Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Independence Day: Choosing Words Carefully

It has been a week since John Kerry apologized, with a certain recalcitrance, for having suggested, in an address to a closed-door meeting of the Trilateral Commission, that Israel was at risk of becoming “an apartheid state.” While Israel prepares to celebrate its Independence Day on Tuesday, the White House has declared a “pause” in its peace efforts, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has rallied lawmakers to admire “the lone stable democracy in the Middle East,” and Martin Indyk, the chief U.S. negotiator, has returned to Washington. Susan Rice, who was known to be skeptical of Kerry’s gambit, is coming to consult with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the Iranian nuclear negotiations. It seems as if Israel has managed to ditch the talks while keeping its friends.

Israelis who seek a stable democracy, however, are feeling betrayed by the Obama Administration’s hasty retreat, and they are regretting Kerry’s expression of regret not because they like the word “apartheid” but because they don’t like American effeteness. These Israelis have been heartened by Kerry’s strong drive to achieve two states (which Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon dismissed as “messianic”)—and to mobilize a democratic Israeli majority against a fierce minority who take occupation for granted. In clarifying his original statement, Kerry insisted, “I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone.” But one cannot simply have a “commitment to Israel”; one must be committed to one or the other vision of Israel’s future—to one group of Israelis over another.

This idea remains difficult for people outside the country to grasp. The risk for the future is not that the Green Line separating Israel from the West Bank will disappear, and the Israeli majority—and hence Israeli democracy—will be compromised. The risk is that the forces of “settlement” are winning. Over time, these forces—whom Netanyahu has drawn into his coalition, and with whom he probably sympathizes but cannot easily control—have assumed commanding positions in the Likud Party, in key ministries, in the Army, and in the legal system. It would be insensitive, given the horrors of Jewish history, to call these people fascists. So let us say that they include ultra-nationalists who traffic in xenophobic grievances, religious messianists who are unashamed of racist claims, militarists who regard liberal Tel Aviv as decadent, proponents of civil solidarity who scoff at legal constraints, wards of the state who depend on a command economy, and acolytes of authoritarian “spiritual leaders.”

Read on at The New Yorker


14 comments:

Potter said...

But one cannot simply have a “commitment to Israel”; one must be committed to one or the other vision of Israel’s future—to one group of Israelis over another.

As Ronald Reagan said: "There you go again!" : Someone please save Israel from itself

What a description of Hebron!

I too am sorry Kerry said sorry BUT the man is worn out and frustrated and has other things to do. And Netanyahu was playing him and won. They are cheering Netanyahu. Who knows what Obama wants from Kerry. Kerry gave it his all for sure, who can say otherwise except those who expect real consequences from us. let us rest at least for awhile. This quote from your article makes me think "well, it's a civil war! Do we get involved in civil wars anymore?"



Anonymous said...

what a liar and falsifier of history you are. But as Ilan Pappe said, for his cause he needs not tell the truth. I feel so sorry for you.

Dan Livni said...

Question for Bernard AVISHAI.
Can he find me one Palestinian to the question below?

http://cifwatch.com/2014/05/06/in-search-of-palestinians-who-are-sickened-by-pas-celebration-of-sbarro-bomber/
In search of Palestinians who are sickened by PA’s celebration of Sbarro bomber
May 6, 2014

Dan Livni said...

Camera destroys the lies of BERNARD AVISHAI.

http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=122&x_article=2708
New Yorker Blog Drips with Hatred of Israel
May 9, 2014
Sarit Catz

Dan Livni said...

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/05/09/amnesty-researcher-admits-that-palestinian-eyewitnesses-often-lie/
Amnesty Researcher Admits That Palestinian ‘Eyewitnesses’ Often Lie
MAY 9, 2014

Dan Livni said...

Israelis deserve to have their narratives told by the victims of Holocaust denying , Jew hating, Kamikaze, rocket launching , baby killing, Palestinians

Dan Livni said...

Israelis deserve to have their narratives told by the victims of Holocaust denying , Jew hating, Kamikaze, rocket launching , baby killing, Palestinians

Dan Livni said...

Who says Golda Meir was wrong?

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2014/05/hamas-kiddie-tv-show-shoot-all-jews.html#comment-1370816994
Hamas kiddie TV show: "Shoot all the Jews!"
From Palestinian Media Watch, the latest episode of Hamas children's TV show "Pioneers of Tomorrow."
May 05, 2014

Dan Livni said...

Jerusalem has had a Jewish population majority since the late 1850s - that's 130 years already, before 'Palestinianism' was invented:

Jews were expelled from East-Jerusalem by the Jordanian occupation at 1948. They lived in East-Jerusalem for thousands of years. They returned to their homes after Israel liberated the city in 67.Jerusalem was never in history the capitol of any Arab country. Jerusalem has been only the Capitol of Israel.

ISRAEL which is defending itself against Pan-Arabism, Arab imperialism and Arabization of the Middle East - that is the "problem Bernard doesn't like.

The real problem is global Arab/Moslem insistence to spread hate, violence, wars, terrorism, lies, false accusations against Jews and reducing Jews to subhumans or second class citizens - slaves or servants - without any human rights.

Bernard wants to help the Palestinians destroy all Jewish history in Jerusalem.

http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=5490
PA TV: Western Wall area to be turned into Arab housing neighborhood.
Palestinian Authority TV:
Western Wall area to be turned into Arab housing neighborhood -Jewish presence in Jerusalem will be erased from history.
Aug. 17, 2011
---------------------------------
http://www.timesofisrael.com/pa-official-jews-have-no-right-to-western-wall/
PA officials: Jews have ‘no right to pray’ at Western Wall
Judge Tayseer Al-Tamimi says Al-Aqsa Mosque, including Jewish holy site, is Islamic and belongs to Muslims alone
TIMES OF ISRAEL
March 27, 2014

Dan Livni said...

Bernard quotes in the article Gideon Levy.
Bernard must be desperate to quote the most hated anti Israeli journalist in Israel.
Please go to this link which shows the liar and Arab terror apologist Gideon Levy is.
http://jtf.org/forum/index.php/topic,71528.0.html

Y. Ben-David said...

How sad that Dr Avishai's friend, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is going to be an unwilling recipient of hospitality by the State of Israel in one of its prisons for the next several year. I recall how Dr Avishai regaled us with stories about his meeting with then Prime Minister Olmert at a New Year's party at the Van Leer Institute and Olmert told Dr Avishai with tears in his eyes that he now realized that everything he believed as a former member of the Likud for years was wrong and that it was his opportunity to make piece with his good friend and "peace partner" Mahmud Abbas and that he, Olmert, now broken free from all sorts of primitive old Zionist beliefs would be the one to hand the Western Wall and the other Jewish holy sites over to the Palestinians in the guise of "international control" and he would also finish the business of dismantling the Jewish settlements in the territories that his mentor Sharon started. Well, it didn't work out, Abbas refused and Olmert is going to the klink. Too bad, Dr Avishai. There is still time to see if your other prediction that states the President Obama, who you stated is so powerful and beloved around the world, would force Israel out of the West Bank.

Potter said...

D. Livni sounds pretty desperate himself. How sad Ben-David that the judge had to get rid of a peacemaker this way, so scared some are of peace and compromise. Anyway, Olmert is going to appeal.
Stop drooling.

Y. Ben-David said...

Potter-How do you know that the Olmert's judge "wanted to get rid of a peacemaker"? Maybe the judge has the same views as you do? The large majority of Israelis now believe, unlike you and Dr Avishai, that the Palestinians are not interested in a peace agreement. I'll bet the judge is in that category.

In any event, please expalin to me how you think the Palestinian leadership reacts to statements make by Kerry, Tzipi Livni, Dr Avishai and others such as "it will be VERY bad for Israel if there is no peace agreement with the Palestinians". What does this mean? That ultimately Israel will disappear (G-d forbid)? Isn't that what Abbas and the Palestinians want? So why should they make suicidal concessions such as giving up the Right of Return of the refugees just in order to help Israel? Or are you like so many "progressives" in believing that what you think and want is what everybody else in the world thinks and wants? If you want peace it just gotta be that the Palestinians want the same thing?

Potter said...

What is means is that it will be very bad for Israel if there is no peace agreement with the Palestinians. I don't think Israel will disappear, nor do I think those who made those comments think so but Israel as we knew and hoped it would become seems finished more and more with every day. I think there will be turmoil. I think Jews in diaspora will disengage more and more. Many don't want to be associated with Israel's behavior towards Palestinians, the hellish occupation, that is if they know Jewish history and are enlightened.