Sunday, April 19, 2015

  • Sunday, April 19, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon




FingerThere is much discussion, particularly after Benjamin Netanyahu's recent re-election, about Israel's continued slide politically toward the right.  Anti-Zionists and Israel-Haters generally attribute this move rightward as a reflection of the inherent nefarious nature of Zionism, if not Jews. On the left, in the United States and Europe, Jews who care about the Jewish state are sometimes tolerated, and sometimes not, but always subject to charges of racism by the element on the left that dislikes Israel and Zionists and AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League and all other Jewish organizations that are not either anti-Zionist or contemptuous toward the Jewish state.

J Street is usually acceptable, but J Street is not a pro-Israel organization.

Leftists, however, who do not share the anti-Zionist contempt for Israel, and who know a thing or two about the Arab-Israel conflict, will usually acknowledge that the failure of the Oslo process and Arafat's unleashing of the Second Intifada played a big role in moving Israel toward the political right.  Anyone who understands the history of the conflict knows that during the 1990s, when Arafat and Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton were sitting around the big table, there was considerable optimism within Israel that they would be able to broker a negotiated settlement with the local Arabs and thus bring peace to the region.

It all seemed so rational and sensible, after all.  The notion of land for peace seemed like it should work.  Give the Palestinian-Arabs 100 percent of Gaza, nearly 100 percent of Judea and Samaria in a contiguous area with land swaps, and the Arab sections of eastern Jerusalem as a capital.  When Arafat rejected this more than generous offer, refused to make a counter offer, and unleashed the equivalent of 9/11 every two weeks for over three years upon the Jews of the Middle East, those Jews became demoralized with the non-peace process and thus began to move toward the right.

Would anyone expect anything else?  It is just so easy to sit in our comfortable offices, houses, and apartments in the United States, almost completely safe within one of the largest and most powerful countries on the planet, and lecture those Jews, in that tiny beleaguered nation, on morality and politics.  The Second Intifada destroyed the Israeli left because the Oslo peace process was the baby of the western left and it led to nothing but violence, death, and a furious denunciation of Israel.  Between 2000 and 2005, the Palestinians launched a civil war against the Jews, featuring suicide bombings.

Thus it was that Israel turned away from Meretz and Labor and began to look more and more toward Likud and right-leaning political parties.  What virtually no one acknowledges, however, is that a major part of the reason that Israelis rejected the left is because it was during the height of the Second Intifada, the height of the Palestinian orgy of violence and killing of Jews in the Middle East, that the left's hatred for Israel reached toward hysteria, as Paul Berman has pointed out.  As Jews were being slaughtered in pizzerias by fools who wanted to die for their religion, western leftists were jumping up and down, pointing the trembling finger of blame at those Jews, and telling them that IT IS ALL YOUR FAULT!

Israelis, for the most part, are not stupid people.  They know who their friends are and they know who their friends are not.  When the western left turned against Israel and laid the entire blame for the conflict on the Jews of the Middle East, even as those Jews were being slaughtered in a frenzy of Palestinian violence, Israelis came to understand the international left was, if anything, their enemy.  It came to look more and more like the western left was simply siding with the Arabs in their ongoing war against the Jews.

So, naturally Israelis moved to the right.

By essentially siding with suicide bombers and Jihadis and Hamas, the western left killed the Israeli left.

The question for left-leaning diaspora Jews today is, do we side with Israel or do we stick with left?  It is, however, becoming increasingly difficult to do both.  How does one support a political movement, or a political party, that is unjustly aggressive toward one's own people?  Because, if I have to choose between the Jewish State of Israel and the western progressive-left, that choice could not be easier.


Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.



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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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