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The post-Netanyahu era starts tomorrow

Bibi will be the lamest of ducks in his next and last term as PM. Hold the applause, though – what’s rising up to take his place is worse. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (photo: Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org)

If, as expected tomorrow, Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu gets in the low-30s in Knesset seats, this election will mark the beginning of the post-Netanyahu era. Bibi will remain as prime minister as long as the new government survives, but he will be a lame duck, helpless to rein in the demagoguery and wild initiatives of the quasi- and not-so-quasi-fascists in his coalition. He will watch the chasm widen between Israel and the West, Israel and the Palestinians, Israel and Egypt, Turkey and the rest of the Middle East, and be unable to slow things down with some phony ameliorative. Whether there will be a full-blown confrontation between Israel and any of its adversaries during Netanyahu’s coming term, I don’t know, but I feel pretty sure that one of the things that will fall into that chasm is his political career.

Why do I say this? Because winning in the low 30s in Knesset seats – or even in the mid-30s – means a huge defeat for Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu, which went into the campaign with 42 seats combined. Joining the two parties on one ticket was Bibi’s doing, he ran a one-man campaign (again), so the electorate’s verdict stands as a rejection of him personally, and the bitterness inside Likud for all the Knesset seats they didn’t win and all the party hacks who didn’t get elected falls on him, too.

As the old L.A. Lakers announcer Chick Hearn used to say when a player tried to get too fancy and ended up losing the ball, the mustard’s off the hot dog. Bibi, whatever anyone could say about him as a statesman, knew how to appeal to the public, to attract support and votes – but even this is gone now. His handling of the 2013 election campaign will go down as one of the worst political performances by an Israeli leader ever. Yesterday’s pathetic attempt to win back Mizrahi votes by rolling out the popular Likudnik Moshe Kahlon is just the latest example.

Bibi, 63, is now the second-longest serving Israeli prime minister after David Ben-Gurion. After tomorrow’s expected debacle for Likud-Beiteinu, he will no longer be considered an electoral asset by his subordinates. What’s more, he will be lagging behind them politically; with the arguable exception of Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, every single Knesset member in Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi – the presumed bulk of the next coalition – will outflank Bibi on the right. He will be the new government’s “liberal.” (Which pretty much says it all about the political mentality around here).

Adding it up, this means that unless Likud-Beiteinu wins close to 40 seats, a seeming impossibility, the battle in Likud to succeed Netanyahu begins right after tomorrow’s votes are counted. And the way Likudniks compete with each other is by seeing who can be more pro-settler, pro-war, pro-”Jewish values,” and more anti-Arab, anti-leftist, anti-dissent, anti-Supreme Court, anti-Europe and (more subtly) anti-Obama. Again, Netanyahu will be powerless to restrain them -  and if he tries to throw a sop to the U.S. and Europe by, say, playing along with some diplomatic process with Mahmoud Abbas, his party won’t support him.

So how will Bibi try to save himself? He’d like to start a war with Iran, but so long as military chief Benny Gantz and the other heads of the defense establishment oppose it, there will be no such war because no ambitious cabinet minister will want to answer for it afterward. And I don’t see Gantz and his colleagues changing their minds; like the rest of the sane world, they understand that Iran is strictly Obama’s business.

So no war with Iran, no move toward peace with the Palestinians – what’s Bibi going to do, then, in his third and final term as PM? What he’s been doing in his second one – struggling to survive, only this time he won’t make it, he’ll be overrun by the far-right. If I had to guess who the first post-Bibi prime minister will be, I’d say it’s a fight between Likud ministers Gideon Sa’ar, Moshe Yaalon and Moshe Kahlon, and maybe Naftali Bennett. What a lovely spectacle that’s going to be.

One last thing: As Bibi’s junior partner in this election, the not-so-quasi-fascist Avigdor Lieberman isn’t coming out of it too good, either. But then he faces a strong possibility of being banned from politics altogether for seven years in his upcoming trial. Three months ago, when Likud-Beiteinu was born and Lieberman’s legal troubles seemed about to dissipate, everyone thought he was Netanyahu’s sure successor as Likud leader and prime minister. No more. He could very well be history, too.

 

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Richard Witty

      Everything is “fresh”.

      Stay sensitive and imaginative.

      Reply to Comment
    2. XYZ

      Actually, we are in the “post-Left-post-peace-process” era. For heavens sake, the Left didn’t even put up a serious candidate for Prime Minster. In fact they didn’t in 2006 and 2009, in those cases it was Olmert and Livni, both ex-Likud people. The Israeli political Left is discredited and morally and spiritually bankrupt. If they don’t change and get in tune with what modern Israelis really think, they will disappear completely

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard Witty

        We are in the not-yet peace process era.

        The world’s patience with Israel is thinning.

        At some point, Israel will have to think and act to realize a decent goal, rather than just keep danger at bay (creating cover for land and other greeds).

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          If the world’s patience is hinged on Israel compromising on its security for empty pieces of paper then its patience should be tested permanently.

          Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >realize a decent goal

          Which is? Could you specify, please?

          Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            Consented peace, between states, between peoples, between people.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Consented peace, between states, between peoples, between people.

            Than you should’ve written “At some point, Israel and Palestine (a near de-jure state) will have to think and act to realize a decent goal.

            Since the “decent goal of consented peace” is not on Palestinian agenda I don’t see on what basis you are claiming that Israel is supposed to be decent while Palestine is obviously not.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            The goal of consented peace is VERY MUCH on the agenda of Abbas, Fayyad most of Fatah.

            You misinterpret their words, somehow ignoring their actions.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            And, VERY sadly, you don’t bother to investigate, assess, understand how the right (including likud) has destroyed the prospect of peace.

            You also very sadly, cling to the theme that that was do to circumstances beyond your control, when there is also compelling evidence that the distraction from peace was intentional, or at least opportunistic.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >The goal of consented peace is VERY MUCH on the agenda of Abbas, Fayyad most of Fatah.

            1 – Fatah hardly represents any significant majority.
            2 – Some fraction of Fatah declare their goal to be a “Liberation of Palestine”

            >You misinterpret their words, somehow ignoring their actions.

            I am not aware of any words of actions by legal Palestinian representatives which would somehow suggest that what you are claiming is actually taking place.

            Care to bring up some examples?

            >And, VERY sadly, you don’t bother to investigate, assess, understand how the right (including likud) has destroyed the prospect of peace.

            In 1919 there was no “right” of any kind, yet on first Palestinian Arab congress in Jerusalem it has been decided that Jews won’t have own state in Palestine.

            “A cable was sent to the Paris Peace Conference demanding a renunciation of the Balfour Declaration and the inclusion of Palestine as “an integral part of…the independent Arab Government of Syria within an Arab Union, free of any foreign influence or protection.”

            >You also very sadly, cling to the theme that that was do to circumstances beyond your control

            I only claim that from the very beginning Arabs denied all and any equality to Jews so one can’t make Jews solely responsible to resolve this conflict.

            >when there is also compelling evidence that the distraction from peace was intentional, or at least opportunistic.

            I don’t think that I’ve ever denied that Jews took offensive – after Palestinian Arabs had made it absolutely clear that they have no intentions whatsoever to equally and peacefully coexist with Jews (in 1919 and earlier) not much choice left.

            Reply to Comment
          • Fightwithfacts

            Actually, you will see that Mizrahi Jews lived peacefully alongside Arabs in historic Palestine for years. Go figure.

            Peace is on Fatah’s agenda, very much so. Both Hamas and Fatah are committed to a 2 state solution. Please go study

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Actually, you will see that Mizrahi Jews lived peacefully alongside Arabs in historic Palestine for years.

            In Palestine (like in pretty much all other Arab states/areas) Jews lived as a suppressed minority subjected to a slow genocide.

            >Peace is on Fatah’s agenda, very much so.

            Marwan Barghouti (ever heard of him? unlikely) would disagree with you, as would members of al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.

            >Both Hamas and Fatah are committed to a 2 state solution.

            That is crystal clear top-grade nonsense.

            I dare you to prove me wrong and provide proof that Hamas is committed to two-state solution or where members of Fatah officially forfeit the right of return.

            After you miserably fail to do so you can come back and ask me to forgive your ignorance.

            Reply to Comment
      • Khaled Khalid

        Xyz
        “If they don’t get in tune with what modern Israelis think?”

        You mean if the “Israeli Left” start Goose Stepping with the Right Wing then they will survive? So join in with the quasi Nazi machine?
        Why don’t you just admit you are part of the Hasbara, a Zionist Propaganda Apparatchik.

        Reply to Comment
        • aristeides

          I don’t think XYZ has ever denied this.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Khaled Khalid

      By the way Nazi is short for Nationalist Socialist.

      (Nazism does not mean someone who has to kill 6 million Jews in order to be a Nazi. That is just Zionists trying to claim a kind of Orwellian “Ownership” of its usage.)

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >Nazism does not mean someone who has to kill 6 million Jews in order to be a Nazi

        Got to agree with you. One could easily became a Nazi by, say, denying Jews a right to have own state.

        Reply to Comment
      • Richard Witty

        Words are used to communicate, Khaled.

        If you don’t mean to communicate the threat of genocide, then don’t use the term “nazi”. If you do mean that, then don’t be surprised at antipathy and defense in reaction (a means for you to functionally elect likud, ironically).

        Reply to Comment
    4. Khaled Khalid

      The Tresspasser

      By your logic then …
      One could easily become a Nazi by, say, denying Palestinians a RIGHT to have a their own state.

      Factually, which group is really doing the “denying” here? The Israelis.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Factually there is one side that is persistently proposing a two state solution that respects both sides right to their own state and the other is rejecting it because it is incapable of making the required ideological compromises to grant the right to self-determination to the Jews.

        Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >One could easily become a Nazi by, say, denying Palestinians a RIGHT to have a their own state.

        Correct.

        >Factually, which group is really doing the “denying” here? The Israelis.

        Incorrect.

        Palestinian Arabs refused to live in a multinational state in 1922 and denied to live in an Arab state in 1948, 2000 and 2002.

        By my logic, Palestinian Arabs are so racist that they would better live stateless than in a multinational state.

        Reply to Comment
        • ruth

          Trespasser,
          Your logic is racist, that’s why you see racists around.
          Please, study just a bit of history. You look like a child. NO ONE asked to the local majority anything in 1922, as well in 1917. We can broader the thing to 1947, but for you it’s better to start with 1922.

          Reply to Comment
          • Vittorio

            “Trespasser
            Your logic is racist, that’s why you see racists around.”

            Every time a pro Israeli defends Israel and turns the logic of a pro Palestinian around to bite him/her with his/her pro Palestinian argument, along comes a leftist progressive and calls the pro Israeli a racist. You people are so predictable Ruth.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Ruth,
            >Your logic is racist, that’s why you see racists around.

            I only see racist where there are some.

            >Please, study just a bit of history. You look like a child.

            Well, if this is the case I can claim that you talk like a senile person. Dunno how do you look, but for some reason I feel that such knowledge is unnecessary – it does not matter how the poet looks, right?

            >NO ONE asked to the local majority anything in 1922, as well in 1917.

            Incorrect.

            Local majority had a say, was asked and refused to let Jews live in Palestine as equals.

            “The first Palestinian Arab congress (al-Muʾtamar al-Arabi al-Filastini) met in Jerusalem from 27 January to 9 February 1919. Organized by local Muslim and Christian associations, its thirty participants framed a national charter that demanded independence for Palestine, denounced the Balfour Declaration (and its promise of a Jewish national home), and rejected British rule over Palestine. A majority sought the incorporation of Palestine into an independent Syrian state, and the delegates strongly denounced French claims to a mandate over Syria. The congress expressed its request for independence in the language of U.S. president Woodrow Wilson’s principles supporting the right of self-determination of subject peoples.

            Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/palestinian-arab-congresses#ixzz2IhuQfDeM

            and here:
            http://books.google.co.il/books?id=PqmlHwnSdNQC&lpg=PA8&ots=GG0z1f5Y3L&dq=Syrian%20Congress%20on%20March%207&pg=PA8#v=onepage&q=Syrian%20Congress%20on%20March%207&f=false

            >We can broader the thing to 1947, but for you it’s better to start with 1922.

            We can broader the thing in any direction, Grandma, the facts would remain the same.

            Reply to Comment
        • Dany

          Dude, repeating nonsense won’t make it any more credible.

          Reply to Comment
        • andrew r

          “Palestinian Arabs refused to live in a multinational state in 1922 and denied to live in an Arab state in 1948, 2000 and 2002.”

          When did the British offer anyone a multinational state? Maybe you’re referring to the aborted legislative council that would have 10 out of 23 seats reserved for elected Palestinians.

          Of course, at no point were the Palestinians offered a state by anyone. They were offered an autonomous ghetto so the Zionist state could have a colonial-settler majority. That’s as true in 1947 as it was in 2000. (Yes, that includes the Peel Commission plan, even if the Jewish state was smaller in size, because it took almost the entire coast and most of the Arabs would likely have been expelled.)

          “By my logic, Palestinian Arabs are so racist that they would better live stateless than in a multinational state.”

          And this makes the Zionist movement non-racist because it preferred a Jewish state over a multinational one.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >When did the British offer anyone a multinational state?

            The Mandate clearly states that Palestine must be country to all it citizens (multinational state in modern terms) and homeland to Jewish people.

            >Of course, at no point were the Palestinians offered a state by anyone. They were offered an autonomous ghetto so the Zionist state could have a colonial-settler majority.

            Lie.
            1 – Mandate set as it’s goal creation of a multinational independent state. Arabs refused.

            2 – By the 1948 partition plan Arabs were given more habitable land than Jews. Out of 55% given to Jews more than half is desert of Negev, where no-one lives until today.

            >… would likely have been expelled.

            Yet another baseless lie.

            >And this makes the Zionist movement non-racist because it preferred a Jewish state over a multinational one.

            No, because Arabs denied Jews equal rights, not vice versa.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “The Mandate clearly states that Palestine must be country to all it citizens (multinational state in modern terms) and homeland to Jewish people.”

            Yes, and the Muslim-Christian associations accepted the idea of a state for all its citizens. However, the Mandate system itself was not an offer to be accepted or rejected; it was imposed on the Levant region and several German colonies in Africa. So my point that Britain did not offer a multinational state remains.

            Eventual independence was the goal of the Mandate system, yes, and it was granted in the cases of Iraq and Syria (With Lebanon an extra curricular project). It was not granted in the case of Palestine because that country was set aside as a destination for colonial settlement, i.e. the ‘national home for the Jewish people’. The Palestinians did not get to vote on any regime or solution imposed on them post-WWI.

            “2 – By the 1948 partition plan Arabs were given more habitable land than Jews. Out of 55% given to Jews more than half is desert of Negev, where no-one lives until today.”

            People tend to forget the partition plan was not only about the borders; it also proposed an economic union between the two states. Otherwise, the proposed Arab state would have been cut off from the sea except at Gaza and would inevitably receive refugees from the Jewish state which as it stood was really a bi-national one.

            “yet another baseless lie”

            The Peel Commission recommended a transfer of the Arabs out of the Jewish state, so expulsion was almost a certainty. The real question is whether the British would have carried it out for the Yishuv.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >…and the Muslim-Christian associations accepted the idea of a state for all its citizens.

            I’m not aware of any association that accepted purposed plan.

            Palestinian Arab congress, however, was strictly against it.

            >So my point that Britain did not offer a multinational state remains.

            An offer to live in a freshly built multinational was made by the League of Nations and was rejected by Palestinian Arabs.

            Britain was not in position of offer “states” and such, so your point is rather pointless.

            >It was not granted in the case of Palestine because that country was set aside as a destination for colonial settlement, i.e. the ‘national home for the Jewish people’.

            It was not granted because Palestinian Arabs denied Jewish minority equality back in 1920′s.

            Unless of course you want to claim that Zionists planned WWII to make European Jews run to Palestine.

            >The Palestinians did not get to vote on any regime or solution imposed on them post-WWI.

            None of Arabs were. Neither they were supposed to. Democracy is alien to these societies, as all events of last century clearly had shown.

            >it also proposed an economic union between the two states.

            What?

            >Otherwise, the proposed Arab state would have been cut off from the sea except at Gaza

            Had you ever seen the map?
            http://lw.palestineremembered.com/Maps/New/Map_UNPartition1947.gif

            >and would inevitably receive refugees from the Jewish state which as it stood was really a bi-national one.

            Excellent reason not to have a state.
            Seen movie “Dumb & Dumber”?

            >The real question is whether the British would have carried it out for the Yishuv.

            It’s plain silly to even think about it.

            Brits would not antagonize themselves with local population on behalf of someone else.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “An offer to live in a freshly built multinational was made by the League of Nations and was rejected by Palestinian Arabs.”

            Unless you’re privy to some information not cited in the myriad of books and articles on the subject, the LoN Mandate was not an offer. It was a grant of authority to the Allied powers over the former Central Powers’ territories.

            “Britain was not in position of offer “states” and such, so your point is rather pointless.”

            The Peel Commission didn’t see it that way.

            “It was not granted because Palestinian Arabs denied Jewish minority equality back in 1920′s.”

            Do you have multiple personality disorder? First you complain that Arabs don’t want Jews to be the majority in Palestine, now you complain they denied Jewish minority rights. Obviously you don’t care about that at all because the desired end result was a Jewish majority so Arab votes would be irrelevant anyway.

            The only right the Palestinians wanted to deny would be unlimited immigration; the Arab Congresses were in favor of equal rights for Palestinian Jews.

            “None of Arabs were. Neither they were supposed to. Democracy is alien to these societies, as all events of last century clearly had shown.”

            What’s really alien to these societies is a political system not subject to outside interference; you think the US was giving Mubarak military aid so Egypt could be a democracy? Modern Middle east history is full of secular, democratic opposition that had been crushed by the Allied occupiers and the local autocrats. Take for example Charles Belgrave, who became de facto ruler of Bahrain by answering a newspaper ad.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/if_you_take_my_advice_-_id_rep

            “Excellent reason not to have a state.”

            The resulting entity would have been a state in name only. Even the UNSCOP plan acknowledged this by proposing the economic union. The Arab state would not be viable on its own. The Jewish state had the cultivated land and most of the coast.

            “What?”

            Exactly. Why should you read the actual partition plan when pulling things out of your ass is so much easier.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            I stand corrected; Acre was included in the 1947 partition on the Arab side. Though it’s still the case that anything produced in the West Bank would have to cross the Jewish state to reach the coast, and the argument about the economic union was no mistake at all.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >… the LoN Mandate was not an offer. It was a grant of authority to the Allied powers over the former Central Powers’ territories.

            This particular grant of authority had a very specific goal of creating a Jewish national home in multinational Palestine.

            It wasn’t an offer. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to built a new, advanced, socialist, society for all it’s members. You shouldn’t forget that 1920′s were the Belle Epoque.

            >The Peel Commission didn’t see it that way.

            Couldn’t find anything relevant in the report. Could you bring up some quotation please?

            >Do you have multiple personality disorder? First you complain that Arabs don’t want Jews to be the majority in Palestine, now you complain they denied Jewish minority rights.

            No contradiction there, sorry. Arabs denied right to Jewish minority and did not want Jews to became majority.

            >Obviously you don’t care about that at all because the desired end result was a Jewish majority so Arab votes would be irrelevant anyway.

            Yes. And also Zionists planned WWII so Nazis would exterminate some Jews so others would move to Palestine and kick out Arabs.

            >The only right the Palestinians wanted to deny would be unlimited immigration;

            Nonsense.
            Palestinian Arabs even prohibited Jews from SITTING near the Western Wall.

            >the Arab Congresses were in favor of equal rights for Palestinian Jews.

            Proof?

            >What’s really alien to these societies is a political system not subject to outside interference;

            Because these societies haven’t even heard of “political system” until outsiders brought it.

            >you think the US was giving Mubarak military aid so Egypt could be a democracy?

            No. I think that Egypt can’t be a democracy for at least next 70-100 years, maybe more.

            >Modern Middle east history is full of secular, democratic opposition that had been crushed by the Allied occupiers and the local autocrats.

            One example hardly makes it “full”.

            Got some more?

            And what about secular leaders like Sadat or Qaddafi?

            >The resulting entity would have been a state in name only. Even the UNSCOP plan acknowledged this by proposing the economic union.

            Yes. Because undeveloped locals were not capable of running a state and had no money to do it anyway. How exactly is that Jew’s fault?

            Besides, from the very beginning Palestinian Arabs wanted to be a part of larger Arab state, not “independent Palestine”. Changed their mind, huh?

            >The Arab state would not be viable on its own.

            Too truth. Like most other Arab states.

            >The Jewish state had the cultivated land

            Not truth.

            >and most of the coast.

            So what?

            >Why should you read the actual partition plan when pulling things out of your ass is so much easier.

            Couldn’t find anything relevant. Could you help me on that one please?

            >Though it’s still the case that anything produced in the West Bank would have to cross the Jewish state to reach the coast, and the argument about the economic union was no mistake at all.

            Multiple fallacies and baseless assumptions.

            1 – as it CLEARLY could be seen on the map (here, have a larger one – http://domino.un.org/maps/m0103_1b.gif ) Arab state would have access to sea anywhere from Acre/Acco to the North and from Isdud/Ashdod to the south. Unless of course you claim that Lebanon and Egypt are not Arab states.

            2 – What makes you think that Arab state would need to EXPORT something?
            http://books.google.co.il/books?id=wqsOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=food+export+mandate+palestine&source=bl&ots=cs6XG48jF9&sig=1Zjfyp7ULoobhn_Dfffan6e_Krs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4_EAUdncFcb44QSjzoD4Dg&ved=0CFoQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=food%20export%20mandate%20palestine&f=false

            3 – Borders with Transjordan, Egypt and Lebanon were surely unobstructed for any trade

            4 – As of need for economic union

            The plan also “Calls upon the inhabitants of Palestine to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put this plan into effect;”

            Since certain group of inhabitants of Palestine VOLUNTARILY took no steps to put the plan into effect, other groups which indeed took such steps really couldn’t not be blamed.

            The need for an economic union might be illustrated by real-life example: Certain Bedouin family from Nazareth area possesses 150 14-liter canisters of olive oil. They requested price of 375 NIS per canister or 56000 NIS for all. I’ve found a buyer who was willing to pay 55 000 NIS for all canisters, which included my 10% commission.

            Bedouin refuses however, so the buyer I’ve found is forced to import olive oil from Greece which surprisingly causes him to save over 10 000 NIS.

            Results:
            1 – Almost 40000 NIS left the country for good, more will follow.
            2 – Greece producer had found a new permanent buyer.
            3 – Bedouin is stuck with oil.
            4 – I won’t ever again waste my time, effort and money trying to do business with Bedouins.

            Now, tell me who is the ultimate loser in this scheme and what could be done to improve the situation?

            Reply to Comment
    5. While my major information source on Israel is this site and those commenting as adjunct, I have come to the view that the Israeli marching right will have to induce a crisis before change is possible. I do not think, as XYZ does, that the populace is marching along; rather, I suspect that voting is becoming detached from party affiliation increasingly and see both J14 and the State quashing of a repeat as evidence of this. I think the crisis will be constitutional, involving both the Court and IDF as well as executive. People will have to see what settlement expansion One State really entails, both in the Bank and in Israel. I believe Bibi has sold his country out for short term dominance gains, as has/did Barak.

      The question for the non-marching right is how to position for picking up the pieces.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Arieh

      “I have come to the view that the Israeli marching right will have to induce a crisis before change is possible”

      Yea Greg everything is always up to the Israelis. The Palestinian people do not have to contribute towards a peaceful outcome.

      How about you plead with Palestinians to stop marching lock step with Hamas fanatics? Maybe the Israeli electorate would then reciprocate by lurching back to the centre.

      Reply to Comment
      • Abbas march in lock step with Hamas? Stop the settlements; each encroachment is not for security but to warrant the land to Israel.

        In any case, J14 doesn’t seem to have an alliance with Hamas.

        It is a common tactic to claim a universal outside enemy to quash alternative at home. The issue is not just the occupation, but what the occupation has done to the implicit Israeli constitution. Let us begin by affirming the Israeli Declaration of Independence which, I believe, doesn’t mention Hamas at all.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Aaron Gross

      You have an amazing ability to predict the future. Not only are you able to confidently predict Arab reactions to various Israeli policies (territorial withdrawal), you’re able to confidently predict electoral politics over the next four years.

      If mainstream Israelis knew more about the certainty with which the Zionist left is able to predict the future, they wouldn’t be so skeptical and cautious.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Arieh

      “It is a common tactic to claim a universal outside enemy to quash alternative at home”

      I stand corrected, Greg. Hamas is not Israel’s enemy. And the majority of Palestinians don’t support Hamas.

      It is all just in our feverish Zionist paranoic mind.

      Happy now Greg?

      That was sarcasm by the way. I am sure you know that. Hopefully it makes you understand why most Israelis are deserting the looney left which always blames Israel and Israel alone for everything that goes wrong and absolves the Palestinians of all responsibility. Yes even Hamas.

      PS
      The settlements are not the main problem. Arabs made war on Jews even before there were settlements, or refugees or even before the creation of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        “Arabs made war on Jews even before there were settlements, or refugees or even before the creation of Israel.”

        And the Zionist armed groups made war on Arabs who hadn’t done anything to any Jew during 1948. And for that matter Arabs were removed by force from land bought from landowners the whole time Zionists were settling Palestine, and we know today that paying off the Arabs to leave was considered as early as 1914 before any major violence occurred. On the one hand, you insist on “the Jews” having a state with a Jewish majority, then you turn around and insist the nakba was only a reaction to Arab violence. Buffalo chips.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          >And for that matter Arabs were removed by force from land bought from landowners the whole time Zionists were settling Palestine

          So now Jews are bad because they’ve bought lands.

          Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “So now Jews are bad because they’ve bought lands.”

            Next to toddlers asking what everything in the store is, deliberate misreading of one’s argument is about as adorable as it gets.

            “The fact that you make it sound as if Jews started the violence.”

            After a fashion, that is the case, because they had the violence of the state on their side from the beginning. The European consuls protected them from Ottoman restrictions on buying land, and it was Ottoman authorities forcing the fellahin off the land. Of course the British occupied Palestine and enabled the settler group to grow almost ten-fold in 30 years. All that because the settlers wanted to be the majority group in the country. That wasn’t going to be accomplished peacefully. When the Haganah expelled the Palestinians during 1948, it was accomplishing through military means what the Yishuv had been doing much slower through legalistic venues.

            My argument above is that Zionist violence against Arabs mainly included those who posed no threat to anyone whatsoever, because the mere fact they were not Jewish made them a threat to the aim of a Jewish state.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            I see.

            So Jews are bad because they’ve evicted Arabs from lands they they’ve bought.

            By what perverted standard is it bad? Which part is illegal?
            Purchase? Eviction?

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            “By what perverted standard is it bad? Which part is illegal?
            Purchase? Eviction?”

            Clearly according to our friend, Andrew, if we buy land from an Arab owner, try to take posession of the land, then any Arab peasants who were previously working the land for the previous Arab owner has the right to murder us.

            Hey, I wonder if it works the other way around too? Say Andrew buys a property in America, evicts any tenants who paid rent to the previous owner, have those tenants got the right to murder Andrew? Clearly according to Andrew the answer is yes.

            Gee, that would be a shame though because Andrew here is such a fine historian.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “Clearly according to our friend, Andrew, if we buy land from an Arab owner, try to take posession of the land, then any Arab peasants who were previously working the land for the previous Arab owner has the right to murder us.”

            Clearly, you are not getting the point, because the Arab peasants who were evicted usually just left without fighting back. The point is, the evictions are an early indication of the intentions of the Zionists, to create a racially-segregated state. The point is, there could have been no battle of Tel Hai, no Nebi Musa riots, no Hebron massacre, no ’36 revolt, and even with the complete and utter lack of Arab violence, the Zionists still would have wanted a state with a Jewish majority, that is, free of Arabs. Many Zionists figures made as much clear before WWI broke out, and nothing like Hebron 1929 happened at that point.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            Well Andrew, at least you admit that the Arabs DID start the violence. At least thats progress.

            You justify Arab violence by the intentions of the Zionists to build a Jewish majority state. A state which many Jews have come to regard as an absolute necessity for the survival of the Jewish people because of the persecution that they have been subjected to as minorities everywhere, including in Arab lands.

            You object to the methods that the Jews used to acquire land. The Jews purchased lands often at exorbitant prices. Yes, they took posession of those purchased lands and worked the lands themselves. What “a crime” huh, Andrew?

            Now lets compare and contrast how the Arabs came to posess that land. They swept out of the Arabian peninsula, conquered half the known world by force of arms. They murdered all who stood in their way, enslaved others and culturally colonised the local populations.

            Yet you object to the methods that the Jews used to acquire back their ancestral homeland? OK, you can object for all I care. Our conscience is clear.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Excellent, another slick rebuttal with no rough edges.

            “Well Andrew, at least you admit that the Arabs DID start the violence. At least thats progress.”

            As you probably know, the conflict did not hit the ground running into full-scale war nor cases like Hebron. There were incidents of gun battles throughout the late Ottoman period, so it’s actually not easy to ascertain who killed the first noncombatant. The goal of replacing the natives with colonial-settlers, at the very least through mass immigration with economic means to make the natives leave, is responsible for the conflict.

            “the persecution that they have been subjected to as minorities everywhere, including in Arab lands.”

            Once again you backdate this concern to the Ottoman-era. The European settlers did not give a damn about any persecution Middle Eastern Jews may have been suffering at the time no matter how much you want to make saving them a goal retroactively.

            “Yes, they took posession of those purchased lands and worked the lands themselves.”

            I will say that if the Zionist movement had ended there, it’s not likely the conflict would be ongoing now. However, leaders like Menachem Ussishkin even then viewed purchase of land as a stopgap measure in lieu of military force.

            Not to mention that Weizmann, Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky went out of their way to join the British occupation of the country which they hoped would do the dirty work for them. Every organized activity of the Labour Zionists since the late Ottoman period indicates taking Palestine was the ultimate goal regardless of who started the actual violence. Which means their own violence was in the service of taking Palestine and was aimed primarily at noncombatants who had not attacked anyone.

            “Now lets compare and contrast how the Arabs came to posess that land.”

            Yes, let’s blather incoherently for awhile, considering the landowners who sold to Hovevei Zion and the JNF were often Christians. Nearly all land that is privately owned was taken by force at some point in history. However, the tenant farmers evicted by the Zionists did not take that land from anyone by force and they were certainly not agents enforcing a belligerent occupation, so holding them responsible for the Arabian conquest because they spoke Arabic is of course an example of racism. That’s what trying to justify colonial-settlement usually gets you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            “Yes, let’s blather incoherently for awhile”

            Nice going, Andrew, you dismiss the history of how The Arab people came to acquire the land historically as blather?

            Fine then. I equally dismiss your points as blathering. Especially when you claim to suppose what the Jews might have done and what their intentions may have been.

            For instance when you say things like:
            “The European settlers did not give a damn about any persecution Middle Eastern Jews ”

            I ask you, how do you know? Are you Jewish? Are you Zionist? Or are you just blathering?

            And when you say this:
            “I will say that if the Zionist movement had ended there, it’s not likely the conflict would be ongoing now.”

            Again, how do you know? I think you are just blathering and making things up. You are acting as if the Arab world is an oasis of tolerance and moderation. But you are deluded Andrew, just look around and see how the Arabs treat minorities, or even each other.

            Keep posting, your writings will be published as examples of illogic of how haters of Israel and Jews justify their petty little hatred then project their own foibles on Jews while disguising it as hatred of Zionists. But we got your number rest assured Andrew.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “Nice going, Andrew, you dismiss the history of how The Arab people came to acquire the land historically as blather?”

            Considering Jews were persecuted because the concept of inherited guilt was applied to them, you don’t seem to mind the same concept against others. It’s no different than taking land from a Peruvian peasant because the Spaniards conquered South America. The fact that people adopted Arabic at some point does not mean their next of kin has to answer for the Arabian conquests and it doesn’t mean they are part of an Arab people that brutally conquered the land. Slick, yes. Coherent, no.

            “I ask you, how do you know? Are you Jewish? Are you Zionist? Or are you just blathering?”

            Because Arthur Ruppin did not want Jews from the Middle East settling Palestine at all, because Ben-Gurion and Aharon Eisenberg (Who headed a company that staffed plantations) only saw them as a labor source, because Shmuel Yavnieli who went to Yemen did not discuss their situation there as persecution. And because no one said or did anything substantial otherwise. It’s in the material I cited in that long post about Yavneli.

            http://972mag.com/father-who-lost-daughter-in-suicide-attack-to-israelis-vote-for-peace/64059/

            “You are acting as if the Arab world is an oasis of tolerance and moderation. But you are deluded Andrew, just look around and see how the Arabs treat minorities, or even each other.”

            Look at how Americans and Europeans treated minorities and each other during the 19th and 20th centuries. But nobody argued dispossessing them was a righteous goal. The fact that there is political violence in the Arab states does not make Zionism any less of a racial segregationist agenda.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            “Considering Jews were persecuted because the concept of inherited guilt was applied to them, you don’t seem to mind the same concept against others.”

            The only one who is playing the guilt card here is you Andrew. You want Jews to feel guilty for wanting a state in which Jews are the majority.

            So I just reminded you how the Arabs became a majority in Palestine. Personally, I could not give a flying f…k about what the Arab conquerors did back in the seventh century.

            “I ask you, how do you know? Are you Jewish? Are you Zionist? Or are you just blathering?”

            “Because Arthur Ruppin did not want Jews from the Middle East settling Palestine at all, because Ben-Gurion and Aharon Eisenberg …. ”

            Cut the crap, Andrew. Even if you would know what those people wanted or did not want, which you obviously don’t, even then, they did not represent all the Jews or all the Zionists. They (some of them at least – like Ben Gurion) were democratically elected leaders who executed the will of rank and file Zionists. And we all knew what we wanted and we still do. We wanted self determination of the Jewish people and gathering as many of the Jewish people into our own state. Ideally we wanted all Jews to make Aliyah firstly for their own safety and secondly to make us stronger. Both were of equal priority for us. It still is. You and people like you don’t speak for us. We speak for ourselves.

            “You are acting as if the Arab world is an oasis of tolerance and moderation. But you are deluded Andrew, just look around and see how the Arabs treat minorities, or even each other.”

            “Look at how Americans and Europeans treated minorities and each other during the 19th and 20th centuries. But nobody argued dispossessing them was a righteous goal.”

            It was the Arabs who wanted to disposess the Jews of the right to have a Jewish majority state. The Jews accepted UN Resolution 181 – the two state solution. The Arabs rejected it.

            “The fact that there is political violence in the Arab states does not make Zionism any less of a racial segregationist”

            You mean less racist than the Arabs are? Or less racist than you are?

            If the Arabs and everyone else feel that they have the right to be a majority in their own state then we Jews feel to have the same right. And if you and they think that we alone don’t have that right that makes you both racists.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “Hey, I wonder if it works the other way around too?”

            If they pay their rent and I evict them for racist reasons, they won’t have to kill me because that would be illegal in the US. Now, if the evicted tenants have no legal recourse, well, in the right circumstances eviction can equal murder. So yes, I’m fair game.

            That doesn’t change the fact that murder was not the first resort of the evicted Palestinians, and the motives for evicting them were perfectly clear – “to take possession of the land” as you put it. So the Zionist movement was indefensible on non-racist grounds from the first.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            “If they pay their rent and I evict them for racist reasons, they won’t have to kill me because that would be illegal in the US.”

            What if you want to move into the home that you just bought at top dollar, Andrew? Would it be racist to evict the tenants, even if they are willing to pay rent? According to you, clearly yes and the tenants would have every right to murder you.

            I am glad that people like you do not run the good old US of A. Otherwise the murder rate over there would be even higher than it already is.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “I am glad that people like you do not run the good old US of A.”

            I would be assassinated before I ever get to run the USA. Also, I probably didn’t make it clear that we are only talking about eviction under a regime of racial segregation (“no legal recourse”). When the state persecutes an ethnic group, they have the right to defend themselves.

            In your new scenario, I don’t necessarily think killing is the right option. Of course you’re not going to insult my intelligence by claiming the Zionist owners had no racial motives for eviction.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            “I would be assassinated before I ever get to run the USA.”

            Really? Do tell. Tell us why would you be assassinated? You don’t sound to be too bad a fellow. Just a bit mixed up.

            “Of course you’re not going to insult my intelligence by claiming the Zionist owners had no racial motives for eviction.”

            First of all, Andrew, I can’t insult something you haven’t got.

            Second of all, if you feel that it is racist for the Jewish people to want our own state, then you are the one who is racist for saying so. Because most other people too want their own states. States in which THEY are the majorities. Even the Palestinians want it yet you are not calling THEM racists.

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            “mainly included those who posed no threat to anyone”

            You are right about that Andrew. The Jews that the Arabs murdered in the 1929 Hebron massacre, posed no threat against anyone.

            Most of them were seminary students. They were not even land owners, they were religious Jews who studied in Yeshivot.

            Nice going Andrew, I can’t wait to read your next distortion about the history of this conflict.

            I think I will write a book about you and publish it. Keep on supp

            Reply to Comment
          • Arieh

            … just keep on supplying me your next spin and inverted reality.

            Reply to Comment
        • Arieh

          “And the Zionist armed groups made war on Arabs who hadn’t done anything to any Jew during 1948. ”

          That is an outright lie. The fact that you make it sound as if Jews started the violence. Zionists made war, in 1948, in reaction to Arab riots which broke out following the announcement of UN resolution 181 in 1947. And following the invasion of Palestine by neighbouring Arab armies.

          By the way, those Arab riots were not the first. As early as 1929, Hebron’s Jews were massacred by Arab mobs incited by that ally of the Nazis, the Mufti of Jerusalem.

          Oh and then there was the “small matter” (sarcasm) of the Arab revolt of the 1930s in which Jews were mercilessly massacred by Arabs wherever Arab gangs could find Jews who could not defend themselves.

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1929_Hebron_massacre

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1936–1939_Arab_revolt_in_Palestine

          Reply to Comment
    9. [...] few) progressives in Israel’s government this time either, there are a few silver linings. Larry Derfner at 972 Mag says no matter how you slice it, Netanyahu has lost control of a now more extreme right-wing. His [...]

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