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Illogic on the Israel Left

25 August 2003

By Yisrael Ne’eman

 

The Israel Left, especially the Meretz faction is determined to self-destruct.  A bit of soul searching is in order for a party with 12 seats after the 1992 elections and now after eleven years counting six mandates.  The non-compromising pro-peace, pro-Oslo Accords approach cost the party half its support, but if based on ideological imperative, this is understandable.

Unfortunately this is not the case as Meretz Knesset members are spinning off into scattered left field.  Chairman Yossi Sarid admits PA Chairman is a terrorist and none can do business with him.  He further agrees terrorism must be destroyed.  Yet he castigates government policies and blames the ‘hudna’ failure on both the Palestinian terrorists and the Sharon administration, equating bus bombings with illegal caravan outposts and accusing the government of still having designs on all the Palestinian territories.

MK Zahava Gal’on supports the right of all soldiers not to serve in the Palestinian areas (or anywhere else) based on conscience.  To be fair she extends this to right wing ideologues who refuse to evacuate illegal settlements.  Her extension of such individual decisions to right wing conscientious objectors is only a cover for her desire for an abandonment of anti-terror policies implemented in the Palestinian areas and a unilateral withdrawal of Israeli forces.  Here she alienates some 98% of the Jewish population in Israel.  With her stance she elevates individual decisions over that of the society and advocates the disintegration of the IDF, leaving each soldier to determine personally what security policy should be followed.  It is anything but the rule of law.

MK Avshalom Vilan was in the Matkal unit (akin to Delta Force), Israel’s most prestigious commandos and is always thought of as a security minded individual despite his leftist politics.  But just this past week he resorted to untruths and the complete lack of logic when speaking to a group of American Jews.  First he claimed the Lebanese border has been completely quiet since the pullback from south Lebanon in May 2000.  Yet there have been numerous incidents with dozens of casualties over the years including three soldiers abducted and killed in October 2000.

He explained Ehud Barak’s offer of 100% of the Golan to the Syrians was turned down as was the proposed 97% of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and further 3% territorial swap to be made with the Palestinians.  In the former, Hafez el-Asad was determined not to make peace and in the latter Arafat filled the role.  He concluded Israel must continue to negotiate and compromise.  Does that mean Israel must give up land from within the pre-1967 boundaries?  Apparently.

When challenged on the need to wipe out terrorism before all else he attacked the questioner personally saying no one had any right to ask such questions until they were a third generation of soldiers in Israel as was his family.  No one ventured any more inquiries.

While Meretz shatters what remains of the Zionist Left the Labor party is accused of being strangely silent.  With the battle against terrorism in high gear, the security fence being built and Sharon’s support for a Palestinian state (even if truncated) many claim the Likud is implementing much of Labor’s policies.  Former PM Barak, hero to many in Meretz and the Labor left for having made such far reaching concessions during negotiations with the Syrians and Palestinians is giving full support to Sharon’s security policies.  Here Meretz utters not a word.  Labor’s only real criticism is over the pace of fence building and that it should include as few as possible Palestinian on the western side of its demarcation, hardly a major issue at the moment.

MAYBE END HERE AND BEGIN A NEW ARTICLE?

The right wing (National Union and National Religious Party) is stuck in the government, since should they leave, Labor will quickly take their place.  As the security fence goes up many of their ideological stalwarts remain on the eastern side in what will be the Palestinian state.  Yet they continue advocating more illegal proto-settlements in contradiction to government decisions

Both far Right and Left know a consensus is brewing:  Security based on crushing terrorism and a separation between Israel and the Palestinians.  Israelis will neither be convinced to accept the blame for terrorism since not enough concessions were made, nor do they want a continued integration with the Palestinians leading to a Jewish minority in a few years.

Should they continue their strategy of illogic Meretz will be down to 3-4 seats in the next Knesset.  Should the right wing parties continue to advocate hypocrisy they too will be held to task and suffer serious losses.

In the current situation it would be best for both to take a cue from Labor.  In this case silence might just be golden.