Racism, blackmail, and the Israeli elections

The Israeli elections are turning into a joke, but the last laugh will go to the gangsters sitting in Ramallah. What have we so far? First, the smaller so-called right-wing parties unite so their votes won’t be wasted. This union is encouraged by Netanyahu, who phones the rabbis who pull the strings on the grounds that the left must be stopped at all costs. Second, once the union is formed, various actors on the political scene start accusing this union of harboring a racist party in the form of Otzma Yehudit. The party and its leader are hauled before the Elections Committee that votes by the slimmest of majorities – one, to be precise – to allow the party and its leader to remain on the ballot. Third, American Jewish lobbies, including AIPAC, jump on the bandwagon bemoaning the very presence of this right-wing bloc because it includes a party these supposedly pro-Israel Jewish organizations consider racist. What leads them to label it racist? The fact that it takes its inspiration from the late Meir Kahane, whose party was outlawed from running for the Knesset because the Supreme Court deemed it racist. But what does the Supreme Court know about racism? Are judges sociologists who have studied racism as a social phenomenon? Do they have a proper working definition of racism that can be applied across the board? Or do they simply indulge in the semantic prejudices of politicians who bandy the epithet about to denigrate people with whom they disagree and thereby avoid having to deal with their policy prescriptions?

Israel has a problem, a very serious problem, with its Arab Muslim citizens, but even more so with its Arab Muslim neighbors living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The problem with its own Arab Muslim citizens has to do with their lukewarm support if not open hostility to the state in which they live. The problem with those living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza has to do with the fanatical Jew hatred which has permeated the entire population, unleashing on Israel and its citizenry a daily diet of murder and mayhem and making a joke of any prospect of peace between Israel and those whom popular parlance has come to call Palestinians. Has not the so-called moderate Abbas made clear that no Jew will be allowed to live in an eventual state called Palestine? Does he not even now call for no peace or normalization with the infidels? And does not the so-called moderate king of Jordan chime in any time he can to call out Israel for trying to keep the peace on the Temple Mount in the face of rioting Muslims?

Any lucid person other than a pyromaniac would quickly understand there is no way Israel can allow a Palestinian state to emerge in Judea and Samaria or to continue in Gaza. Any lucid person would also quickly understand there is no way Israel can allow the current situation to persist. The only solution is for Israel to annex Gaza, Judea and Samaria and extend Israeli sovereignty over these areas. And since Israel could not integrate two million people who are committed to its liquidation, the Arab Muslim population in these territories has to leave. Their departure can be planned or chaotic, merciful or brutal, but it has to happen. It also has to be recognized that this is the only pragmatic and reasonable solution for all concerned. To advocate such a program is not racist. It is simply recognizing reality and dealing with it in such a way that does not lead to the deaths of millions of people. It is also, one ought to point out, the consequence of Palestinian actions and policies, which have been and are racist to the core. As happens with all racist agendas, they come back to bite the people who launched them. That’s what happened to Nazi Germany and that’s what will happen to the “Palestinians.” No amount of moral blackmail by Jewish bleeding hearts and international leftist intellectuals, pundits and politicians can change that. Even the Supreme Court of Israel cannot twist reality, however much it wants to deny it.

But when Israeli Jews of all stripes and in all places denigrate people who advocate these policies as racist, they only fuel the Jew hatred and blood lust that spew forth from Ramallah and Gaza City, justified in the name of resisting an occupation that is not one. Thus does the blackmail which has been the Palestinian Muslim Arab stock in trade for a century become part and parcel of Jewish political discourse, hamstringing any possible resolution of Israel’s conundrum. And the blackmail endemic in the Israeli political system now spills over into public discourse, making Israel hostage to a dead-end policy that only inflates the roll of victims read out each year on Yom Hazikaron. The ongoing blather about the two-state solution only makes Israel dependent on the racists who rule the roost over the Green Line, and powerless to counter the sympathy and financial support which Israel bemoans are funneled their way from Europe and other western powers.

The blackmail from Ramallah spreads like the diameter of a bomb, as Yehuda Amichai so poetically once explained, and engulfs us all. It spreads to London and Paris, to Berlin and Ottawa, to Dublin and Jerusalem. It spreads to Netanyahu and Ben-Ari, to Likud and the right-wing bloc Likud foments, and to the entire Israeli voting public who are bombarded with messages not to waste their vote voting for a party that will have nothing to do with these shenanigans. That party is Zehut, led by Moshe Feiglin, which stands for a clear and principled extension of Jewish sovereignty over Gaza, Judea and Samaria, but which also has no truck with electoral machinations that ask people to vote for one party or bloc in order to prevent another party or bloc from getting into power. Perhaps Zehut understands that this too is a form of blackmail that can only lead to more of the same from which Israel has suffered all too long. If people really want to waste their vote, they have an embarrassment of riches from which to choose. If they don’t want to waste their vote, they should vote for the one party that will not succumb to blackmail and not hamstring Israel’s ability to alter the situation in its favor.

About the Author
Stephen Schecter is a sociologist, poet and writer who specializes in telling stories from the Hebrew Bible. His work can be seen at
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