Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tel Aviv Rising

''I don't believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings,'' Yuval Diskin, the former head of the Israeli Secret Service said this past week. The gathering was to celebrate Israeli’s Independence Day in the Tel Aviv suburb of Kfar Saba. He was speaking in code.

One cannot use the word “messianic” in Israel today and mean it purely metaphorically. Diskin did not just mean that Netanyahu was acting zealously or with an arguably exaggerated sense of mission. His criticism reportedly focused on what he took to be Prime Minister Netanyahu's threats against Iran. But he also expressed concern about a government that apparently has “no interest” in negotiations with the Palestinians, and he stressed concern about relations with Washington.

The problem—which Diskin’s double entendre conveyed perfectly—is that Israel’s current leadership either believes, or has made itself hostage to people who believe, that a messianic era really has been at hand since the 1967 war: that a sacred land has been liberated for Jews to “return” to and the country is protected by something like a divine plan. These ideas, praise God, are finally starting to drive more nearly educated Israelis—centrists, even peace skeptics—a little nuts.

Read on at The Daily Beast

8 comments:

Y. Ben-David said...

Well, let's look at the record. What happened when there WERE Israeli governments that REALLY were serious about negotiations with the Palestinians.
(1) Rabin-Peres-Oslo. Immediately upon making the agreement, the largest wave of bloody terrorist attacks in Israeli history breaks out. After initial withdrawal, talks deadlock. Peres looses re-election bid.
(2) Netanyahu is elected, slows down but does not stop Oslo process. Terrorist attacks almost completely cease.
(3) Barak is elected in 1999 promising to move quickly to final agreement. Pushes for Camp David summit although Arafat resists. NO AGREEMENT is reached. Even bloodier wave of terrorist attacks breaks out.
(4) Sharon's Likud-Labor gov't suppresses terror after difficult anti-terrorist operations.
(5) Sharon announces and carries out unilateral withdrawal from Gaza Strip and destroys Gush Katif. This is shortly followe by large wave of rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza.]
(6) Olmert is elected in 2006. Promises Palestinians a state either based on a unilateral withdrawal not requiring any Palestinian agreements or intensive negotiations. Abbas opts for negotiations. NO AGREEMENT IS REACHED, but two bloody wars follow, Lebanon II and Gaza.
Diskin isn't stupid. He must see that it is the "peace process" that MAKES war. When there is no "peace process" there is quiet. This is the historical record.

Potter said...

Funny how you can construe history to draw conclusions by the way you pick facts and line things up as though history is a vicious cycle, not moving forward. Counterintuitive as it is - you would have us believe that negotiations (the long process by which the current outline for peace has formed) has brought only war, not quiet, not development, not political evolution. One could say that the violence had it's own evolution, ran it's course mostly, regardless of the peace process itself. This, one could say, was happening on the ground and separate from the issues being hammered out, built upon, at the tables over the years with negotiators. Consider that the peace process has been separated from the people and the issues of daily life. Leaders therefore were unwilling (Arafat, Sharon Netanyahu) or unable (Arafat, Abbas, Rabin, Olmert) to bring an agreement about. This, one could say, had more to do politics and power struggles.

(By the way, Sharon achieved quiet? No reverberations from his strong use of force?)

The fact is the present Israeli government is not serious about the peace process, justice,compromise. You cannot cover it over with the theory that this is bringing about the relative quiet. There has been and is evolution within Hamas (moderating) and the PA and vis a vis the "Arab Spring". What Bernard Avishai is seeing or hoping for here is an Israeli Spring arriving.

With no peace process there is, moving forward, intensifying criticism of Israel from the international community and consequences. Also there is a changing relationship with the US. We are not on board for war with Iran. Israel supporters here are beginning to see things differently as well; the old propaganda is a dog that does not hunt so well.

Y. Ben-David said...

Here is a Ha'aretz poll that says that the large majority of Israelis REJECT Diskin's criticism of the gov't as being "messianic". Dr Avishai is grasping at straws, which I guess should be expected after being wrong about EVERYTHING for the last 20 years...most Israel do NOT hate the settlers, the polls he quotes were taken months ago when the "Haredi extremism" problem was in the news which affected the polls, it has dropped out of the news in the meantime. Also the poll Dr Avishai quotes says that although most Isarelis want negotiations with the Palestinians, 2/3 don't believe the Arabs want peace with Israel. The majority of the Israeli population does NOT hold the positions Dr Avishai claims they do.
Here is the link to the Ha'aretz poll:


http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/haaretz-poll-netanyahu-the-clear-favorite-heading-into-israel-s-upcoming-elections-1.427866

Potter said...

As here in the US, the population tends to believe what they keep hearing because they are frightened or not paying attention. They listen to their preferred politicians demagoguery and their preferred media... the ones that make them feel comfortable ( for the moment).

Dr. Avishai has been wrong so far not in his hopes, in that he has been wrong ( and I don't mean to say he has) but perhaps in his beliefs that rationality and wisdom would have prevailed already for the sake of all of us.

Still the truth needs to be told over and over by as many voices as possible. It takes time to sink in. OR maybe lessons have to be learned the old-fashioned way ( the hard way) through pain and suffering.

Y. Ben-Israel said...

Potter-
I see you hold the view that I see is prevalent among the Progressive/Left...that most people are STUPID. Tell me, where is your vaunted belief in "democracy" if you really think most people are ignorant and not capable of really understanding the issues like you think you are.

In addition, who says Dr Avishai's views are your views are "rational". I say they are IRRATIONAL because he assumes that the Arab/Muslim world is going to suddenly abandon long-held beliefs for Dr Avishai's convenience.

I repeat...ALL of his predictions for the last 20 years have proven wrong.

Potter said...

Your last refuge, where the wall comes down, is in labeling ALL progressives/leftists, ALL Muslims, ALL Arabs as such and such. This you do a lot. To complete the hyperbole now ALL Dr. Avishai's predictions have been wrong!! (Can you give me a list?)

Democracy works when ALL participate and ALL are informed as to what is at stake. Unfortunately democracy does not work well when ALL the people (involved) are not. Democracy works when there is trust and a sense of commonality about outcome/s. You ASSUME I have a "vaunted" belief in democracy- well I don't know how you know that too- but if the conditions for it are met, I certainly do.

Y. Ben-David said...

Left/Progressives always say they believe in "democracy".
Although Dr Avishai didn't have his blog 20 years ago, I assume he was among those who advocated bringing Arafat to Israel and giving him control of the Palestinian territories. The arguments used by the Left/Progressives was "he is the sole legitimate leader of the Palestinian people, he is strong, he will get his people to accept a compromise peace, he will suppress the HAMAS and other extremists". I am sure that was his position. That was totally wrong, and everything the mainline Left/Progressives have been advocating and all their predictions about what will happen have been wrong since then.

Mark what he is saying in these last two threads...that there is a noticeable shift to the Left in Israeli public opinion regarding the possibility of reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians. He says this at the moment the Egyptians are saying they are going to downgrade or cancel their peace agreement with Israel. Does that make sense?

Potter said...

Are you saying then that it follows that the Right does NOT believe in democracy? I would agree with that.

You “assume” Dr. Avishai’s position 20 years ago?

Therefore this gives you the right to say he was “wrong about EVERYTHING for the last 20 years”?

I find it amazing that you think people reading this can accept this kind of reasoning or proof. Do YOU think that most people are stupid? (refer to your question to me on May3rd with STUPID in caps)

Are you forgetting that Hamas was once aided and tolerated by Israel because it was felt to be a counterweight to the PLO/Arafat? Do you overlook as well that Hamas, regardless of any moderating, has been USEFUL to Right/extremists in Israel for avoiding peace agreements?

How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas