Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A LIKUD VICTORY IS A VICTORY FOR PEACE

Despite the efforts to portray Kadima and Labor as moderate parties this latest Israeli election is a contest between the extreme right and the ultra extreme right. Genuinely moderate parties like Meretz have no chance at taking power and only the intervention of the courts prevented the banning of the nation's only two Arab parties. Short of unapologetic genocide its hard to imagine policies more right wing than those of the current "moderate" Kadima leadership. To be fair, some of those allied with Likud such as Avigdor Lieberman have proposed this, but it unlikely that even Netanyahu would risk Israel's friendship with its only real ally over such a policy.

The real difference between Likud and the Kadima faction which broke away from it is not policy, but perception. Kadima and Likud want the same goals, a pure Jewish state on as much land as possible free from the ethnic contamination of Palestinians, when in power Likud has been more aggressive in pursuing these policies, but only slightly. Kadima is PR savvy, Likud is more honest towards its objectives. Kadima is willing to carry on sham peace negotiations and offer noble rhetoric (in English) about the importance of compromise. Likud makes no such pretenses. Under these circumstances a Netanyahu victory is the best outcome for the peace movement.

The actions and statements of an openly neo-fascist government in Israel will illustrate the situation to both the American and Israeli public better than any activist could and it will give breathing room for those silently sympathetic to the Palestinian cause to finally raise their voices without the fear that deters criticism of the "moderates". What is certain is that the winner will continue the policies of repression and land seizures, what is not certain is whether the new government will be led by pragmatists capable of accomplishing those objectives or by short sighted reactionaries who will set them back. Give us Netanyahu!

12 comments:

nindee said...

Never thought of it that way, but you're right. Let them show their real face.

What a nightmare.

Bar Kochba said...

YA,

Do you accept the basic right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state?

Young Activist said...

I support Israel's right, but I beleive it should be a state for all of its people and not just for a specific ethnic group.

Bar Kochba said...

So in essence, Jews do not have the right of self-determination?

Young Activist said...

Jews are a religon, not a people. Obviously the legacy of European hatred has created some identity issues, but this does not justify racism against the Palestinians under the guise of self determination, religous mandates, nationalism, and whatever else is used to rationalize the present situation.

Bar Kochba said...

YA,

Who are you to tell Jews what they are and what they are not? Jews have always considered themselves to be one people, despite any separations or dispersions between us. Its incredible that a non-Jew who has never stepped into a synagogue (probably) or picked up a Jewish book has the chutzpah to tell Jews that we are not a people.

Young Activist said...

Actually I have been in a synagogue and I have read "Jewish book[s]" whatever that means, but really who are you to tell the Palestinians that they are not a people. I am speaking in a political sense, in the past Jews spoke of peoplehood in a religous sense, that is an important distinction.

Typically people are united by a common langauge, religon, narrative, and geography, among other factors. Jews are united by none of these. Israel, for example, considers atheists of Jewish parenthood (like Herzl) to be Jewish because Israel is a secular Jewish state, but not Christians of Jewish parentage (who are Jewish under Jewish religous law) because Israel is a secular Jewish state. Tell me this Bar, what essential characteristics define a member of the Jewish people.

Bar Kochba said...

A Jew is someone born of a Jewish mother or has undergone a halachic conversion, according to Jewish Law. One's level of observance is irrelevant to their Judaism as in the words of the Sages of the Talmud: "Even though he has sinned, he remains a Jew." One who formally joins another faith, while technically a Jew, has opted out of the Jewish nation and cannot take part in Jewish community life.

What sort of synagogue have you been that would tell you that Jews are not a people? I encourage you to contact your local Orthodox synagogue, maybe Chabad, for any Jewish questions.

And as for the Palestinians, that identity is completely artificial and was fabricated only in 1967, once they came under Jewish rule. When was Palestine a sovereign nation under Arab rule?

ay back on March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. Here's what he said:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."

Bar Kochba said...

"I am speaking in a political sense, in the past Jews spoke of peoplehood in a religous sense, that is an important distinction."

Is that so? Well then I would refer you to the Rambam's Laws of Kings, which details how a Jewish state is to be run. I guess our greatest sage never got the memo from the illustrious YA.

nindee said...

Young Activist,
I forgot. They've already showed their real face from time to time. From one prime minister to another. From one denial to another. From one delaying to another. So, I guess all we can do is keep on learning and educating ourselves and others. And not to be intimidated by people who see only one side of the story.

Keep on writing!

Paul said...

Hi YA, have you deleted an earlier thread? Any particular reason?

Young Activist said...

Hi Paul,
Yes, I removed several past posts, some for editing and others for possible publication. If you are interested in going back to one of the discussion threads then let me know. I'd be happy to post them here.