A Guide to the Politically Confused

Confused about the region’s political establishments’ varying approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Here is a quick guide for the confused.

  1. The far right (parts of the Likud/Bayit Yehudi) is calling for annexation of the West Bank while not being too concerned about how to integrate the Arabs living there. Although these people are fervent believers in a Jewish State and claim to want democracy, they aren’t too worried about any conflict between the two ideas. Somehow it will work out and these 2.5 million people won’t present a demographic issue
    (Note: These same people constantly denounce the Gaza withdrawal yet they effectively admit that it is a relief that we aren’t in Gaza anymore and don’t have to take them into the demographic equation. Belated thanks to Ariel Sharon.)
  2. The center right (Likud) says that Abu Mazen is a monster who is responsible for the current problems. At the same time, they say Abu Mazen has no influence on anything outside of Ramallah. Therefore there is nothing for Israel to do but expand a settlements slowly (It is our right to live anywhere!) and allow a few more Arabs to work in Israel. Anyone who doesn’t accept this analysis is a hypocrite, and probably an anti-Semite. Hopefully, the Arab world will disintegrate and we’ll figure out things then. In addition, these people strongly believe that making representatives of NIF-funded organizations wear a name tag will also change things.
  3. The center left (Yesh Atid, Zionist Union) still say “Abu Mazen is a partner” even though many of them realize that he is powerless, representing no one but a small group of very aged politicians from a by-gone era. Therefore we need a regional peace conference (because the history of regional peace conferences in this region is just so rich with successful examples). At said conference, the neighboring countries will agree that Israel can withdrawal from certain parts of the West Bank and the Arab nations will pick up the pieces. In addition, the center left adds that PM Netanyahu has screwed up things with the west, especially with President Obama, while admitting that Obama is a bloody fool who has no clue as what is going on in the Middle East. But if somehow we show him and Europe that we dance the dance, they will like us. The center left also doesn’t like NIF-funded organizations but opposes making them wear a name tag.
  4. The far left (Meretz) simply despise Netanyahu. Besides that and supporting anything that makes the GOI look bad, they don’t have too much to add (oh yes, they’ll say something like “Ezra Nawi isn’t my cup of tea but . . .).  They also like showing videos of Bibi and Rabin in an SS uniform.  Lately, some of them have started to act like truthers, always a bad sign.
  5. The Palestinians themselves mainly think about biding their time until, well, no one is really sure. Somehow, sticking with the policy that they’ve adapted for the last 120 years of refusing to admit that the Jewish people (repeat people) are here to stay, a policy which has gotten them nowhere, is a good idea.

There are other, ground root movements making some noise as well.  The people at Olam Katan (a religious right wing publication) kid themselves by calling for annexing the West Bank without enfranchising the people.  They’re sure that sooner or later Europe will see things our way and will accept the idea of 2.5 million disenfranchised citizens.

Others (including Orthodox settlers) call for accepting the idea that the Zionist State can’t exist and that we have to understand  that sooner or later we have to have one democratic state (or some minor variation of this idea) for all its citizens. Why these people think that the Arabs (or Jews) here have the political maturity to live in such a state is beyond me.

There you have it. Hope that this helps.

About the Author
Ben Waxman was born in the US and served as a Peace Corps volunteer. He lived in the Jerusalem area for decades and now resides in the Shomron.
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