Monday, May 26, 2014

The Europeans Vote, The Israeli Press Analyzes

Israel is trending right, we often hear, but this is misleading. Hard-core Greater Israel types are stuck somewhere between 30-35% of the population, which is about the same level the pollster Khalil Shikaki tells us Hamas supporters in Palestine are stuck. The real trend, and danger, is a kind of collectivist cynicism that's taken hold, nuanced by neocon-like codes, and spread by what passes in Israel for the mainstream media--especially Reshet Bet, the public radio service that virtually all of us turn to for news.

This morning was a case in point. The Pope is visiting; presumably, the platitudes could wait. The wake-up show host, Arye Golan, led with a report on the French vote that propelled Marine LePen's party into first place in yesterday's vote for the European Parliament.  LePen got about 25% of the vote, while pro-EU parties held their own almost everywhere else. To sort things out, Golan asked Tel Aviv University's Avi Primor--a former ambassador to Germany and the EU--to join the conversation.

This was an earthquake, was it not?, Golan began, perhaps the beginning of the end of the EU. (Decoded: Strong nationalist ties are inevitable and will always trump liberal dreams such as the EU; which is why Israelis have to privilege national solidarity--the "Zionist" principle--over any peace agreement, whose cosmopolitan ideals cannot be trusted, right?)

Primor, perhaps the country's most seasoned expert on the EU, was determined to cloud the issue with facts.  No, he said, this was not an earthquake.  Only around 45% of the French electorate voted, and LePen's voters were the ones that tended to be mobilized. Her party, like other proto-fascist parties across Europe, always gain ground when unemployment is high and growth is slow.

Ah, Golan replied, but the EU's economy is doing well now. (Decoded: Stop with the materialist explanations you academics always drag out. People are rich enough but naturally bigoted. So why do they always blame Jews for their desire to do for themselves over others?)

Actually, Primor responded, the economic recovery has not been felt in the lower rungs yet, and may not be for some time.

But--Golan reached for his ace--the vote still implies a reversion in Europe to its traditional anti-Semitism, does it not? (DecodedDeep down, they hate Jews, and will always hate Jews, right? Anti-Semitism is surging in vile new forms, so isn't EU criticism of the Israeli occupation just a false front on implacable sentiments? They are just looking for ways of delegitimizing us, and LePen's victory tears the veil off, right?)

There is surging anti-Semitism, Primor answered, but the Semites it is directed to are mainly Arab Muslims.  The party of the right tends to adore Israel, in France as in the US.

But still, the EU's architecture must be in danger. (Decoded: Oh, come on. How can such a borderless system hold together when ordinary people are naturally suspicious of those beyond their borders.)

No, Primor insisted, the EU will always have some problems, including local nationalist excesses, but its architecture reflects globalist processes that are in many ways irreversible.

Well, anyway, Golan ended things, "Thanks for an optimistic interview." (Decoded: You are terribly naive. )

You see, the problem is not the ideology of the right, but the defensive and slightly creepy ways media personalities valorize Bibi's status quo: by relentlessly implying that liberal principles are un-Zionist, foreign criticism is hypocritical, and positive proposals for diplomacy are vaguely feckless. Primor was cogent. Golan wasn't buying it; he doesn't want to look like a fool.


Jeremy Milgrom said...

Galey Tzahal was even worse this morning: when talking about the attack on the Jewish Museum, they couldn't stop mentioning the rise of Islam in Europe, as if there's any evidence that it was carried out by Muslims...

Dan Livni said...

I guarantee you that attack on the Museum in Belgium was either by a Neo Nazi or Muslim.

Dan Livni said...

Bernard Avishai says, Israel is trending right, we often hear, but this is misleading. Hard-core Greater Israel types are stuck somewhere between 30-35% of the population,
Ha, greater Israel.
Israel is 1 tiny country compared to 22 Arab countries.
Look at this map showing how tiny Israel is to the Arab world and some lefty loon like Bernard Avishai is talking about greater Israel.

Dan Livni said...

Palestinian Rejectionism is something Bernard likes to avoid.
Fatah demands all Jews leave Israel
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
A graphic posted on the official Fatah Facebook page:

They aren't talking about Israeli Arabs, so the only people they are demanding to leave their homes are Jews.

And they nicely threaten to shoot them if they don't.

This is, after all, their "peace plan."

Dan Livni said...

The only peace Abbas and Fatah will accept, is one where Israel becomes a Muslim majority country

Doesn't John Kerry realize this about Abbas and his fellow Rejectionists.
They will never agree to any agreement as long as Israel remains a Jewish state”.
This is just a fact.

Dan Livni said...

I wonder if Bernard is upset that Abbas is paying killers bonuses for murdering Jewish kids.
PA spends 6% of its budget paying Palestinians in Israeli jails, families of suicide bombers.
Hamas terrorist who orchestrated 2002 Park Hotel massacre, in which 30 Israelis died, gets $3,000 a month, Channel 2 reports; bomb-maker jailed for 67 killings gets $1,000
September 3, 2012

Potter said...

It's the nervous loud fearful and thus motivated minorities that get the attention.

The poor Israel arguments, "one tiny country" "they will always hate Jews" "they have 22 countries" is increasingly pathetic since these are dogs that do not hunt anymore if they ever did. Those who do not embrace the arguments are naive of course.