. piotr on October 19, 2014, 7:11 pm

    Unfortunately, certain things are priceless.

  15. MRW on October 20, 2014, 1:44 am

    OT, but not.

    I highly recommend Christa Tippett’s On Being interview this weekend with French-American anthropologist SCOTT ATRAN —
    Hopes and Dreams in a World of Fear
    http://onbeing.org/program/scott-atran-hopes-and-dreams-in-a-world-of-fear/84

    An antidote to the screeching pro-Netanyahu/Bennett American extremists we have here in America (note to foreigners here on MW) who have become so tedious, to the Sam Harrises and Bill Mahers that spout Islamophobia to the hoi polloi from their media perches, and to the small-mindedness we exhibit as Americans because we can’t imagine an advanced civilization.

  16. edding on October 20, 2014, 8:29 am

    All of this may be true, but Germany recently agreed to a discount on the nuclear submarines it is selling Israel, and the other EU countries show no reluctance in selling it weapons and military equipment. So, I wonder how sincere is their disapproval or guilt over what the IDF and IAF has done to the people of Gaza. Also, I would not be surprised if the Europeans do little if anything if Israel were to begin a program of relocation of Gazans to the Sinai. Doing so would give them full and unimpeded control over Gaza’s EEZ and further its ambitions to become an exporter of natural gas to Europe, and that would be Tony Blair’s latest wet dream absent a deal for BP’s proposed TAP line.

    • edding on October 20, 2014, 8:42 am

      One correction: the discount is reported as being given on the sale of ‘three warships’ which may or may not be nuclear submarines which Germany has been building and selling to Israel

      Here is the Stratfor report:

      Germany: Berlin Gives Israel Discount On Warships
      October 19, 2014 | 1511 GMT

      Germany agreed to give Israel a $300 million euro ($300 million) discount on three warships, reversing a May decision to deny a 30 percent discount, France24 reported Oct. 19. Berlin reportedly denied the request for a discount because of strong domestic opposition to Israeli military operations the Palestinian Territories, a move that raised speculation of a rift between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel says it will use the warships to patrol its offshore oil wells.

      • Citizen on October 24, 2014, 5:41 pm

        Yes, Germany had decided not to hold Israel’s feet to the fire (for screwing up the peace talks and steaming ahead with more settlements) by dropping the 30% discount on the three frigates; not sure if Merkel herself reversed the decision–nobody had an explanation when this was breaking news. This article says maybe it was because Israel told the Germans if they didn’t do the 30% discount (apparently the same as the discount for the nuclear arms-ready Dolphin U boats), Israel would get them from S Korea: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/47850-141019-germany-gives-israel-deep-discount-on-missile-boats

  17. Vera Gottlieb on October 21, 2014, 4:54 am

    What I’ve been saying for some time already: Netanyahu will be israel’s downfall.

    • just on October 21, 2014, 9:40 am

      Oh, there’s been a long line of people contributing to “israel’s downfall”!

      From the beginning. And just wait, the 95% will vote Naftali in next, until and unless the ‘Anglosphere’ grows a brain, some cojones, and a conscience.

  18. Moto on October 22, 2014, 8:56 pm

    I do remember Ariel Sharon saying to Netanyahu “A liar you were, and a liar you remain.” Nothing has changed.

  19. concernedhuman on October 24, 2014, 4:49 pm

    Europe wearies of Netanyahu’s diversions.

    Doesn’t seem to be true ?

    Every EU member gave Israel cover during protective edge barbarism ?

    After this barbarism Germany sends the nuclear capable 4th Dolphin class U-boat.

    Ones Germany rejected the offer to sell speedboats at discount to israel due to breaking of peawce process, Germany again has offered to make speedboats that launch missiles for israel at discounts 20% discounts.

    Seems its like backstabbing palestinians. In politics there is weariness but behind it there is business as usual .

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