Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

2012: The year democracy ends

A not-so-crazy speculation for the new year: A date for new elections will be set; at least one major Arab party won’t be allowed to participate in them, resulting in a call for boycott in the Palestinian public and the Jewish left. With the Arabs out of the Knesset, the right will enjoy a much bigger majority, forever. Game, set, match

MK Haneen Zoabi of Balad (photo: ActiveStills)

If you leave out the West Bank, Israel is still a functioning democracy. New bills are threatening freedom of speech, minorities’ rights are not defended and specific laws targeting non-Jews effectively make them second class-citizens.

But still, the core elements of a functioning democracy – most notably political representation of all citizens – are still there.

Yet even this somewhat flawed system could disappear this year.

The common wisdom in the Israeli political system is that a new date for early elections – later this year or in the first half of 2013 – will be set in the coming months. Some claim that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to hold general elections in Israel before November 2012, because the prospect of Barack Obama winning another term might hurt the Israeli premier in the polls. Others cite the police investigation against Avigdor Lieberman as a reason.

According to the Israeli system, the Central Elections Committee has the right to forbid parties who support terrorism, racism or oppose democracy from participating in the elections. But the committee is a political body, composed of Members of Knesset, and is currently controlled by the right. In the past, it has tried to use this article in the law for political purposes, but has failed. This time it may succeed.

It is very likely that the Central Elections Committee may ban the two major Arab parties, Balad and Raam-Taal, from participating in the elections. Given the public hostility to Balad, and especially to its MK Hanin Zoabi, letting Balad participate would be a huge surprise.

The Central Elections Committee has already disqualified Balad and Raam-Taal from participating in the last elections, when the public sphere was much more tolerant. In Balad’s case, even representatives of Labor supported the decision.

As expected, the Supreme Court overruled the Central Election Committee’s decision and allowed the two Arab parties to take part in the 2009 elections that brought Netanyahu into power (same thing happened in 2003). Balad won three seats and Raam-Taal four. One could even argue that members of the Knesset knew in advance what the Court’s ruling would be.

The public atmosphere in Israel has changed, and so has the Supreme Court, which is more conservative than it has been in the last couple of decades. If faced with a similar scenario in the next elections, I believe that is very likely that the court will not overrule a Knesset decision to disqualify Balad and perhaps even Raam-Taal.

The result would almost certainly be a call for all Palestinian citizens to boycott the elections. And to be honest, I am not sure that any Jewish progressive should participate in an election in which the ruling coalition bans opposition parties. Arab parties that would be allowed to run – if there are such – would be faced with a major problem, as would Jewish democrats – the few that are left.

Historically, the dilemma whether to boycott elections or leave the parliament in protest of anti-democratic laws has always been a major crossroad on the way to authoritarian regimes.

Low Arab turnout, and perhaps even full non-participation, would hand the right a landslide victory in the elections (the left has not won a majority in the Jewish public since 1973, and currently it is far from it, even with the Arab vote). Such events would surely benefit Avigdor Lieberman, by framing the elections around the Palestinian citizens. Lieberman’s racist proposals surrounding the issue could attract many new voters to his party.

The 19th Knesset will be much more rightwing then the current one. More importantly, Israel won’t be able to go on claiming that it respects minority rights after forcing their representatives out of the Knesset. The left will be torn apart and the Palestinian minority will be forever alienated.

And from there it will all go downhill.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • COMMENTS

    1. Richard Witty

      Is this a possibility as well?

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/poll-party-headed-by-israeli-journalist-yair-lapid-could-become-second-largest-in-knesset-1.404448

      “Should Lapid and Deri set up their parties and link with the center-left parties in the Knesset – such as Kadima, the Labor Party, Meretz, and the Arab parties, they would get 63 seats and a majority in the Knesset. On the other hand, the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties would get 57 seats, so in order to set up a coalition they would need to team up with one of the new parties or choose an exisiting centrist or leftist party. “

      Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      Hmm, what a way to start 2012. This is an even more gloomy prognosis than those Mr. Hangdog himself (Bogey Yaalon) habitually churns out. And unlike most of his, this could really happen.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Aaron

      Even with all Arab parties participating in Israeli politics, because of their small numbers the will of the Arab electorate cannot be effected on the big existential issue: whether Israel should be a state of the Jews or something else. That’s the only reason Arab parties are ALLOWED to participate. In that sense, the democracy is only formal, not substantive; that’s all it can be if Israel is to be a Jewish state. Ahmed Tibi said it best: Israel is a democracy for the Jews and a Jewish state for the Arabs.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Jillian C. York (@jilliancyork)

      When I saw the headline on Twitter, without context, I just assumed you were referring to the US. Looks like we’re all in the same boat.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Bosko

      “(the left has not won a majority in the Jewish public since 1973, and currently it is far from it, even with the Arab vote)”
      .
      And you are surprised? Most people anywhere on this earth want to be fair. But self preservation trumps that. It is a basic instinct. But what do they see from the left? At least the extreme left, is that they support those who threaten self preservation. Are they right? Are they wrong? It does not matter. Perception is reality. For what it’s worth, I think they are right …

      Reply to Comment
    6. jalal

      “2012: The year exclusive democracy ends”
      Fixed title for you.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Danny

      @NOAM: Very good assessment. I read an interview in NRG yesterday with the great poet Natan Zach, who said that in his view there is nothing left to be salvaged of the fragments of Israeli society; I fear he is right. The Israel I was born in and knew for most of my life is nearly gone; what has taken its place is foreign and alien. Israel is fast becoming a “dictatorship of the majority” and minority groups are quickly being marginalized and alienated. The major question is: How long will it be before the world (particularly the U.S.) put their foot down and say ENOUGH. Most U.S. Jews are progressive liberals; how long will it take them to completely disown that which Israel is clearly becoming (a Putin-style authoritarian state with Iran-like theocratic elements thrown in)? The only hope I have for Israel’s salvation is Barrack Obama’s second term in office. If he continues to do that which he did in his first term, I think Israel will be lost. Let’s hope he becomes a “mensch” in 2012 and finally cuts ties between AIPAC and the White House.

      Reply to Comment
    8. aristeides

      Put not thy hope in Obama.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Bosko

      “an interview in NRG yesterday with the great poet Natan Zach, who said that in his view there is nothing left to be salvaged of the fragments of Israeli society; I fear he is right”
      .
      Some great poet. No he is not right but most of Israel has no choice but to lurch to the right because they have come to see the left as sell outs. Pity because the left itself is responsible for the lessening of democracy. When they are seen to look after the interests of those who want to see Israel destroyed, why should the Israeli electorate support them? The old Israeli left believed in Israel, that’s why they were a viable choice in the old days.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Bosko

      The new Israeli left (some of them) opt today to gain the approval of the extreme “international left” at the expense of the interests of Israel as a nation state for the Jewish people. A sanctuary for the Jewish people. Fine. But please don’t get surprised when the Israeli voters desert the left in their droves. Any other voters in any other country would react with an even greater backlash in Israel’s circumstances. Thank your lucky stars that you are in Israel and not in any other country. Go study up on how the great western democracies treated those who supported their enemies in WW2.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Philos

      I’m sorry Bosko but at this stage of the game I can only reply to hasbarists well versed and faulty arguments with one answer:
      yaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwnnn.
      Good night.

      Reply to Comment
    12. sarah grant

      bemocracy that is a laugh if anyone does get it in the arab world they wont want it, i dont think i cauld ever vote again and anyone who does has got to be grazy it is time to change things

      Reply to Comment
    13. Danny

      “Put not thy hope in Obama”
      .
      Who else is there? Obama is the only one who can stomp on Netanyahu and make him tremble in fear. Everyone else is nothing more than a worm to Netanyahu, including Sarkozy, Merkel and Cameron. Obama is our ONLY hope, unfortunately.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Bosko

      Keep on yawning Philos. But the Israeli electorate is yawning about people like you too. Good luck with that.

      Reply to Comment
    15. aristeides

      Danny – there is no hope. Only lying campaign promises.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Richard Witty

      Is democracy here?

      We all get to post, but do we listen?

      Reply to Comment
    17. Bosko

      “Ahmed Tibi said it best: Israel is a democracy for the Jews and a Jewish state for the Arabs”
      .
      What he didn’t say is that this is how ALL of humanity operates.
      .
      Jews who live in America or England or Italy or … Pick your any other western democracy … live in a democracy but which are Christian countries overall. And there is nothing wrong with that.
      .
      As for Arab countries, let’s not even talk about them. Hardly any Jews live there and they live in Muslim/Arab countries which are not even democracies. But that’s ok for the extreme leftists, they would never complain about that. If anyone does, they call such a person racist. But in fact, they are the racists for not holding everyone to the same impossible standards.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Bosko

      Take the much lauded Arab spring. The leftists could not laud it enough. Now I would like to ask preachers like Ahmed Tibi, how is it shaping up? Tunisians already elected an Islamist government. How is it going in Libya? Ditto. How about Egypt? Islamist parties gained two thirds of the votes. Not a peep out of Mr Tibi about that eh? Because according to him and the likes of him, Arab theocracies are OK. It is only wrong if one small country wants to maintain a majority Jewish population and Jewish culture.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Dregen Jelencovich

      “Jews who live in America or England or Italy or … Pick your any other western democracy … live in a democracy but which are Christian countries overall. And there is nothing wrong with that.
      .”

      I live in a Western Democracy. Save for a few churches dotting the landscape, most of the people where I come from would laugh loud, long and hard at your summation that my homeland is in any way a Christian country…and you can be quite sure that it applies across the board in any western democracy worth it’s salt.

      i.e. No personal offence, but you’re wrong.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Bosko

      No offence taken. I too live in a western democracy but despite what you say, the official public holidays are Christian holidays. I have no problems with that. It’s exactly the way it should be because the majority of the population are either practicing Christians or their background is of Christian tradition. And there is NOTHING offensive in Christians celebrating their traditional festivities. Just as much as there is nothing wrong in Muslims or Jews celebrating theirs.
      .
      What IS offensive is the fact that Jews are singled out by SOME for maintaining and celebrating their own culture in one tiny spot on this earth. I would be the first to join the critics if in doing so, Israeli Jews would be trying to prevent the Arab minorities from celebrating Muslim holidays but that is simply not the case. What IS the case is that in Israel, the official holidays are Jewish ones. Just as much as the official holidays elsewhere are Christian or Muslim.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Danny

      “Danny – there is no hope. Only lying campaign promises”
      .
      While I do not put a lot of stock in Obama, he does have one thing going for him: He HATES Bibi. He would like nothing more than to see Bibi’s lifeless corpse hanging like the stuffed turkey that he is. I’m hoping Obama’s hatred of Bibi causes him to act against his political instincts. And in 2013, there will no longer be any leverage on him from groups like AIPAC.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Bosko

      “He HATES Bibi. He would like nothing more than to see Bibi’s lifeless corpse hanging like the stuffed turkey that he is”
      .
      What is this if not hate speech. It was disgusting when it was done against Rabin by some extreme rightists. And it is disgusting when it is done NOW by some extreme leftists.

      Reply to Comment
    23. aristeides

      Danny – I think you (a) underestimate the stranglehold that Congress can put on Obama’s administration (b) way overestimate his will to bring about a just solution for Palestine. He doesn’t care.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Y.

      I must point out that Balad undoubtedly breaks the election law (Founder running away from trial due to links with Hizballah, another MK under investigation for such links, Zoabi, etc.), and the only reason the Supreme Court found for voiding the commission’s decision even in 2003 before all these affairs was that Balad was not a big party and unlikely to be influential…
      .
      Mind you, this excuse could be trotted out again (or replaced by the argument that Balad is too big to be banned), so I wouldn’t yet say that a banning is inevitable.
      .
      P.S I think early elections are a given if no attack on Iran, if only because an economic downturn is likely…
      .
      P.S.S. What on earth did you expect from Zach? He never saw himself as a Jew or as an Israeli.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Denis V

      “But still, the core elements of a functioning democracy – most notably political representation of all citizens – are still there. Yet even this somewhat flawed system could disappear this year.”

      No, this system is in no danger of disappearing. Political representation of all citizens isn’t the same as political representation of all viewpoints. Even if Balad and Raam-Taal aren’t allowed to participate, the people are still allowed to vote and run for Knesset. They will just have to choose someone else.

      It’s not as if Bibi is planning to ban all political left and become a dictator (And the next person whining that “oh, he might just do this” should really get a grip, because seriously, it’s annoying and childish). He’s playing the game by the same rules it has always been played in Israel. Wanna beat him? Present a sensible left alternative, either by running or by electing.

      Reply to Comment
    26. sh

      Bosko you go on and on about being one tiny country. We aren’t, we are, since partition, TWO tiny countries that we have progressively and very purposefully been cobbling into one small country, by clearing the potential other tiny one of its inhabitants by whatever means we can cook up, all the while talking to the rest of the world out of the other side of our mouth like you are doing on these pages.
      .
      If you’d wanted a Jewish country, everything should have been done to preserve and develop the one granted the Jews by the international community while cherishing and safeguarding what was Jewish in the people who were going to run and live in it.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Bosko

      Sh
      You and people like you go on and on pretending that everything that has gone wrong is all Israel’s fault. You pretend that if only Israel did the right things, everything would be allright by now. But in fact, you are the one/s who are talking out of both sides of your mouth/s. You are the ones who pretend that the Arabs want peace but all Israel is hungry for is land.
      .
      I don’t want to hijack this thread so I won’t go into the history of this conflict and which side has been guilty of playing a zero sum game. I’ll let you guess who I blame more (hint: the Arabs).
      .
      Having said that, unlike extreme leftists, or extreme rightists, I believe that each side made mistakes. But overall, the Palestinian Arabs have a lot more to answer for than they, and you extreme leftists, pretend.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Richard Witty

      Bosko,
      “No offence taken. I too live in a western democracy but despite what you say, the official public holidays are Christian holidays.”

      All this time, I thought you were Israeli.

      I know that didn’t come out of the blue. Did you say “we” in talking about Israelis?

      Reply to Comment
    29. Bosko

      Richard
      Oh c’mon. You must be the only one around here who hasn’t read that I live down under. It really is old news. At one stage, SNAGS like our Philos and a few of his cronies thought that taunting me with it would upset me. But all it showed is the level of their maturity (NOTE: I use the term “maturity” loosely).
      .
      Sh
      You wan proof that the primary issue is not land but the fact that your protogeges (the Arabs) just cannot stand the idea of a tiny Jewish state in their midst? Then just ask yourself how many times did Israel give up land for peace but it did not get peace in return. The latest unravelling process is happening right now in front of our eyes with Egypt. Just watch how the Muslim Brotherhood is about to renounce the peace process with Israel despite the fact that they signed a treaty in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from their land.

      Reply to Comment
    30. Richard Witty

      You never mentioned it in our conversations, directly, or in allusions.

      It puts us both in the position of not knowing clearly, as we are both far away.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Bosko

      No, I did not mention it to you because you never displayed any curiosity about where I live. But I thought you might be reading some of of my posts in which I did mention it to others. For instance to Greg Pollock who like you thought that I live in Israel and I corrected him. Also, like you, I too have relatives as well as friends in Israel. Moreover, as a child I lived in Israel for a few years.

      Reply to Comment
    32. AYLA

      SH: like.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Aaron

      No, Bosko, all democracies are not like this. The conflict in America over whether it should be a little more or a little less Christian is not comparable to that in Israel over whether it should be a state of the Jews. The latter is an existential question, the former is not. The two would be comparable if in America there were a stable, substantially sized, politically conscious minority that wanted America to be a true theocracy, and that viewed the current secular state as illegitimate or at least undesirable. That would be comparable to Arabs in Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Bosko

      AARON
      I think that your definition of what should be a Jewish state and my definition are different. I am secular (very secular) but I still would like to see Israel to maintain a significant majority Jewish population. In addition, I would like to see Israel foster a Jewish culture, teach Jewish history, speak Hebrew, make Jewish holidays the official holidays etc. However, I would like Israel to be a democracy and the separation of state and “church”. I don’t know if most Israelis agree with me but since I know that most Israelis are secular (about 70% of them?), I would like to think that most Israelis think of it the same way.
      .
      By the way, from what I know about America, I think they have gone overboard. My understanding is that there are people over there who object to Christmas being celebrated in state institutions like schools because it creates the impression that there is a state religion. I think that is just silly. It is the rule of a minority over the majority. For what it’s worth, other Western democracies have not gone down that path. Schools observe and celebrate Christian holidays, as they should because Christians are the majority.

      Reply to Comment
    35. sh

      Bosko, I see from these posts that you live in Australia – I was reading about a lively internet hasbara nest out there only this morning….

      I particularly loved this rant of yours:
      “Then just ask yourself how many times did Israel give up land for peace but it did not get peace in return. The latest unravelling process is happening right now in front of our eyes with Egypt. Just watch how the Muslim Brotherhood is about to renounce the peace process with Israel despite the fact that they signed a treaty in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from their land.”

      “Israel’s withdrawal from THEIR land.” You said it not me. Ditto Gaza, South Lebanon and whatever else you were going to mention. THEIR land. The State of Israel has given up not one inch of its land, not for peace and not for anything else.

      As for me, left-wing, right-wing, extreme, it’s all nonsense. I don’t even like politics. I’m just old and knew this place before 1967. With all its faults, it was a lot better-intentioned than mark-2012 is.

      Re your fairy stories about how Arabs or Palestinians think, or what they really want, how would you know?

      Reply to Comment
    36. Leen

      Bosko,You are asking how is the Arab Spring shaping up and pointed towards Tunisia. Yeah, they elected an Islamic party, however ironically that said Islamic party is quite secular in character, pretty much like the AKP in Turkey (greater economic freedom, closer relations with the West, pluralism, democracy, etc). Al-Nahhada is also supported by liberals and secularists, ironically. Secularism does not equal to democracy, in fact most of the dictatorships have been anti-Islamists in the past.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Bosko

      Sh:
      “Israel’s withdrawal from THEIR land.” You said it not me. Ditto Gaza, South Lebanon and whatever else you were going to mention. THEIR land. The State of Israel has given up not one inch of its land, not for peace and not for anything else”
      .
      Yes SH, I said it. And now I ask you, why SHOULD Israel give up any of IT’S land? Of course it gave up THEIR land in the vain hope of getting peace in return. But did it? Does it? You tell me, SH!
      .
      SH: “Re your fairy stories about how Arabs or Palestinians think, or what they really want, how would you know?”
      .
      Yea, how would I know. I don’t even pretend to know. I just repeat what many of them say they want. They want the right of return and they don’t want Israel to be able to maintain it’s Jewish majority. The rest just follows from that to any thinking person. Are you a thinking person, SH?

      Reply to Comment
    38. Bosko

      Leen
      And what is the official state religion of Tunisia? Can a non Muslim become the leader of the country? What are the official holidays that they celebrate? I am not critical of them. But If the Arabs/Muslims are allowed to celebrate THEIR culture, religion in THEIR state (in fact 22 of their states) why shouldn’t Jews be allowed the same privelege in just one tiny state of their own too?
      .
      In other words why is it not racist for Arab/Muslims but IT IS racist for Jews? You know what I say? Those who claim that it’s racist for Jews, are the ones who are racist for saying so and discriminating against Jews.

      Reply to Comment
    39. Aaron

      Bosko, I didn’t say anything about what I or you want. I was describing what is.
      §
      There’s a serious problem with describing a state form, or constitution, as universal democracy (universal = every adult citizen) when there’s a significantly large, stable, politically self-conscious minority of the citizenry that considers that state to be illegitimate. That’s democracy only in the formal sense of “two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.”

      Reply to Comment
    40. Bosko

      AARON:
      ” The conflict in America over whether it should be a little more or a little less Christian is not comparable to that in Israel over whether it should be a state of the Jews. The latter is an existential question, the former is not”
      .
      Aaron, I re-read what you wrote and I agree with what you wrote above. For Israel, being a state for the Jewish people IS an existential question. I have been saying the same thing in a more verbose way. And I’ll also say it agai, those who pretend that people like me are racists for advocating an ethnocentric state, are at the least disingenuous or worse, they are racists themselves for begrudging the Jewish people an issue that is a matter of their survival and which is not as unique in the world as they make out (even if we don’t compare Israel to America).

      Reply to Comment
    41. sh

      @Bosko – “Yes SH, I said it. And now I ask you, why SHOULD Israel give up any of IT’S land?”
      It hasn’t given up all THEIR land yet. Ask again when it has. Only then will the discussion about a homeland or state for the Jews have any relevance. Meanwhile, since few seem to be holding their breath for that to happen, no harm in considering other options.

      Reply to Comment
    42. sh

      “Yea, how would I know. I don’t even pretend to know. I just repeat what many of them say they want.”

      Exactly, Bosko.

      Reply to Comment
    43. Bosko

      I said: “Yea, how would I know. I don’t even pretend to know. I just repeat what many of them say they want.”
      .
      SH said: “Exactly, Bosko”
      .
      And your point is that they [those Palestinian Arabs who say it] don’t mean what they say? Ahhh … what a relief. And here I was panicking for no reason at all. Thanks for setting me straight, SH (NOT!!!!).

      Reply to Comment
    44. Bosko

      SH:
      “It hasn’t given up all THEIR land yet. Ask again when it has. Only then will the discussion about a homeland or state for the Jews have any relevance. Meanwhile, since few seem to be holding their breath for that to happen, no harm in considering other options”
      .
      The problem is that there seems to be a difference of opinion about what is THEIR land. According to some Palestinians (like Hamas), Israel too is THEIR land. And according to many Jews, places like the Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem belong to Israel. You see? There are a variety of opinions within each society and certainly between Israel and the PA as to what belongs to whom and what compromises are feasible to reach an agreement. Unfortunately though Abbas refuses to negotiate without pre-conditions.
      .
      But even worse, it is a moot point. Because even if they would agree about what is or isn’t THEIRS (as they more or less did in Taba back in 2001), there is a much bigger problem. Can you guess what it is SH? Oh … Ok, I’ll relieve your suspense …. It is the right of return demand. That’s a show stopper, SH. No elected Israeli government will ever agree to it because if they would, there would be a revolution in Israel. Such a government would immediately be dismissed by the majority of Israelis. Only a small number of die hards on sites like these are willing to be lemmings who support such a demand.
      .
      So guess what has to happen, SH? The Palestinian Arabs have to give up the right of return demand for before there is any chance for peace to break out.

      Reply to Comment
    45. sh

      Internationally, Bosko, there is only one opinion. That’s the one I’m talking about. Hamas? Recently they said 1967 borders are ok for them but I don’t suppose you heard that because you only listen to extreme pronouncements that will allow you to continue your arguments. What you call a show stopper is going to be on the table one day and whether no Israeli government will ever agree to DISCUSS it is not something you can predict. Umm, you’re going to be disappointed about this too, Bosko. Palestinians are highly unlikely give up their refugee rights. The law’s on their side for one thing. But think about this: if we didn’t give up ours for a couple of thousand years, what makes you think they’ll give up theirs after only 63?
      .
      You’d be better off doing a bit of creative thinking about ways to make things work in a manner that will reassure both Jews and Palestinians instead of feeding the same old nightmares.

      Reply to Comment
    46. Bosko

      SH:
      “whether no Israeli government will ever agree to DISCUSS it is not something you can predict”
      .
      I can confidently predict that most Jews don’t feel nostalgic for the treatment meted out to them when they were minorities under Arab rule. I also know that most Jewish mothers don’t give birth to stupid children (there are always exceptions of course) and therefore most Israelis won’t agree to gamble with their own and their children’s future security. That’s why they won’t agree for their country to be flooded by a people who were openly sworn to be their enemies for the last 100 or so years, just because a few idealistic lemmings want to experiment with their future by advocating suicidal solutions.
      .
      As for what the Palestinian Arabs might or might not do, that’s their concern. But certainly they have a lot more options to rebuild their lives either in their own state or amongst their Arab brothers. More options than the Jews had during their 2000 years of exile during which Jews were kicked from pillar to post by just about everyone who now want to preach to Israelis about what they should or should not do. People like you SH, can choose to listen to their counsel and be subservient to them as you have always been. People like me on the other hand choose to speak up and talk about history as it really has been (warts and all on all sides, including our side). But one thing I won’t choose to be is subservient to anyone. No matter who it offends.

      Reply to Comment
    47. Woody

      Bosko:

      Bosko conflates the idea of a state OF Christians (i.e. a majority) to a state FOR Christians, which none of the Western democracies are. Israel’s problem is that it is a state FOR Jews. I think this is the crux of the whole “recognizing Israel as a Jewish State” argument. If Israel was just a state that had a large number of Jews, but didn’t enact a policy that privileged and preferenced Jews while discriminating against minorities openly, then I think people would be more accepting of it. BTW, the other democracies your attempt to equate with Israel all have constitutions, something which makes “democracy” a precarious idea in the country where I live and you don’t.

      Reply to Comment
    48. Bosko

      Ahhhh of course …. How could I be so stupid. Having the Christian holidays as the official public holidays does not privIleges Christians. But having Jewish public holidays in a country that has a majority of Jews, privileges Jews. How come I didn’t understand this simple distinction?
      .
      Or speaking English, French, Italian in Britain, France and Italy respectively, does not discriminate in favour of the majority population. But if they speak Hebrew in a Jewish country then it’s discrimination against the minority Arabs. How come I couldn’t see that … ?
      .
      Or if they don’t let in more than a certain quota of immigrants/refugees in western democracies then it’s just prudent management of the economy and ensuring that the locals won’t get their noses out of joint for not letting too many foreigners in. But if Israel insists that it won’t allow in it’s self avowed enemies of the state (people who have been fighting against Israel since even before it’s birth) in equivalent numbers to it’s own population, then Israel is discriminatory and is the world’s worst.
      .
      Thank you Woody for enlightening me with your strange logic.
      .
      PS
      And we haven’t even talked about the 22 Arab states which clearly privilege Arabs/Muslims over everyone else and many of them have Islamic constitutions. They of course are not an affront to the enlightened mob whose pass time in here is to knock Israel. They only get scandalised about Jews trying to create a sanctuary for Jews on one tiny strip of land on this earth. But that’s just too much for some people. How about getting over yourselves?

      Reply to Comment
    49. Bosko

      Oh and talking about Britain, isn’t it a state for the Anglicans? I mean who is the titular head of Britain? Isn’t it the Queen who is also the head of the Anglican church? Isn’t the Church of England the official religion of Britain? How is that any different than recognizing Israel as the state for the Jewish people?

      Reply to Comment
    50. Click here to load previous comments

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel