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What's an Ashkenazi leftist to do?

One Ashkenazi leftist’s view of the post-election rumblings of class warfare between the “State of Tel Aviv” and the mainly Mizrahi periphery.

Last Tuesday’s election saw Likud’s traditional popular base — Mizrahim in the poor, development towns and cities of the Negev and Galilee, and poor neighborhoods and suburbs of the central region — vote for Likud and Netanyahu in very big numbers. This caused a backlash among many Ashkenazi liberals who voted Zionist Union and Meretz. They’re saying they are through caring about the Mizrahi poor; let them go to Bibi from now on. This, in turn, has caused a counter-backlash by many other Ashkenazi liberals and leftists, who are saying this is a racist, right-wing attitude, and that a big reason why poor Mizrahim vote Likud is because of Ashkenazi liberal offenses against them, past and present.

The following is my view of the Ashkenazi leftist/Mizrahi Likudnik divide. I want to stress that I am referring only to poor, generally under-educated Mizrahim who make up the base of Likud supporters. I am not talking about middle-class, well-educated Mizrahim, who I have a strong hunch leaned away from Likud and toward the more liberal parties in the election.

1. Israeli leftists, who are disproportionately Ashkenazi, want to be in solidarity with the “weakened” classes, which include the poor, under-educated segments of the Mizrahi population. But it turns out that the latter tend to hate Israeli leftists. They also hate the “weakened” classes who are not Jewish: Arabs and African refugees. In disproportionate numbers, they expressed that sentiment — against the Left and the Arabs (the Africans weren’t much of an issue) by voting for Bibi.

So what is an Israeli Ashkenazi leftist to do? If we lash out at Mizrahi Likudniks, we’re racists, which we don’t want to be, and if we blame them for their own racism, then we’re not good leftists, because good leftists don’t blame the “weakened” classes for anything. So we blame the powers that be, we blame Israeli capitalism, we blame Bibi — and, being good leftists, we blame ourselves. We’re racist, we live in a Tel Aviv bubble where everyone is just like us, we’re patronizing, we put the poor Mizrahim in miserable immigrant transit camps when they came to Israel in the ‘50s and ‘60s, we don’t listen to them, etc. And we think that if we take this fearless personal inventory, if...

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The silent majority of complacency: Israel's right-wing voters

The 20-kilometer road from “Israel proper” to the West Bank settlement of Ariel used to be narrow and slightly risky, running past a few Palestinian villages where teenagers might want to throw a rock at a passing car with yellow Israeli plates. But no more; now there’s a wide, sleek, protected highway that doesn’t pass anywhere near a Palestinian village, and on whose lanes not a single green Palestinian license plate can be seen. No, the status quo is not static.

Ariel itself seems much bigger than I remember, with wide boulevards swooping up and down the rim of the hilly city. City? It looks like a city, but there are only 20,000 people living here. This must be the biggest town of 20,000 in the world.

The billboards give an idea of how people here will be voting on Tuesday.

“It’s us or them – only Likud, only Netanyahu.”

“We’re through apologizing – Jewish Home – Bennett.”

“Tachlis (Bottom line), Liberman – Capital punishment for terrorists – Umm el-Fahm to Palestine.”

“Yahad – the Torah-true Right.”

On the second-to-last Friday afternoon before the election, at a local shopping center, Nadav Oshri, 67, a pensioner who worked in hospital maintenance and has lived here since 1980, tells me he’s voting Likud as always. He agrees with the central message of Likud and Jewish Home that the right wing’s rival, Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni’s Zionist Union slate, is “leftist” and “anti-Zionist,” pointing out that they want to divide the land with the Palestinians.

Why does he prefer Likud over Jewish Home? “First, I’m not a religious Jew, I’m traditional. And I like things to be done in a way that people will accept. I don’t like Bennett’s aggressiveness.”

Bella Olshansky, 53, a librarian married to a factory worker, Russian immigrants who’ve been living in Ariel for 19 years, tells me, “Bibi is weak – push him and he’ll give in.” What about Liberman? “We don’t need separate parties for the Russians or any other group.” Though secular, Olshansky is voting for Bennett. “I want somebody from the hard right. We moved to Ariel because of ideology, not for the lower price of housing, or not only for that.”

Then she says something I heard repeatedly from the people I interviewed in Ariel, Jerusalem and Bar Ilan University – “normal” settlers, the non-professional middle class, Russian immigrants, elderly Mizrahim and the moderate national...

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The lie at the heart of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress

You can’t describe a country as he described Iran and believe it will negotiate its own surrender.

First Netanyahu tells Congress that Iran is the modern Nazi Germany – bent on annihilating Israel, nuking America, conquering the world in the name of an evil ideology, and lying all the way to its goal. But then he says America can get this modern Nazi Germany to surrender – to give up its entire nuclear program and let inspectors inspect where and when they want, to give up its foreign policy and stop supporting its Shi’ite allies, to stop threatening to retaliate against an Israeli attack (what Netanyahu calls “threatening to annihilate Israel”), to behave exactly as Israel and the Republican Party want it to behave – and America can get this Iran to surrender without firing a shot! Just by negotiating! And keeping up the sanctions! Think of it – bringing Nazi Germany to its knees – without having to fight World War Two!

No wonder those idiots in Congress were giving him standing ovations. Bibi was promising them the Republicans’ notion of 72 virgins in heaven.

As Isaac Herzog likes to say, Enough, Bibi, enough. He was lying, once again. Bibi doesn’t believe there’s a “better deal” to be had in the negotiations with Iran; the only better deal he believes in is war. That’s what he wants America to do, either with or without Israel – that’s what he’s always wanted: to bomb Iran to its knees. But he knows that won’t fly in the U.S. anymore, so he tells Congress they can successfully demand terms of surrender from Iran in the negotiations – and then, when the Iranians walk away, well, that leaves no option but war! See, he told the Americans to try the old jaw jaw, but those Nazis in Tehran didn’t leave America and/or Israel any choice but war war, as his good friend and supporter Winston Churchill used to say.

Luckily, the Obama administration doesn’t buy this bullshit. It’s just such a shame and disgrace that so many Israelis and American Jews do – or pretend to.

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Is an anti-occupation revolt brewing in the British Jewish establishment?

Leader in top communal organization announces he is leaving post to speak out freely against Israeli policies — and gets standing ovation from membership.

For many years I have felt that the only way to end the occupation is through outside pressure because Israel is just scorched earth politically, and will never do it on its own. On that basis, the announcement last week by a prominent figure in the British Jewish establishment, and the reaction to it by his colleagues, was a more hopeful sign than anything that’s happened in the current Israeli campaign or is about to happen on Election Day on March 17.

What happened was that Laurence Brass, treasurer of the leading British Jewish organization, the Board of Deputies, told a meeting of the board’s plenary that he was quitting the leadership ranks after the board’s May election, The Jewish Chronicle reported. The reason, he told the plenary, was:

When he had tried to voice his opinions in the past, he said he faced “very harsh and often quite abusive personal criticism …”

What’s even more encouraging is that Brass, according to The Jewish Chronicle, “received a standing ovation after his speech.”

Is something happening in the British Jewish establishment? It sure seems that way. It sounds like there’s a potential revolt against Israeli policies simmering in the ranks of the most pro-Israel – or supposedly most pro-Israel – citizens in all of Great Britain.

When I look at how far the international movement against the occupation has to go before it will be strong enough to force Israel’s hand, I tend to despair. But then I see how mortally frightened the Israeli and pro-Israeli establishment is of this movement, and I say – maybe something is brewing here.

The attempt to muzzle Brass when he first began speaking out, following his visit to the West Bank last spring, was remarkable for the fear it revealed on the part of Israel’s mouthpieces. A lone individual, the treasurer of the British Board of Deputies, starts criticizing the occupation – and NGO Monitor’s hit man-in-chief Gerald Steinberg, as well as Netanyahu’s former head of hasbara and current head of the blue-chip Institute for Zionist...

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Why Israel picks fights with Hezbollah

And why it will probably pick another one before too long.

After Hezbollah’s fatal attack on Israeli soldiers Wednesday, the two enemy sides are in a rare configuration: they’re even. Israel killed six Hezbollah guerrillas and an Iranian general on January 18, so Hezbollah killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven more, and now they’re quits, for the time being. They each told UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon that they didn’t want to escalate things anymore, they wanted calm, and that clearly seems to be the case today.

What an opportunity. From this point forward, Israel and Hezbollah could start fresh, they could each decide not to attack the other, and, in theory, this unofficial cease-fire could last indefinitely.

I believe Hezbollah would go for that, for one simple reason – they know Israel is the incomparably stronger side (which is why they absorbed so many Israeli attacks in the last couple of years with very little response, until Wednesday). They know that starting up with Israel would get them bashed up badly. I think Hezbollah’s ally Iran would go for an indefinite, unofficial cease-fire too – for the same reason – and so would their ally Syria.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Israel would accept that arrangement. The strong in this world get away with things the weak wouldn’t dream of trying, and Israel flies spy jets and drones over Lebanon regularly, it blows up sophisticated weapons on their way from Syria to Hezbollah, and it assassinates Hezbollah and Syrian military officers as well as Iranian nuclear scientists and generals.

Would Israel be willing to give up all those prerogatives in return for Hezbollah unofficially putting down its weapons? I don’t think so, because Israel is filled with too much fear and aggression to trust its deterrent power; instead, it trusts the use of force.

And lately Israel has been zooming in on a whole new Hezbollah “threat” it must “defend against”: the organization’s recent military build-up on the Syrian Golan Heights, across the border from Israel.

After the Hezbollah attack, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “For a while, Iran has been trying, through the Hezbollah, to form an additional terror front against us from the Golan Heights. We are acting with resolve and responsibility against this effort.”

This is Israeli paranoia at work. Hezbollah isn’t gunning for Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights, it’s defending the territory...

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Netanyahu on how his old U.S. high school ‘changed’

More evidence that his racism doesn’t stop at Arabs.

I’ve never written about a particular comment Bibi Netanyahu made when I interviewed him in the summer of 1993, because as objective evidence of anti-black racism, it’s not exactly slam-dunk.

But this weekend Netanyahu accused Israel’s friendliest, most unthreatening Arab public figure, broadcaster-turned-candidate Zohair Bahloul, of “praising Hezbollah” in a court testimony. What Bahloul actually said was the exact opposite. For Netanyahu this was a personal low in terms of anti-Arab racism, which takes some effort. And recently I saw a Washington Post account of the blatant anti-Hispanic racism Netanyahu showed in a 2002 speech to white Texans, which was perfectly in line with the anti-Hispanic attitudes he expressed in his 1993 book “A Place Among the Nations – Israel and the World.”

So even if the evidence I’ve gathered of Netanyahu’s anti-black racism is not conclusive, not undeniable, it was a tell-tale sign as far as I’m concerned. And between his documented disdain for Hispanics and his ever-deepening contempt for Arabs, Netanyahu is coming into focus not just as an Israeli Jewish hater of Arabs, but as an old-fashioned white bigot. So I want to put that comment he made to me in early summer 1993 on the record.

Netanyahu had just been elected leader of the Likud, and I was doing a magazine profile of him. The interview, conducted in English, took place in his Jerusalem office. Before we started, we made small talk, and I mentioned the high school he’d gone to, Cheltenham High, just outside Philadelphia. He said it had been a very good school when he was there in the mid-60s. Then, with a conspiratorial expression on his face, he added:

“It’s changed.”

His meaning was clear to me: Cheltenham was a good, white school when he was there, then the blacks moved in and it went to hell. There’s no other reasonable interpretation of those words in the mouth of a person who lived in America in the 1960s and 1970s, when they’re directed in private, presumably off the record, to an American immigrant of roughly the same age, and when they’re accompanied by a conspiratorial look on one’s face.

The Wikipedia entry on Cheltenham High School, one of the oldest in Pennsylvania, says that as of the 2011-12 school year, the student body there was 49% Black, 40% White, 7%...

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Israeli air strike in Syria: Lies, aggression — at what cost?

From close up, the assassination of a Hezbollah commander and an Iranian general was probably preemption. In the big picture, it was definitely aggression.

During the Second Intifada, (late 2000-2004) Israel made a habit of carrying out “targeted assassinations” of Palestinian militant leaders. The Palestinians, in turn, had a predilection for blowing up buses and cafes. After an assassination of a high-up Hamasnik or Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades man, some Israelis and many foreigners would question whether it was a good idea, whether it was worth the risk, given the likelihood that the Palestinians would be out for revenge. The routine response from the national leadership was that these Palestinian terrorists are always trying to kill as many Israelis as they can, no matter what Israel does or doesn’t do, so targeted assassinations do not put Israelis in any more danger than they’re already in.

Yet after every targeted assassination of a major Palestinian figure, the political, military and intelligence heads would warn the public that the threat level had just gone red, so they should be on high alert, keep their eyes open.

And I would wonder: if Palestinian terrorists are not influenced by Israeli targeted assassinations, why do Israel’s authorities put the public on high alert after each one?

The answer was that Israel’s authorities – the prime minister, defense minister, IDF, Shin Bet and Mossad – were bullshitting themselves and the public. They wanted to kill big-time terrorists, and they didn’t want to be put off by the risk of major revenge attacks, so they decided that there was no risk, and peddled that bullshit to the public.

Which brings us to Israel’s air strike on Sunday in the Syrian Golan Heights, which killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general and six Hezbollah fighters, including Jihad Mughniyeh, son of Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah military chief whom Israel assassinated seven years ago.

Another head-on contradiction

The security establishment and “Western intelligence sources” immediately put out the word that Mughniyeh “was already planning, and had prepared, more major murderous attacks against Israel in the Golan Heights. These attacks include rocket fire, infiltrations, explosive devices, anti-tank missile fire, etc., with the goal of killing soldiers, hitting Israeli communities in the Golan Heights and killing Israeli civilians,” according to Yedioth Ahronoth, echoing the general coverage.

At the same time, though, Israeli authorities were saying that Hezbollah was not expected to...

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No, Mr. Netanyahu, answers to terrorism are not all the same

The prime minister compares Israel’s predicament with the Palestinians to France’s current one with jihadists, but the true comparison is to France’s struggle with Algeria in the 1950s and early 1960s.

In Paris early this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drove home a message he’s been delivering for decades: “Israel supports Europe in its fight against terrorism, and it’s time Europe support Israel in the same exact struggle.”

But he’s wrong. Europe and Israel are not caught up in the same struggle. They don’t face the same terrorism, either.

Despite Netanyahu’s claim, which he says was only reinforced by the jihadist murder spree in the French capital, Islamist terrorism against a country, France, that is not ruling over any Muslim nation cannot be compared to Islamist terror against a country, Israel, that is.

France is not doing anything to any Muslim nation to warrant violent attacks by Muslims. There is nothing France can do against jihadism but fight it.

Contrast this with the terrorism France faced in the 1950s and early 1960s from Algerian guerrillas. At the time France held Algeria under colonial rule, as it had for over a century. In 1962, after years of fighting what it characterized as a war against terrorism, the French ended it by finally getting out of Algeria and granting the country its independence.

Netanyahu compares Israel’s predicament with the Palestinians to France’s current one with jihadists, but the true comparison is to France’s struggle with Algeria.

Israel has been ruling the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip against their will since the 1967 Six Day War. (Israel withdrew from Gaza’s interior in 2005, but maintains harsh control over its borders, coast and airspace, thus keeping it under occupation.) The main threat of terror facing Israel comes from Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs Gaza in the shadow of Israel’s army.

In Paris, Netanyahu lumped Hamas together with global jihadist groups such as Al Qaida and ISIS, whose stamps were on the murders of cartoonists, police officers and Jewish shoppers in Paris. Hamas runs a frightful regime, it can fairly be called an Islamofascist movement, its charter contains anti-Semitic declarations, and its denunciation of the Paris massacres should be taken with several grains of salt. But none of that justifies Israel’s blockade of the Strip and its throttling of nearly 2 million Gazans. And nothing whatsoever justifies Israel’s full-on military dictatorship...

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France needs no one's advice on fighting Islamist terror

A look at the facts.

In Israel and America, France has this reputation of being the ultimate effete, left-liberal country – so politically correct, so multiculti, so morally relativist and scared to death of offending any minority, especially Muslims, that it’s incapable of dealing with the threat of jihadist terror. Israelis and Americans (led of course by Bibi Netanyahu) are now lecturing the French that they have to wake up, get tough, crack down on these bastards or they’re going to be conquered by them.  (A lot of right-wing French are saying the same thing.)

I don’t think that’s going to happen. When it comes to fighting Islamist terrorism, the French are world-beaters – going back to the 1980s. It’s difficult to say which attack was France’s 9/11, but it happened a long time before the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. France probably has the West’s toughest laws against terrorism, and it has no problem targeting Muslim suspects. One other thing – France’s mainstream Muslim population joins the rest of the country (except for adamant civil liberties advocates) in supporting the policy. And another point – France’s fight against terror is aided greatly by undercover French Muslim agents infiltrating certain mosques.

Two weeks after 9/11, TIME Magazine ran a story whose title pretty much tells it all: “Fighting Terrorism: Lessons from France.” Given the popular images of France and America today, it’s a real jaw-dropper to read:

And from a 2004 Washington Post article, “French push limits in fight on terror”:

While other Western countries debate the proper balance between security and individual rights, France has experienced scant public dissent over tactics that would be controversial, if not illegal, in the United States and some other countries.

France has embraced a law enforcement strategy that relies heavily on preemptive arrests, ethnic profiling and an efficient domestic intelligence-gathering network.

The Directorate of Surveillance of the Territory, the domestic intelligence agency, employs a large number of Arabic speakers and Muslims to infiltrate radical groups, according to anti-terrorism experts here.

Other countries, including the United States, have long-standing policies that restrict law enforcement agents from...

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How Israel stupefies so many brilliant Jews

It’s the occupation, professor. Deja vu from the Technion.

On the eve of Passover 1988, I was working at the Technion, Israel’s prestigious technological institute in Haifa, writing fundraising prose. It was a few months into the First Intifada, and Israel’s image had been taking a battering overseas like never before, with scenes being televised continually of heavily armed soldiers and tanks putting down a rebellion by teenagers with stones.

We workers in the administration building gathered for the traditional pre-Passover toast with the college president. In his remarks, he noted that many of us would be going abroad for the holiday, and that the issue of Israel’s high-profile behavior could well come up in our conversations with people who wanted to hear what Israelis had to say. His advice: “Speak in one voice.” All around me, people were nodding.

I found this pretty depressing. The president of a leading Israeli college sending the employees out into the world to be PR robots for the government and army. Did this happen in other countries, democratic countries? It was another example of the ultra-nationalism, conformist political thought and self-righteous paranoia that I didn’t like about the country – and it was setting the tone even at the top of one of its best colleges.

Since then, the Technion has come up in the world. Three of its professors have won Nobel Prizes for science, it’s going to share with Cornell a $2 billion campus being built in New York City, its international ranking has climbed and its fundraising has multiplied.

But in some ways, evidently, it hasn’t changed. This week the Technion’s current president, Prof. Peretz Lavie, wrote an op-ed in Yedioth Ahronoth telling of his dismay at all the anti-Israel activity, the BDS stuff, he saw in a recent visit to U.S. and Canadian college campuses. It’s so bad, he wrote, that “the Jewish students themselves hardly take part in events on campus and are not showing much interest in workshops and programs aimed at training them to represent Israel on the PR level.” His advice:

It didn’t enter the Technion president’s mind that Israel’s actions toward the Palestinians might have something to do with the anti-Israel mood on Western campuses. No,...

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The wave of Jerusalem attacks Israelis don’t hear about

One hundred Palestinian bus drivers in the capital have quit their jobs because of such violence from Jewish racists.

If you’d asked me how many East Jerusalem Palestinian bus drivers in the capital had quit their jobs because of the violence they’d faced from Jewish assailants, I’d have said oh, maybe three. When I read in Haaretz on Sunday (truly a must-read) that the number is roughly 100 — or one out of three Palestinian bus drivers in the capital — I was amazed. East Jerusalem Palestinians, on the whole, are poor; driving for Israel’s giant Egged bus cooperative is a very, very good job for an ordinary eastside resident, paying about three times the average East Jerusalemite’s salary. When 100 of these drivers quit their jobs because of the menace of racist Jewish marauders, it means that that menace is overwhelming.

I had no idea. And I keep up with the news and I’m extremely alert to stories about Jews abusing Arabs. I knew from the Israeli media that on the nights after Palestinian terror killings, bands of young Jews would roam the streets on Jerusalem’s Jewish westside, attacking Arabs in their path and chanting “death to the Arabs.” After the death of Egged driver Yousef Hassan al-Ramouni a month ago — he was found hanged in his bus in what Israeli forensic pathologists ruled a suicide, but which Palestinians commonly believe was a murder — there was a story or two about East Jerusalem drivers complaining about Jewish attacks. But with those rare exceptions and the story of the murder by burning of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the only Jerusalem violence you hear about in the Israeli media lately is Palestinian-on-Jewish — the murders by car and knife, the stoning of the light rail, the violent protests against the police.

But Jewish violence against Arabs in Jerusalem? As far as we Israeli Jews can gather from the news, these are not exactly isolated incidents, but they’re not a “phenomenon,” either. Nothing to make a normal Palestinian bus driver quit his job.

I didn’t know, we didn’t know. In Israel, any incident of Arab-on-Jewish violence is a big story, while a plague of Jewish-on-Arab violence has to be going on for years and years, like the “price tag” settler attacks, before it qualifies for sustained media attention.

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Moshe Kahlon for prime minister of Israel

I’m planning to vote for Meretz, but if Kahlon has a chance on election day of beating Netanyahu, I’ll vote for him.

I was talking a couple of days ago about the upcoming elections with a friend from work, a middle-class, American-born Ashkenazi immigrant with a Ph. D. in political science. He told me he was voting for the left-wing, largely Arab Hadash party. I asked who he would vote for if, on election day, which is tentatively set for March 17, the “wild card” in the race, ex-Likudnik Moshe Kahlon, had a chance to become the next prime minister. “Then I’d vote for Kahlon,” he said. Myself, I’m planning to vote for Meretz, the left-wing Zionist party, but if Kahlon has a chance on election day of beating Netanyahu, whom the polls now rate the favorite, then I’ll vote for Kahlon, too.

This is meant as an illustration of Kahlon’s potential; Hadash and Meretz voters are the last people who would seem likely to vote for a politician whose role model is Menachem Begin. Polls now give Kahlon about 10 Knesset seats (out of 120); he’ll need double that to lead the next government. But I think he can do it. The latest poll, conducted for The Jerusalem Post and Ma’ariv and released Thursday, finds him the single most popular candidate for prime minister, outpolling Netanyahu, 46% to 36%.

Bibi can be beaten. He’s been around too long, he hasn’t delivered much, the atmosphere in the country is extremely unpleasant, and people are tired of his mouth and face. They blame him for these unwanted early elections that are going to cost $500 million. They see the government as a mess with him sitting atop it. They want somebody new, but Netanyahu’s only rivals until now, Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett and Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman, are too far right for the mainstream.

Kahlon is not. Alone among Israeli politicians, he can win support from the sane right, the center, and even – if it’s between him, Netanyahu and Bennett on election day – the left. He has exclusive ownership of the No. 1 campaign issue – economic hardship, especially the high cost of living – from having broken the cell phone monopoly and dramatically slashed cell phone prices as communications minister in 2012,  a move that instantly made him the wonder boy of...

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Netanyahu's xenophobia: Bad in America, bad in Israel

We know what he thinks of Arabs. Read what he thinks of Mexican-Americans.

Of all the reasons Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu puts forth for why Israel needs a “Jewish nation-state” law, the most bizarre one is this: “There are those – including those who deny our national rights – who would like to establish autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev.”

Yeah, and there are those who would like to colonize Mars, and they will probably get there long before anybody establishes Arab autonomy in the Galilee and Negev.

This is another of Netanyahu’s endless supply of Arab scarecrows: we have to pass this cockamamie nation-state law or the Arabs are going to take over the Galilee and Negev.

Read also: Is the ‘Jewish nation-state’ bill good for anyone at all?

No surprises here; he’s built his career on scaring Jews about Arabs. But Netanyahu has a well-known parallel career as a pitchman to Americans, Christians as well as Jews, for the cause of Israeli Jewish chauvinism – and to get them on his side, he has been known to wave around a different ethnic scarecrow: a Mexican one.

In his 1993 magnum opus, “A Place Among the Nations – Israel and the World,” which was first published in English, he writes about what he calls the “Palestinian Principle.” He describes it as the idea that any ethnic minority has a right to carve out its own state on the land where it resides, regardless of the effect on the established surrounding state, and even if another state already exists where that ethnic minority is the majority. (At the time, Netanyahu was fighting against the Palestinian statehood campaign with the argument that “Jordan is Palestine.”)

After depicting the chaos that would ensue if the “Palestinian Principle” were applied in Europe, Africa and Asia, he writes on page 150:

The United States is not exempt from this potential nightmare. In a decade or two the southwestern region of America is likely to be predominantly Hispanic, mainly as a result of continuous emigration from Mexico. It is not inconceivable that in this community champions of the Palestinian Principle could emerge. These would demand not merely equality before the law, or naturalization, or even Spanish as a first language. Instead, they would say that since they form a local majority in the territory (which was...

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