October 26, 2012

EDITOR: A new fascist government is awaiting Israel in the new year.

So now we can see the rationale for Netanyahu’s behaviour – by combining with the fascists he will be able to do as much as he ever wanted, have wars to his heart’s content, and continue and intensify the extreme right nature of his social policy, in order to counter the social protest ‘movement’. With an opposition leaders like Yachimowich and Livni, he has nothing whatsoever to worry about. It is the other Israelis who now need to worry and fear. And we are not even mentioning the Palestinians, who now know there is where they stand with Israel, and whoever is in the White House in the new year, also with the US. Nothing will bring Israel and the US to deal justly with Palestine, and the faster this is realised, the better. Until Palestinians realise this is the case, and act accordingly, there will be no improvement in the political situation in Palestine/Israel. Any more energy and dreams on the 2 state mirage will only play into the hands of the Biberman party.

In the piece below, Aluf Benn is writing about left-wing parties… what a joke that is. The Left-wing parties he has in mind are supporting the occupation and the coming war with Iran. When the ‘left’ is in the hands of such characters, the right is quite safe, and can quietly plan the destruction of the Middle East, and much besides. We are all advised to be frightened, to be very frightened, which is indeed Netanyahu’s forte – he likes making people fear him, and fear the future. Fear is his medium, his main and substantial tool of policy and propaganda, and he is good at using and manipulating it.

In the meantime, Zeev Sternhell, one of the last liberals of Israel, is still fantasizing about ‘sane Zionism’, though his article is actually proving such a creature did not exist…

With Lieberman at his side, Netanyahu’s war cabinet is on a one-way track to Iran: Haaretz

The merger between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu obligates the left-wing and centrist parties to offer an ideological and practical alternative to the newly-formed war cabinet.

By  | Oct.26, 2012

PM Netanyahu and FM Lieberman announce unification

PM Netanyahu and FM Lieberman announce unification, October 25, 2012 Photo by Emil Salman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed a war cabinet last night that will lead Israel into a confrontation with Iran.

He did not conceal his intentions; he announced that the top priority of his next government will be preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The merger with Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party will dissolve any domestic opposition to the war, since after the election, Netanyahu will be able to argue that he received a mandate from the people to act as he sees fit. Ministers and top defense officials will have a hard time arguing with him. From now on, only American opposition is liable to delay, or even prevent, a command to the Israel Air Force to take off for Iran.

In announcing the merger Thursday, Netanyahu has finally renounced his attempt to portray himself as a centrist, as a statesmanlike and moderate leader. The mask that he put on before the previous election has finally been tossed into the trash. With Lieberman as second in command and heir to the throne, and his supporters in prominent spots on the joint ticket, Likud will become a radical right-wing party, aggressive and xenophobic, that revels in Israel’s isolation and sees the Arab community as a domestic enemy and a danger to the state.

Netanyahu’s turnabout is reminiscent of the change that Likud founder Menachem Begin underwent after his reelection in 1981. Moshe Dayan and Ezer Weizman served in Begin’s first term, and led the negotiations that resulted in a peace accord with Egypt. The prominent figures in Begin’s second term were Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and Israel Defense Forces chief Refael Eitan, who worked with Begin to lead Israel into the disastrous war in Lebanon.

Netanyahu is gearing up for a similar turnabout. Ehud Barak, Dan Meridor and Benny Begin served in the outgoing cabinet; they pressed for a moderate foreign policy and showed the world a sane Israel. In Netanyahu’s next term, they will disappear, or be neutralized, and the prime minister will lose even the appearance of moderation in Likud. He will be pushed into an aggressive foreign policy and will no longer be able to say the foreign minister doesn’t represent the cabinet’s positions – the standard renunciation of Lieberman, whenever he publicly attacked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, or Turkey, or any other country that raised his ire.

The turnabout will also be evident in domestic policy. Meridor and Begin, along with Michael Eitan and Reuven Rivlin, fought the outgoing cabinet over the existence of a liberal democracy that maintains human rights and those of minorities, in the face of pressure exerted by Lieberman and Netanyahu and his associates (led by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman ) in favor of the establishment of a nationalist state with an all-powerful cabinet. Now the checks and balances have been crushed to bits. Netanyahu is merging Likud – a party that has been characterized by internal democratic workings, by primaries and by party institutions – with the puppet ticket of Lieberman the dictator.

The merger between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu stemmed from weakness, but it also contains opportunity. It obligates the left-wing and centrist parties, primarily Labor, to offer an ideological and practical alternative to the war cabinet. In the face of “Likud Beiteinu,” Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich can no longer conceal her political positions. In placing Lieberman at the front, Netanyahu has given the left a rival to fight, a reason to gather together the liberal, sane, moderate camp in this country. And in the meantime, Barak, Meridor, Begin and Eitan must quit the government immediately, rather than be tempted by the crumbs Netanyahu will offer them in exchange for making the Israeli public and the rest of the world think this deal is kosher.

The dream has vanished, with the left’s help: Haaretz

The nationalistic and messianic settlement ideology has spread like an oil spill, the dream of a liberal and open society has vanished and the rug is fast being pulled from under the feet of sane Zionism.
By Zeev Sternhell     | Oct.26, 2012

The cloak that the right wing has donned in anticipation of the upcoming election bears the proud label with the brilliant and innovative “ruling” by Justice Edmond Levy. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without a doubt knows that Levy’s learned conclusions will be treated in the rest of the world just like those rulings once handed down by village courts concerning evolution and the origin of man. He is also aware of the fact that if the government formally adopts the practical conclusions that stem from Levy’s “ruling,” Israel will be perceived as a country struck by fanaticism that deserves condemnation on every possible public stage.

However, according to the concepts of the right wing, annexation is legitimate not only because it is legal and in accordance with the wish of the creator, but also because it rests on the desire of the people. That is the modern side of nationalist fanaticism that grants ultimate justification to the occupation. On the one hand, in the present Knesset, which represents the sovereignty of the people, there is a clear majority in favor of annexation. On the other hand, the survey published on the front page of Haaretz earlier this week confirms what is already clear from our daily experience – that a majority of Israelis are not deterred by apartheid.

In the wake of a continuous ideological effort of an entire generation, the right wing has ultimately succeeded in endowing society with its values: If it were to annex the territories, it would not annex the human beings living there. The Arabs would remain with the status of a population that is no longer occupied because the territories – according to what Levy stated – are not occupied territories, and they will merely be the dust of humanity, without identity or rights.

Levy and those who appointed him have apparently never heard of human rights, because after all these are the rights that people invented and they are universal and applicable to all people in all parts of the world. The only rights the various segments of the right wing have heard of are historical rights that are relative and dependent on time, place and culture. The historic rights of the Jews, who own the Promised Land, erase the Palestinians’ right to be masters of their own lives.

It is reasonable to assume that the upcoming election will give final approval to the will of the Israeli citizen. The Jew – who himself was an oppressed refugee, or whose parents were, an object of hostility, hatred and extermination – has become a tyrant who is permitted to do whatever he wants.

This has happened because the left wing was not ideologically equipped to withstand the violent demands for sole ownership of the land. In the left, as well, too many people followed in the footsteps of those founding fathers of the Labor movement who shared that concept. Therefore, in all the years that have elapsed since 1967, the right also had sympathetic listeners among those on the left.

Many of those who noticed the dimensions of the disaster that was taking place kept quiet or were silenced, lest they be branded “enemies of the people.” The right wing stuck to its principles and sharpened its positions while the left wing, out of fear of being “cut off from the nation,” helped them, the people, to bang their heads against a brick wall. And now, faithful to this path, Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich too is snuggling up to Likud and, if the latest reports are correct, she is becoming a collaborator with Likud in all that is connected with the territories.

As a result of that conduct – which the second government under Yitzhak Rabin interrupted, but only for a short while – the positions of the right have become accepted among wide swaths of the center-left. Today they are considered as being identical to the national interest, or in common parlance, the “state.” In this manner, the nationalistic and messianic settlement ideology has spread like an oil spill, until it reached the point that we are currently at: The dream of a liberal and open society has vanished and the rug is fast being pulled from under the feet of sane Zionism.

The only question now is whether we have already reached the point of no return, or whether there still remains one minute before midnight.

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