50 Years Later: From a War of Survival to Disgraceful Occupation (part II)

In my last post, I presented the facts. I showed how Israel, which used to uphold the same ethical laws in Israel and the West Bank and strove to treat all civilians with dignity, has become an immoral state legitimately ruled by nationalist criminal organizations. Today I will delve into the strategy that made this disturbing change possible.

The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin – a Bleak and Painful Turning Point

The incitement that led to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995 began in the early 1990s. Those who led the waves of violent instigation were the very same members of the nationalist, Religious Zionist movement, members of the former Jewish Underground and their students. Unfortunately, their campaign of provocative incitement proved to be a great success: Rabin was assassinated and following the murder, the peace process came to a standstill and the Oslo agreements were revoked.

A Legitimate Strategic Takeover of State Institutions

The delegitimization of Rabin and what he stood for, the collapse of the peace process and the nationalistic takeover of the Israeli authorities were no accidents. They were part of a long term strategic plan implemented both on the political and military fronts. The strategy included establishing pre-military preparatory courses, the likes of the Bnei David Yeshiva (a.k.a. Ali), which ideologically indoctrinated the young participants by presenting high profile military service as a righteous religious mission. As a result, more and more members of the Religious Zionist sector pursued a military career or joined the Ministry of Defense and came to occupy various key positions.

Other Underground members turned to politics, encouraging their followers to do the same. Some joined the Likud in order to become a substantial part of the ruling party, while others formed new parties that resembled the historic National Religious Party, such as Tkuma. Another group of Underground members and followers built their career in media professions, finding their place in existing media channels and establishing new ones, such as the Makor Rishon newspaper and the Channel 7 radio station. These positions provided the ideal platform to further promote their doctrine.

Through this multifaceted well-calculated system, the radical Religious Zionist sector managed to force liberal Zionists, conservatives and secular Israelis to the margins of Israeli politics, and to turn the aggressive nationalist agenda into the dominant power.

What Can Be Done?

The current situation is grim and dangerous. Israel, which was established on moral grounds, has lost its moral standing. and this violent shift was not forced upon us, it was conducted legitimately and democratically. Clearly, a fundamental change is needed. It is time to step up.

Perhaps the solution proposed by Isaac (Bougie) Herzog is the best viable option. He suggested that all the leftwing, center and ‘sane rightwing’ parties unite to form a moderate Zionist alternative. Maybe Avi Gabbai, recently elected Labor Party leader and co-head of the Zionist Union, will be able to establish a new alliance of potential leaders after the Labor Party primaries. This united front might just succeed in overthrowing the extreme rightwing currently in power. There does not seem to be a better way to establish a stable and long-lasting ethical government, a regime that would have enough power and time to generate the dramatic and deep change that is required in today’s tainted political environment.

It’s Time for Civil Disobedience

Aside from high-level political action, civilian resistance is also possible and imperative. We must face the catastrophic reality being maintained by our government, the former Jewish Underground and their disciples, and cease to cooperate. We could take a page out of the Ultra-Orthodox community’s book and simply disengage, isolate ourselves, stop complying with state laws that do not comply with basic moral standards, stop paying taxes, maybe even stop serving in the army.

It is time for a full-scale crisis, before the standing government destroys all that is good and decent in Israeli society.

About the Author
Shimon Sheves was General Director of the Prime Minister's office under the late Yizhak Rabin. He is currently the Founder and Chairman of HolistiCyber, which provides nation-state level cyber security solution.
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