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Israel’s new government: Very male, very white, very capitalist

Oh, and the settlements are in very, very good hands.

Binyamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid (Photo: IsraeliinUSA/CC BY 2.0, Activestills.org)

One of Israel’s leading sociologists, the late Baruch Kimmerling, is responsible for coining the term “Ahusalim (אחוס”לים),” to describe those who ruled Israel for decades. It is an acronym in Hebrew for “Ashkenazi, secular, old guard, socialists, and nationalists.” ASOSNs, for us English speakers. I guess Kimmerling was trying to find something similar to WASP, and although he came up with a term that became widely used, let’s face it – phonetically it’s a flop.

As I write these lines, the coalition agreements between the Likud, Jewish Home and Yesh Atid are being signed, and it appears we need a new acronym. I am suggesting the Hebrew term “Achdakglalim (אחדקגל”לים),” (or NARSYCWhiGs for us English speakers) for two reasons:

1) It’s much more relevant and inclusive. Now, it means “Nationalist, Ashkenazi, Religious, Secular, Young, Capitalist, White, Guys.

2) It also has the word “glalim” in it, which means “animal droppings,” and I find this funny.

I plan on giving this new government a chance before critiquing it too much, but it must be said that its current delegation of portfolios does not bode well.

With Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and new Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, backed by other staunch right-wing settlers in ministerial and key committee positions, this is another extremely nationalist government. Tzipi Livni, in charge of negotiations with Palestinians, and Yesh Atid, who claim to want a renewal of negotiations, will most probably be fig leaves for a process that has died long ago.

Settlements will continue to have massive funding, with Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) as Minister of Housing, and another representative of his party heading the all important finance committee.

On the financial front, neither Yesh Atid nor Jewish Home represent anything that the social protests stood for. Quite the opposite, in fact. Yair Lapid especially, who beat Likud in the posh towns of Savyon and Herzliya Pituach (the Beverly Hills of Israel), is most likely not going to fight the 1 percent too valiantly in his new position as finance minister.

And finally, we have the groups who will continue to be under-represented once again. The Mizrahim and women will have only 3-4 portfolios each, the ultra-Orthodox and Arabs – none at all.

So goodbye ASOSNs, hello NARSYCWhiGs.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. That makes much more sense. I was struggling to understand what אחדקגל”לים meant when i read it on your facebook page..

      Reply to Comment
    2. Khaled Khalid

      “Ahusalim (אחוס”לים),”acronym in Hebrew for “Ashkenazi, secular, old guard, socialists, and nationalists.
      -
      Is “…Socialists, Nationalists” the same as Nationalist Socialist (expanded form for Nazi)?

      Reply to Comment
    3. XYZ

      If by “capitalist” the new gov’t is planning to make a free market by breaking up cartels and monopolies and reducing unnecessary, inefficient governmental regulations that forces the long-suffering Israeli consumers to pay higher prices then I am all for it.

      Regarding ethnic and gender identities of our representaties, none of the interests me. All I care is that our representatives carry out the policies that we want.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Aaron Gross

      “White” is an American category, not an Israeli category. I don’t see why anyone would want to bring it into Israel, unless to appear cool (“American”).

      Reply to Comment
      • It’s already used here for years, whether you like it or not

        Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          Different circles, I guess. I’ve only seen the category “white” used by politically active people on the left, like contributors here. But we’ve got American-style shopping malls and reality shows, too; you can’t stop it.

          Reply to Comment
    5. Dave Boxthorn

      1/ Its interesting that you use ‘Young’ as a pejorative.

      2/ ‘White’. That would be like ‘Caucasian’.

      Of course Arabs and Sephardim and Mizrahim are also overwhelmingly Caucasian.

      I suppose those 3 groups would be the Black Caucasians.

      And if you can have Black Caucasians can you tell me what the Ethiopians are, because your logic is very confusing?

      Reply to Comment
      • 1) Why do you think it is used a pejorative.
        2) No, it wouldn’t.
        3) If my logic is confusing, what’s yours? That has to be the most ridiculous comment I’ve had in a while.

        Reply to Comment
      • JG

        Every logic that classifies humans in a non-existent thing like races is confusing.

        No one seriously in Europe use a word such as “Caucasians”, except for one living in the Causasus. That racial typology is just made up american nonsense.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Oh, that’s a modern world in science.

          Pity that you did not learned too much in your life, otherwise you would have known that difference between Negroid, Caucasian and Mongoloid races are more significant that skin color or facial features.

          Reply to Comment
    6. Kolumn9

      Sounds like the perfect government to me. I wish it the best of luck in dealing with Israel’s internal issues. The biggest issue, and the source of the social protests, is the cost of living and housing. Both Lapid and Bennett are interested in dealing with these problems. That they don’t agree with the left-wing agenda of some of the organizers of the protests does not mean that they do not represent what the social protests stood for. They are just expressions of the fact that Israelis see the solutions to these problems in more competition and capitalism rather than more government.

      Reply to Comment
      • lisa

        kolumn we were sure about it. you want an herrenvolk state: here it is.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          I wish for a secure state with a thriving economy (and to be able to afford an apartment). Tell me something, is it easier from the cold afar to pray daily for pain and suffering to visit the citizens of the country that you left behind?

          Reply to Comment
    7. The Trespasser

      They say that Russians was imported to supply spare parts for Ashkenazi and Ethiopians were imported to supply spare parts for Yemenite.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Piotr Berman

      XYZ: “If by “capitalist” the new gov’t is planning to make a free market by breaking up cartels and monopolies and reducing unnecessary, inefficient governmental regulations that forces the long-suffering Israeli consumers to pay higher prices then I am all for it.”

      There is also crony capitalism which is much easier to achieve.

      By the way, I read so many times how “vibrant” Israel is, how come that the consumers are “long-suffering”?

      Reply to Comment

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