Monday, May 07, 2012

Utter stupidity at 972mag

But I repeat myself....

Here's the latest in bizarre anti-Zionist thinking, by Issa Edward Boursheh, where the bizarre claim is made that allowing more citizens to vote in elections is anti-democratic:
In late March, before elections were announced, Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser revived an earlier effort to grant Israeli citizens abroad the right to vote. The argument in support of such a bill is that it could increase the level of overall voter participation. But there is every reason to believe that this is not the true concern of the current government and its leaders.

According to the report (Hebrew) by the JPPI, between 677,000 and 706,000 Israelis reside abroad; 543,000 to 572,000 will be eligible to vote, according to this paper. After all the limitations proposed, the number is reduced to a sum that could add up to about 2-3 Knesset seats (p. 11).

Proponents argue that other Western democracies allow absentee voting, including Canada, Australia and the US. But those democracies are based on universal principles of citizenship. Unlike those countries, in Israel naturalization is based almost exclusively on Jewish identity. Even with some safeguards about residency and the four-year limitation, it is Jews who are more likely to gain citizenship from Israel, and travel or live abroad.

As it stands, the bill could, de facto, lead to gerrymandering the Israeli electorate in favor of the Jewish people, upsetting even the current Jewish-weighted balance. That may eventually cause more harm than benefit to this democracy.
Get that? Since more Jews are likely to be abroad, then Jews are more likely to vote! But since Jews are more likely to be in Israel itself, doesn't that mean that Jews are more likely to vote anyway? Has Boursheh, who goes to Tel Aviv University, not noticed that Israel is a majority Jewish state? Yet to Boursheh, any plan to add more voters is automatically suspect if the majority of those voters are Jewish. 

Sounds vaguely racist, no?

It gets better:
According to the Law of Return, Israel is the national home of all Jews around the world. All Jews are entitled, according to the law, to pursue citizenship practically just by stepping on Israel’s soil and by proving Jewish descent, which will turn them into voters too. ...The bill opens the door to the possibility of Jews around the world pursuing citizenship just for the purpose of voting, with only minor obstacles; and those most likely to take advantage of it are, I believe, potentially right-wing voters.
This is lunacy. It is almost unimaginable that any sane person would make a sham aliyah just to be able to vote, let alone hordes of people.  The logic is bizarre, to put it mildly.

In fact, if the thesis given by the Peter Beinarts of the world are true, most American Jews actually are far more dovish than Israelis are, and many of them feel very strongly that Israel is doing the wrong thing. Wouldn't they be also likely candidates to go on sham aliyot just to vote against Likud? (Oh, sorry, they are Jewish - and automatically suspect to Boursheh anyway!)
At present, there are more than 300,000 voters who reside outside the Green Line/Israel who practice their voting right – in other words, settlers. Amongst them are government ministers and members of Knesset, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin, to name two. On the other hand, more than 250,000 Palestinians who reside in East Jerusalem are residents of territory that was annexed by Israel’s Basic Law: Jerusalem yet they are not citizens of Israel and are not allowed to vote in national elections. In addition, more than 20,000 Druze live in the Golan heights with similar status to the East Jerusalemites, and they do not participate in Knesset elections either. For the record, this is partly due to the choice of these residents due to the complexity of their reality and fear of where they might end up as a result of future agreements.
So there are some 270,000 Arabs who can, if they desire, become citizens and voters - and choose not to. And this is somehow Israel's fault! (Later on he says that Israel is "denying their basic right" to vote - when it is entirely their choice.)

There are serious problems that arise from this debate and it’s crucial to address them. First, are the Israelis who reside abroad Netanyahu’s core supporters (Netanyahu’s many Facebook fans are not from Israel)? Is that the reason he is seeking to include them?
This guy is seriously saying that Bibi's Facebook admirers in Malaysia are really right wing Jews he is trying to get to vote for him???

In reality, if Boursheh had the ability to think rationally rather than try to find a way to bash Netanyahu the Evil, he would realize that the kinds of Israelis who move abroad are the ones who are least likely to be ideological Zionists - because they left Israel! Of course this doesn't describe all of the yordim, but the chances that an Israeli who is living in Los Angeles is an idealistic, right-wing Zionist is certainly no higher than that of a random Israeli in Israel.

This is the state of anti-Zionist discourse. Assume that everything Israel does it evil, and then find insane reasons ex post facto to justify your assumption. This is pretty much the entire modus operandi at 972mag - not always so obvious, but always just as dishonest.

And here's the kicker:

This idiot works as an employee at the State Department, presumably in the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. (He also had a six week stint writing three articles for the Jerusalem Post.)

(h/t JW)