Guardian gets Israeli ‘move right’ completely wrong

In a March 14th article, the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Oliver Holmes attempts to explain, in advance of upcoming national elections, the decline of the Israeli peace camp. However, beyond quoting several completely non-representative Israelis, such Yehuda Shaul, founder of the NGO Breaking the Silence, and the self-described non-Zionist Haaretz reporter Amira Haas, Holmes’ piece (The fall of the Israeli peace movement, and why leftists continues to fight”) offers no actual analysis of the ‘death of the left’ and what describes as the country’s “wild lurch to the right”.

Fortunately, this very topic was the focus of a very insightful piece by Yossi Klein Halevi in The Atlantic:

…the second intifada—which began in 2000, shortly after Barak accepted the principle of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and which resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries among Israelis and Palestinians—remains the great Israeli trauma of this generation.

The main political casualty of the second intifada was the Israeli left, which became effectively unelectable. After all, the left had assured Israelis that a two-state offer would bring peace, but the numbing wave of terrorism immediately following Barak’s acceptance of a Palestinian state shattered the left’s credibility. 

As Klein-Halevy goes on to argue, it’s simply impossible to understand the Israeli electorate in 2019 without acknowledging the concerns of the broad Israeli centre, who understand that the status quo is untenable in the long term, and leaders must do all they can to achieve a peaceful solution, but fear that “a precipitous territorial withdrawal could turn the West Bank into another Gaza, risking a Hamas takeover and rocket attacks on Israeli cities”.  Israelis haven’t moved ‘right’ insofar as the word denotes to some an embrace of militarism and a disinterest in pursuing peace and co-existence with the Palestinians. They’ve simply changed their minds – based on experience – about the efficacy of the current peace process and the assumption that territorial concessions will necessarily end, or even reduce, Palestinian violence.  

Contrary to the dominant narrative, the continuing Israeli occupation is not the cause of Palestinian terrorism. It is the result of Palestinian terrorism.  But, as long as Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate, and are treated instead merely as passive victims of Israel, this an important causation shaping the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue to elude British news consumers. 

9 replies »

  1. IF the Groan acknowledged the reason for the decline of the Israeli left, it would interfere with its pro Islam narrative across the globe. What Israel has been going through is the precurser what is starting to happen in Europe, indeed across the planet. Since the terror against the Yishuf – indeed since the Arab terror of the 70s in Israel and across Europe – the Palestinians have used Israel as an incubator for methods of mass slaughter. Do not forget that Europeans leftist terrorists were warmly hosted, trained and equipped by the PLO and many Arab states throughout the 70s and 80s.

    I knew when the car ramming attacks started in Israel years ago that this would come to Europe, indeed the West. And so it did. Barcelona, Nice, Berlin, London, Stockholm followed. In Europe the rise of Islam and its obscurantists have given rise to a new class of EU critical citizens. Brexit can be followed back to the left wing lies vis a vis violence of Islam. What happened in Israel will imo sink the EU in the medium term. Just like Israelis, the Europeans will not be silent lambs.

  2. Why would Israel relinquish military control of the West Bank when the Palestinians show every day that they are not partners for peace? They teach their children from kindergarten to hate Jews, and they rewarded the murder of of Israeli Jews by their pay for slay policy. Until there is a wholesale change in the Islamic mindset with regard to Jews and Israel peace will always be a dream and conflict a daily reality.

  3. Israel gave up Gaza and the south of Lebanon and look what they got? Iran is actually drilling for war with Israel. Does the Guardian write about the lurch to the right of Muslims?

  4. The Israeli “lurch to the right” (long a favourite trope of Israel’s “critics”) is largely mythical. The Likud has actually lurched leftwards in the last 2 decades by internalising progressive policies such as talking to the PLO, contemplating a Palestinian state, promoting LGBT rights, narrowing the social gap, increasing expenditure on the Arab sector, universal health care – the list goes on and on….

    • What is it called when you just make stuff up about other people and make them look bad? When all you have is negative cliches? Imagine talking like this about Africans or Asians? The left would be all over you for racism. When it comes to Jews however the Overton window can never be close enough to the devil.