Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Lost Tribes of Israel


The conflict between Israel and Judea has turned violent yet again. If you have never read anything by Zeev Sternhell, who escaped with his life yet again, start with this interview. 

7 comments:

Y. Ben-David said...

All attacks like this do is strengthen the extreme Left. Whoever did this should be locked up and they should throw away the key.
The Left in Israel has a long history of using supposed violence of the Right in order to get the Left to "close ranks" and "rally around the party". This was first used in 1933 when MAPAI leader Chaim Arolosoroff was murdered by Arabs on the Tel Aviv beach. Ben-Gurion and others decided it would help in upcoming elections to blame the right-wing Revisionist Zionist opposition so they blamed them for the murder, and indeed, some Revisionists were arrested and charged with the murder. They were all later cleared of the charges, but B-G used the false accusations to whip up a hysteria against the Revisionists, and it worked, MAPAI won the election. The Left decided to use this same weapon...blame the "Right" and assign "collective guilt" to the entire movement.
As late as the 1977 elections the Labor Party was stills saying "They (the Likud) killed Arlosoroff". Fortunately the Israeli public had grown up in the intervening years and learned to think for itself. The Left during the beginning of the Oslo process, still imprisoned by ancient thinking, decided they needed to stir up some "right-wing" violence themselves, since the "right" wasn't providing the Left with violence that could be used in pro-Oslo propaganda, so the SHABAK set up a agent provocateur named Avishai Raviv and had him carry out provocations including assaults on Arabs and Leftist figures such as HADASH MK Tamar Goshansky. The Left kept saying "do you see what they are like..they are all terrorists!", even though it was a government provocateur that was doing these things. Rabin's assassin Yigal Amir was a very close associate of Raviv before the assassination (this is documented in the official state Shamgar Commission Inquiry into the Rabin Assassination). In any event, in spite of the hysteria that Rabin's assassination generated against the Right, the Left lost the national election held a few months after the assassination, so that which worked in 1933, did not work in 1996 and won't work today.

Yes, there has been violence by a handful of "Right-wingers". There is no justification for it and it should be dealth with by the authorities with a firm hand. But attempts to attach collective guilt on people like Dr Avishai's mythical "Judeans" (who he claims are not "real Israelis" like his secular elites supposedly are) will not work. Israelis know the situation, the Left today is a shrinking minority in Israel and pathetic attempts to use criminal acts like this to tar entire movements just won't work, as much as many "progressives" would like them to. Every week there are violent demostrations by the Left against building the separation fence with numerous casualties among the security forces, yet no one on the "right" goes around saying the "Left" bears collective guilt for what some Leftist hoodlums do. It is time the Israeli Left grow up.

Y. Ben-David said...

Dr Avishai, in his postings here, is continually finding ways to thwart the will of the majority of Israelis who oppose the views of the Left which he propounds. One was is his suggestion to make the "Hebrew Republic" which proposes to break the "Jewish" consensus in Israel and to form an alliance of the "elites" (primarily secular Ashkenazim) and the Arabs (the Arabs have always rejected this, but Dr Avishai keeps trying). The second is his proposal that the US come in and some how "force" the "elites" to declare war on the "Judeans" (i.e. the majority of the Jewish population which is Zionist, center-right politically and either Orthodox or traditionalist in religious orientation) and use force to suppress them.
Well, here is an excerpt of a column by Evelyn Gordon in the Jerusalem Post pointing out that disenfrachisement of the Right is playing with fire (as we may have seen with the attack on Sternell):
----------------------------------

Civil Fights: Why violence has replaced democracy

Sep. 24, 2008
Evelyn Gordon , THE JERUSALEM POST
There has been a spate of attacks by settlers on both soldiers and Palestinians recently. This is not random violence, but calculated policy: The goal, activists say, is to "exact a price" whenever part of a settlement or outpost is dismantled, in the hope of persuading the authorities that dismantling settlements is not worth the cost.

While only a minority of settlers supports this tactic, the number is growing, and defense officials believe the violence will only escalate.

This is something no society can tolerate, and better law enforcement is clearly part of the necessary response. Yet law enforcement alone cannot solve the underlying problem ¬ which is that growing numbers of settlers have justifiably concluded that democratic action is pointless, leaving violence as the only rational option.

IF THAT sounds outrageous, consider the following: In 1993, the Knesset approved the Oslo Accords, even though Yitzhak Rabin won election promising no negotiations with the PLO. But the ensuing surge in terror disillusioned many Oslo supporters, thus rightists saw a real chance of defeating Oslo 2 in 1995. So they did exactly what good democrats are supposed to do: They lobbied Shas and Labor MKs, and succeeded in garnering enough votes for victory - until Rabin, thumbing his nose at the rules, openly bought two MKs elected on a far-right slate, thereby securing a 61-59 majority. And since the offered bribe (a ministry and deputy ministry, with all attendant financial benefits) was illegal at the time, he then used his newly purchased majority to amend the law so he could pay up.

Worse, this perversion of democracy enjoyed monolithic support from journalists, leftist MKs, academics and other self-proclaimed champions of the rule of law. The lesson was obvious: Playing by the democratic rules is pointless, because the other side has no qualms about scrapping them whenever they prove inconvenient.

It is no accident that the worst incident of political violence in Israel's history, Rabin's assassination, occurred a mere month later. If democratic alternatives are blocked, violence becomes the only recourse. And someone will inevitably take it.

FAST FORWARD to the 2003 election, when Labor championed a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and the Likud's Ariel Sharon campaigned against this idea. Again, rightists did what good democrats are supposed to do: They threw themselves into electing Sharon. And they succeeded: The Likud won by a landslide. Yet 11 months later, Sharon U-turned and adopted Labor's platform.

Nevertheless, he offered a democratic escape route: an internal party referendum. So rightists again did what good democrats are supposed to do: They canvassed door-to-door among Likud members.

And they won again: Though polls predicted an easy victory for Sharon, his plan lost by a 60-40 margin.

But Sharon ignored his party's verdict, despite having pledged to honor it. He also refused to submit his plan to any broader democratic test ¬new elections or a national referendum. And of course, these decisions were cheered by the left's self-proclaimed champions of democracy.

Thus the right won two democratic victories, the 2003 election and the Likud referendum, only to see both prove worthless.

Once again, the lesson was clear: Playing by the democratic rules is pointless.

After Sharon junked the referendum results, rightists protested by blocking roads around the country. That, while illegal, is a time-honored Israeli tradition. The Histadrut, for instance, blocked roads nationwide for months to protest the emergency economic program in 2003; disabled activists demanding increased funding once paralyzed the entire capital by blocking major roads. Yet neither union activists nor the disabled were ever arrested.

Anti-disengagement protesters, however, were arrested in droves, and routinely jailed for lengthy periods. Here, too, the lesson was clear: Rightists will be jailed for using tactics that other protesters can use with impunity. In short, democracy is not a level field, so playing on it is pointless.

----- cut rest of column

ZShow.com said...

Interesting interview PROFESSOR Avishai. Thanks for sharing.

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