Thursday, January 17, 2013

Israel's Shift To The Right Not Surprising

Israel's Politics

An article in The New Yorker, by David Remnick, looks at Israel's increasing shift to the right, chiefly a result of Israelis over-all disenchantment with any possibility of genuine peace with the Palestinians. The shift is a natural by-product of Israel making concessions without any given by the Palestinians or its Arab overlords.

A rising star in Israeli politics is Naftali Bennett, a former chief of staff for Bibi Netanyahu, whose views represent the sentiment of not only the settlement movement but likely that of a good portion of the Jewish State. He might become Israel's prime minister within ten years, which says much.
Closer to his ideological core is an unswerving conviction that the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem might as well relinquish their hopes for a sovereign state. The Green Line, which demarcates the occupied territories from Israel proper, “has no meaning,” he says, and only a friyer, a sucker, would think otherwise. As one of his slick campaign ads says, “There are certain things that most of us understand will never happen: ‘The Sopranos’ are not coming back for another season . . . and there will never be a peace plan with the Palestinians.” If Bennett becomes Prime Minister someday—and his ambition is as plump and glaring as a harvest moon—he intends to annex most of the West Bank and let Arab cities like Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin be “self-governing” but “under Israeli security.”
“I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state,” he says of the Palestinians. No more negotiations, “no more illusions.” Let them eat crème brûlée.
Such shows that the peace movement might be dead in Israel, since as it stands there are no partners for peace: any trust or good intentions previously held by at least the Israelis has been eroded over the last decade by a decided lack of good will on the side of the Palestinians. Years of patiently waiting has resulted in nothing good.

Such is the dominant view in Israel, the article points out: "The lessons that Bennett draws from recent history are familiar, and not only on the right: If Israel were to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state, what is now the West Bank would quickly become a second Gaza—a Hamas-led bastion of Islamic radicalism, a launch pad for rocket fire aimed at Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport. If Israel were to sign a deal, Bennett told his audience in Tel Aviv, 'we’d get praise from the world and, two weeks later, we’ll see the first demonstrations on the Green Line.' "

History shows that whatever one thinks of the right in Israel, Naftali Bennett is not wrong on this issue, and perhaps on a few others. If the Palestinians and the Arab nations surrounding Israel truly want peace, it's incumbent upon them to show it.

You can read the rest of the article at [New Yorker]


  1. Extremism is contagious. The Arab world, in effect, has fought against an independent Palestinian state ever since 1947. Such a state is possible only with Israel, not against it. But the Arab world apparently hates the Palestinians. It has kept them in refugee camps since 1947, in order to let them be a running sore. If Israel is defeated and its people killed, the neighboring states will divide the territory among themselves and persecute the Palestinians, as they always have. Rival sectarian groups will blow up the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, preferably when there are many worshipers inside.
    Before 1967, Britain and Jordan were the only countries on earth that recognized the post-1948 cease-fire lines. Today, on the other hand, the world considers those boundaries sacred.
    Under the circumstances, it is not surprising that ever more Israelis have contracted the disease of extremism.

  2. Hello Perry -

    It is a privilege to read, and contribute to your blog in this open forum manner.

    However, if 'free speech' is not tempered by the tolerance and moderation of it's practitioners, any free speech venue risks devolving into a venue manipulated by propagandizers, and those who wish to spew hateful opinion.

    In the space of one sentence your last commentator states:

    'If Israel is defeated and it's people killed...groups will blow Mosque, preferably when there are many worshippers inside.'

    Such comments are unwarranted, and EXTREME-ly unsavoury.

    I respectfully urge your contributors to demonstrate tolerance and avoid assertions laden with outright racist hatred (in this case, directed at Arab Muslim worshippers).

    It seems the disease of extremism has also spread to this part of the world as well.


    1. Mark:

      I know the commentator, and he is not an extremist. He was suggesting what would possibly take place if Islamists have their way in Israel, G-d forbid. There is enough historical evidence, most recently what's currently taking place in Syria (i.e., sectarian violence) to know that is a possibility. And, besides, I want this to be an open forum, as long as it does not incite violence. The comment above, in my opinion, did not in any way cross the line.

  3. In a New York Times news story dated January 10 under the headline “Blasts in Pakistan Kill Scores and Stir Fears on Elections,” we read, “Bomb blasts in two Pakistan cities killed at least 115 people on Thursday.” On January 13, a different headline tells us, “Bomb Kills 14 Pakistani Soldiers as Attacks Shake Up Provincial Government.” Bombs aimed at soldiers and civilians go off time and again as a result of sectarian differences among Pakistanis.
    In a New York Times editorial dated January 15, we learn that Egypt's President Morsi is shown in a video from 2010 delivering a speech in which he urges Egyptians to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred” for Jews and Zionists. In a television interview months later, he described Zionists as “these bloodsuckers who attack Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.”

  4. Thank you, Perry.

    Perhaps i should clarify my objection, as to the quote from your reader.

    '...groups will blow Mosque, preferably when there are many worshippers inside.'

    If Mr. Qiao intentionally indicates in his own words that he would 'prefer' that many Muslim worshippers be inside the al Aqsa mosque when it were blown up, then he has made a statement which is simply a bald expression of racial hatred.

    My point and plea was that such statements seem more suitable for posting on a more welcoming sort of 'free speech' venue– an extremist website, for example.

    1. I most certainly would not prefer that many worshipers be inside the mosque if it is blown up. I wouldn't want it to be blown up even if it were empty. I am referring to what Islamist terrorists do time and again. The world should be afraid of what Muslims are doing to other Muslims.

    2. Oh. I understand the source of the confusion. I used the word "preferably" to indicate that the terrorists would prefer to blow up the mosques when lots of people were there, just as they prefer to set off bombs in marketplaces when they are most crowded. Under no circumstances would I want innocent people to be blown up by terrorist bombs.


All comments ought to reflect the post in question. All comments are moderated; and inappropriate comments, including those that attack persons, those that use profanity and those that are hateful, will not be tolerated. So, keep it on target, clean and thoughtful. This is not a forum for personal vendettas or to create a toxic environment. The chief idea is to engage, to discuss and to critique issues. Doing so within acceptable norms will make the process more rewarding and healthy for everyone. Accordingly, anonymous comments will not be posted.