The Continued Decline of the Israeli ‘Left’


It was an interesting phenomenon to watch the Israeli TV channels immediately after Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress. Reporters for the various networks generally panned Bibi’s presentation for not giving Obama a hook to hang his peace proposal on. The reporters’ attitude was that Netanyahu had not given enough to President Obama.

Of course, it is well known to everyone that the Israeli TV channels are dominated by broadcasters and reporters on the ‘left’ who, despite their best efforts, have very little impact on Israeli politics. A poll of Israelis yesterday and today shows that many Israelis felt that Netanyahu’s speech was one of the best they had ever seen.

The truth is that the ‘left’ (or what is left of the ever-dwindling ‘left’) has lost all credibility in the marketplace of Israeli ideas because of its perceived attempts to subvert the country in the face of terrorist and rocket attacks from the Palestinians, and in the face of delegitimization from much of the world (which the leftists support). Just yesterday all Israelis could see yet another example–this time of a group of some 20 Israeli ‘elite’ leftists led by the Israeli ‘Solidarity’ movement signed a letter to European leaders urging them to recognize Palestinian statehood at the United Nations in September.

One of the 20, former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, had this to say: “Israel [and the] Palestinians need a responsible adult to save them.” This smugly paternalistic attitude which suggests that the average Israeli does not know what is best for him or her–and seems completely divorced from reality– is precisely what most Israelis find disturbing about the ‘left’. It is a feeling shared in the U.S. by many of us who find J Street’s smugly paternalistic attitude toward Israel so revolting.

Most Revealing Quote of the Day:

Sha’ath speaking to reporters

“We will remain steadfast and we will continue, because the reconciliation agreement is a national and strategic interest. Without it, we won’t be able to liberate Palestine and with it, we will be able to establish the Palestinian state.”

Nabil Sha’ath, Former Palestininian Authority Foreign Minister, in advance of his official visit to Gaza this morning to implement the reconciliation agreement with Hamas.

To liberate Palestine? How do you think the average Israeli feels when she or he hears this from a leading member of the Palestinian Authority–Israel’s supposed partner for peace? And why do you think that the cornerstone of Netanyahu’s peace plan is Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state of Israel?

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