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  1. #1
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    Default Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Nietszche said it: spend too much time peering into the abyss, and it will suck you in.

    The results of the Legislative Elections in Israel show a turn to the Right that began under Netanyahu has not shifted, even if the man himself is not as 'Right-wing' as previous holders of the Office of Prime Minister.

    Not commented on in the press, in the UK at any rate, is the staggering decline of the Labour Party, reduced from the party that declared Israel's Independence in 1948, formed its Government without interruption to 1977, and is now little more than a secondary or even a fringe party of what Trump would call 'Radical Leftists', except that in this case he might be right. Labour was in 1948, and today is still a member of the Socialist International, as is the smaller party, Meretz, but that is as far as it goes. There is an analysis of how far Labour has fallen here-
    Israel’s Labor Party Is Responsible for Its Own Failure - Opinion - Haaretz.com

    Why, then, has the Fascist politics of Israel triumphed over its alternatives?

    Part of the reason, and I think one of its main ones, is that Ariel Sharon, then Netanyahu, created narratives that were designed to rubbish the historical adherence Israel has- or had- to the Collectivist aspects of Zionism. One of the original ambitions of the 'Labour Zionists' in 1948 was to create a collective form of Agriculture as the foundation of the Israeli economy, whether the Moshav or the Kibbutz.

    Since Menachem Begin's victory in 1977, collective agriculture has declined as Israel has in economic terms, replaced agriculture with technology as its greatest success, both domestically and internationally. On the one hand, this has reduced Israel's dependence on the US, though the billions of dollars of subsidy it gets from the American tax-payer dwarfs that paid out to other Governments.

    On the other hand, the price paid for the Globalization of Israel's economic relations and the influx of foreign capital, has meant the levelling of prices, so that housing is now beyond the reach of most young families, given that most Israeli families do not want to live on the cheaper, but illegally occupied areas of the West Bank, where they have nothing in common with the fanatical Settler Movement that is in any case, a law unto itself, also known as 'Gun Law'.

    Netanyahu has created a Narrative of Crisis, a Narrative of Tension in which the by now faded and jaded claim that Israel is surrounded by enemies that seek to destroy it is the daily bread. How this fits in with the 'Abraham Accords' which has normalized relations with those 'Enemies' I don't know. Moreover, the only truly hostile states, failed State Lebanon, and failed State Syria, are more likely to be the targets of Israel's war machine than vice versa, just as these days, given the implosion in Lebanon, Iran is the victim of Israel's military violence, rather than the other way round.

    This leaves the usual suspects, the Palestinians, and Saudi Arabia.

    Although there has been some speculation that Mohammed bin Salman would consider normalizing relations with Israel, he may not need to. Both are in a tacit alliance with their common enemy, Iran, and though MbS might do a deal with Israel, what would be the trade off for him? There is no sign he cares about the Palestinians, so I don't see a deal involving peace there. And anyway, in the long term, the aim has always been to unify the former Arab territories of the Ottoman Empire under Wahabi command, a long term ambition I believe MbS is committed to, rather in the way Xi wants China to 're-unify' Taiwan with the 'Mainland'.

    What of the Palestinians, one of the most ineffective political 'Nations' in the world? Here lies the problem, for while Netanyahu can maintain the narrative of Existential Despair -either them or us, a narrative that is fundamental to the Religious maniacs he may have to bring into his new Coalition government- and while sporadic violence against Israelis by Palestinians has increased, it is part of the political cultural of despair that Netanyahu himself created when he rejected the 1993 Peace Treaty between the PLO and Israel, so that instead of improving relations, Israel and the Palestinians have been repeating the same old tit-for-tat violence the Peace Treaty was supposed to end.

    And now throw in this example of Fascist brutality -the law which decrees foreigners must not only inform the Govt of Israel if they fall in love on the West Bank but leave " after 27 months for a cooling-off period of at least half a year.".
    Controlling the territory is not enough, controlling human emotions is an extension of Fascist doctrine from 'nothing inside the State against the State' to reach into the hearts of the people. Sort of 'No feelings against the State inside the State' to paraphrase Gentile. The ghost of Avraham Stern, trained in Civitavecchia by Mussolini, at Stern's request, is laughing all the way to the Gulag.
    Warning to all who fall in love on the West Bank-
    Israeli rules say West Bank visitors must declare love interest - BBC News

    The alternative, my peace plan, has yet to be considered. This would create an Israel-Palestine Confederation, in which every citizen would have equal rights -equal rights to the land, to housing, to health, education and work and political representation. The boundaries of Jerusalem would be re-drawn so that the City is taken out of poltiics to become an autonomous, global inter-faith hub in honour of its three dominant religions. The State buildings of Israel would thus no longer be in Jerusalem, but neither would the Palestinians be allowed to claim Jerusalem as anything but its 'spiritual capital'.

    I don't see how the settlers on the West Bank can be expelled. They are armed and dangerous and shoot to kill. But if the Confederation works, the impetus for the Settler Movement, based as it is on bogus religious claims and violence and intimidation, might subside, though I think the weak point is the poor non-relations they have with West Bank Arabs.

    So, a plan for peace, or Netanyahu's 'forever war'?

    What is clear is that the current Narratives of Tension and Crisis cannot be allowed to shape policy, but I doubt Netanyahu has any intention of changing, just as I doubt he will join us in supporting Ukraine's war for freedom against Russia. The illegal siege of the Gaza District will continue, the illegal occupation of the West Bank continue to hold, and deteriorate with Netanyahu's blessing as he needs the tension there to justify his Fascist policies.

    As was said by a Palestinian viewing the current situation-
    "“This is no longer a slippery slope. This is the abyss itself.”"
    Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu comeback brings despair for leftwing parties | Benjamin Netanyahu | The Guardian

    Results of the Election here-
    2022 Israeli legislative election - Wikipedia

    Members of the Socialist International here-
    Members - Socialist International


    Last edited by Stavros; 11-04-2022 at 05:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Another legislative election has turned Israel even further to the Fascist right than it was before, with dire claims from the new members of Netanyahu's coalition of 'annexation' of Palestinian territories, illegal settlement building, and already a probably illegal raid on the finances of the Palestinian Authority that was set up as part of the Peace Treaty of 1993.

    That new members of the Govt represent parties that acquired just over 10% of the vote (see Wikipedia link below) is now sadly typical of the mess Proportional Representation makes of Democratic politics, while the views of Smotrich and his allies on the Judiciary and LGBTQ+ issues are loathed by the majority of Israelis. All of which suggests, as it also now typical of Israeli politics, that Netanyahu's new Coalition might not survive internal disputes, but the man himself is most keen to find the means to end the legal problems he has, and to deepen his relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Brutal Dictatorships in the Middle East that are every bit as Brutal as the Military Dictatorship Israel has imposed on the Palestinian territories.

    Even a sloppy Liberal coward like Simon Tisdall now wonders if Israel as far as Western Democracies are concerned, is 'on our side', though neither he, nor the British or American Governments will dare to criticize Israel and certainly not sanction the country for its ever rapid descent into the Fascist paradise dreamed of years ago by Avraham Stern and Menachem Begin.
    Netanyahu is Israel’s own worst enemy. Why won’t western allies confront him? | Simon Tisdall | The Guardian

    Here is the elephantine problem -if Israel were to Annex the West Bank, Russian style, what rights will the 2 million+ Palestinians have in what will be, de facto, a Single State? What rights will the 2 million+ Palestinians in the Gaza District have? Either they must all have absolutely equal rights with Israelis, or Israel must admit that Palestinians will be 'second class' citizens or 'non-citizens'.

    The implications for this are clear: if it happens, Israel will no longer be a Democracy, but a Violent Dictatorship to match its partners in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. I am sure Israel will continue its bombing raid in Syria with impunity, its assassinations in Iran, its illegal occupations and illegal settlement building all with impunity, because nobody dares to critizise or challenge Israel's power.

    But as Tisdall concedes, what if this leads to am implosion inside Israel? Will secular citizens continue to accept the Religious nut jobs entering their Government because of a desperate Egomaniac, that dismantles the institutions and political culture they have nurtured since 1948?

    Netanyahu has always believed in confrontation, not diplomacy. War, not peace. Violence, not negotiation. What if his reckless policies now lead him into a civil war, is it a war he thinks he can win?

    2022 Israeli legislative election - Wikipedia



  3. #3
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    A trenchant article on the crisis in Israel, but Freedland doesn't take the view that I do. He may be right about the role Palestinians can play, but only in a political settlement where they are equal to Israelis, which is something Netanyahu cannot even imagine, and the Fascists in Israel can't accept.

    The solution is a Confederation of Israel and Palestine, similar to Switzerland, in which every citizen has equal rights. Jerusalem being what it is for religion, it's boundaries to be re-drawn to exclude Israel's Govt buildings, and become an Inter-Faith Centre of the World.

    Otherwise Israel will rule over a country in which 4 million Palestinians are nothing, and reject the authority of the State. It is as absurd as Russia annexing a Ukraine where 90% of the population don't want them. And if it doesn't make sense politically, it may make sense in terms of the violence that is sure to follow. A lose-lose situation for all concerned.

    Freedland's article is here-
    Netanyahu is an existential threat to Israel. He can be resisted – but only with Palestinian support | Jonathan Freedland | The Guardian



  4. #4
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Earlier this year the journal Foreign Affairs published a critique of the ‘Two State Solution’ in Israel claiming in reality there is already a ‘One State’ reality. The article received a collective reply from Michael Oren, and from various pro-Israeli Americans, including Martin Indyk and Robert Satloff. The links below also include an ignorant reply by Elliot Abrams.

    What puzzles me is why American Zionists, if that is what they are, accept in Israel politicians they would not vote for in the US, and policies that are in some cases incompatible with the US Constitution. They are opposed to a One State solution that grants equal rights to all, which after all is implied in the Declaration of independence in 1948, but then you would never know Israel began life as a Socialist state because these days nobody wants to acknowledge this, just as David Ben-Gurion is no longer a hero just a forgotten man whose politics doesn’t fit with the contemporary narrative.

    Obviously if a One State came into existence Israel in its present form would cease to exist, but its Jewish citizens and other Israeli citizens would continue to live where they are, but in equal standing to everyone else. And, as Israel is no longer threatened by any neighbouring State, indeed, is recognised by most Middle East states (for domestic reasons neither Syria nor Lebanon pose much of a threat), all Israel and the Palestinians need do is find the means to live together.

    It doesn’t look promising right now, but the with a Fascist in power supported by Americans who either would never support Fascism in America, or who like Trump want an Autocracy to replace their democracy, it will take time before these people can heal themselves, to everyone’s benefit.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/middl...state-solution

    https://www.cfr.org/blog/israel-turn...l-eliminate-it

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/israel-sur...170000900.html


    Last edited by Stavros; 07-24-2023 at 02:23 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee are at it again, for how long who knows? Netanyahu, addicted to violence and confrontation is in his element -what HAMAS wants out of this nobody so far knows.

    But this interests me- the response of Rishi Sunak:

    "Israel has an absolute right to defend itself".

    Fair point.

    What rights do Palestinians have?

    Israel ‘at war’, says Netanyahu, as fighter jets target Gaza after surprise attack by Hamas – live (theguardian.com)


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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    Ö

    What rights do Palestinians have?
    They donít have the right to launch thousands of rockets against civilians or gun down civilians in the streets or take hostages.


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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Quote Originally Posted by rodinuk View Post
    They don’t have the right to launch thousands of rockets against civilians or gun down civilians in the streets or take hostages.
    I agree with you.

    16 Years of siege without end, an aggressive neighbour on one side, an indifferent one on the other, a lack of clear direction from its own so-called 'Authority' in Ramallah- one wonders when this, or how this relentless confrontation and violence will ever end.

    Had Israel honoured the commitments it made in the Peace Treaty of 1993, had Netanyahu not joined Ariel Sharon's campaign to smash it to pieces over the corpse of Yitzhak Rabin, HAMAS might not have retained the internal loyalty it has (albeit with rivals, some of them even more vicious), as well as external supporters in Iran.

    Had Tony Blair, when representing the 'Quartet' actually done something instead of renting property in Sheikh Jarrah and never visiting to ask the people of Gaza what they wanted -who knows if there might have been a working peace of some sort.

    As I indicated above, I don't know what HAMAS's intentions are, other than a grim gesture on the 50th anniversary of the October War of 1973 -one which was also a humiliation for Syria, lest we forget that dismal, dysfunctional narco-state.

    When the guns fall silent, and the dead have been buried, will there have been a single advance in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians? I doubt it.



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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Although much comment in the media has compared this surprise attack exposing weak Israeli intelligence, to the start of the October War of 1973, I think the most apt comparison is with the aftermath of Israel's defeat of the Arabs in 1967.

    It was followed by the emergence of Fateh and the PFLP as militant groups prepared to take their conflict with Israel outside the region as well as expand its range inside it, but the wave of aeroplane hi-jackings and assassinations that marred the 1970s dealt a catastrophic blow to any sympathy the Palestinians might have been given for the way they have been treated over the last 100 years or so. Rashid Khalidi has documented this history in his book The 100 Years War Against Palestine, one of the finest books on Palestinian history ever written.

    As the world lines up behind the very same state, Israel, that has done so much to reject peace instead of war, that has allowed Settlers on the West Bank to murder Palestinians at will, plough up and steal their land, that in reality does nothing to stop the harassment of Christians in Jerusalem, one wonders if another catastrophe is going to engulf this part of the world, but with more serious consequences.

    This is because not only is Netanyahu a criminal on every level, in effect at war with the citizens of his own country with his Fascist agenda, he treats peace and negotiations for peace with absolute contempt. HAMAS, after their election victory in 2006 offered talks without pre-conditions, which Israel dismissed, in itself no surprise as by 2006 the 1993 Treaty was considered by people like Netanyahu a betrayal, while refusing to tell anyone how Israel proposed to accommodate 4 million Palestinians.

    Thus, the stage is set for mass expulsions, if the hard-liners in the Israeli Cabinet have their way, and though that sounds extreme, Syria in effect expelled 4 million or more during the civil war there; Saudi Arabia's futile war in the Yemen has displaced either another 4, or 14 million depending on the sources, so the expulsions if it happened, or if people are driven out of Gaza by relentless bombing is what they call 'on trend'.

    But where can the Palestinians go? Most Palestinians in the Emirate were expelled from Kuwait after the 1991 war, many went to Jordan -but Jordan cannot take 4 million or even 1, having taken in as many from Syria.

    If HAMAS is acting on its own and Iran's agenda -HAMAS has been supported by Iran in much the same way the PLO was supported by the USSR-and the aim is to prevent Saudi Arabia from 'normalizing' relations with Israel, it has gone about it the wrong way. It does present a dilemma for the Saudis who used to believe the whole of the Middle East should be part of their Kingdom of violence and hate, and who have always for that reason been ultra-sensitive to the issue of Jerusalem, so it remains to be seen how diplomacy is affected by this action.

    Again -1993 could have, should have led to a just settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians: it addressed the obvious: how do millions of people sharing the same space get on with each other? Sharon and Netanyahu smashed it to pieces for the price of their personal commitment to a Zionist project that was either doomed from the start, or could only be realized through permanent war: when Herzl was asked by Khalidi's great grandfather what would happen to the Palestinians in his 'Jewish State' Herzl had no answer -either he couldn't be bothered, or he knew the answer was a negative of gigantic proportions.

    Nationalism, in this context, remains today what it was in the 19th century: a curse on humanity.

    That said, in its Declaration of Independence in 1948 Israel said it would respect the rights of non-Jewish people living in Palestine/Israel, a declaration now treated as toilet paper by Netanyahu and the Fascist idiots he has recruited into his shambolic Government.

    The US, as usual, has failed to deal with the conflict -it is easy enough to bring other Arab states into a normal relationship with Israel, though the sight of Jared Kushner presiding over the 'Abraham Accords' when he and his family stood to benefit financially from it was one of the lowest moments in American Middle East diplomacy, if that is what it was. It appeared at the time as merely a business arrangement for Kushner, consolidated after he left office with his billion dollar deal with the Kingdom of 9/11.

    So it looks like the Palestinians are on their own again, or have friends that most people would avoid -Iran, and in that shadow, Putin, though I don't know what he thinks he can, or can do.

    The scale of casualties and the circumstances are deplorable, distressing, and destructive. Nobody gets out of this with pride, there is no victory here, but that was always the case with this permanently bleeding wound.


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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    This is not directed towards anyone here but I often see these same issues that come up with respect to civilians and you can either trust me or not that I am not responding to a strawman among either Palestinian or Israeli partisans. Civilians should be viewed as innocent whether you think their government is on the right or wrong side of a conflict. There are people who take themselves seriously who defend either Israeli atrocities or atrocities of Hamas and it ends up making the easiest part of the conversation complicated.

    The people at the music festival were no more responsible for Israel's occupation than I am for the U.S.' invasion of Iraq (which I was obviously against) but there are Americans and Brits who feel perfectly comfortable saying they deserved to die or try to imply some culpability. It's always a stretch when people do this and it always looks like some predetermined attempt to exact vengeance of some kind. Speaking of which...

    There are supporters of Israel who think Israel is justified doing anything it wants in Gaza. That is a sadistic and genocidal mentality (to people who want Israel to "flatten Gaza".....that is a disgraceful, pig view). I've already seen video of Israel committing war crimes. Dropping bombs on apartment buildings because you think there might be one or two militants inside along with three families? It's no less cruel a form of murder. And I am aware that Israel has killed more Palestinian civilians than Hamas has killed Israeli civilians.

    Finally, there are people who think that opposing the sadistic murder of people at a music festival, multiple documented acts of rape, kidnapping, and parading around an elderly lady with dementia somehow makes someone a hypocrite for wanting Ukraine to expel Russia from Ukraine. I not only would not defend Ukrainian soldiers going to Moscow and killing civilians and raping women, I wouldn't defend crimes against Russian soldiers who have surrendered.

    The final point is that people want to know what Palestinians can do militarily against a country that is better armed. Before anyone could even attempt to justify the killing of civilians to achieve a political or military objective there has to be a probability greater than zero that it achieves that objective. Otherwise, it's not Machiavellian. It's pure sadism if it can't succeed.

    I just thought I'd say that. Sadly, it looks to me like there will be much more cruelty and death before Palestinians have a state.


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    Default Re: Israel: Turn Right for the Abyss

    Broncofan, I agree with what you say. I tend to ignore the grotesque responses which on both sides feed, and are fed by the dreadful violence. On Channel 4 News this evening an Israeli man whose family members have been taken hostage had an understandable rage, but it made me wonder why they interviewed him in such circumstances.

    The obvious response to the hostage situation is for Israel to suspend military operations in Gaza and open negotiations to free their citizens, not to bomb Gaza with the risk that hostages might be that sick phrase, 'Collateral Damage'. Netanyahu can't think beyond a bayonet to grasp the essentials in this conflict, but as one of its architects, perhaps he feels obliged to wage war, war, and yet more war -for what? The leadership of HAMAS can leave just as the PLO left the West Bank to Jordan in 1967, and on being expelled from Jordan in 1971 went to Lebanon, and then when Israel bombed Beirut, left for Tunis. In the end, they were on the White House lawn signing the treaty. Can that happen again? In theory, but Israel is different now, and I don't think the mood is there to talk.

    Netanyahu doesn't negotiate. Right now, neither does HAMAS. Days of Doom ahead.


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