Meet Israel’s new, supposedly ‘left-wing’, governing coalition


by Ben White    
2:30 pm - March 21st 2013

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Immediately following Israel’s election in January, some Israel lobbyists spun the results as representing a victory for the so-called ‘centre’ or even ‘centre-left’.

Now an Israeli government has finally been formed, let’s take a look at some of the views represented in the new cabinet:

Trade and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett supports the annexation of most of the occupied West Bank (he’s not the only member of the cabinet with this position).

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has said that “the Palestinian threat harbours cancer-like attributes”. The track record of his deputy minister includes a proposal for obtaining an ID card to be conditional on a declaration of loyalty to the state.

Another minister, Uri Orbach, wrote in a national newspaper in 2008 that “we, the Jews, have no intention to commit suicide and lose our Jewish State in the name of our democratic values.”

Minister Yair Shamir’s views on the West Bank: “The Arabs there who call themselves Palestinian, they’ll stay or go, but we’ll definitely stay. We need to keep building in the land.”

Minister Yuval Steinitz has previously backed legislation denying citizenship to Palestinian spouses in order to protect the “demographic balance.”

Those are just a few examples. In addition, note that the new speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, is a West Bank settler who believes the Arabs are a “damaged nation”. Which isn’t so bad compared with the Knesset’s deputy speaker, Moshe Feiglin, who was banned from entering Britain in 2008.

Remember the response of the EU to the participation in Austria’s ruling coalition of Jorg Haider’s Freedom Party? Or the current justified anger at what is happening in Hungary? So why should an Israeli government of racist, international-law defying ministers be exempt from diplomatic isolation and other appropriate measures?

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About the author
This is a guest article. Ben White is a freelance journalist who has written for Guardian's CIF, Electronic Intifada and others. His book 'Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide' (Pluto Press), was published in 2009.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Foreign affairs ,Middle East


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Reader comments


And these observations have what to do with Social Welfare and the taxation model?

Bizarre use of one-dimensional language.

Ben White would like Israel to disappear, so he is clearly the go-to guy on this kind of issue, is he?

cjcj – Can’t speak for Ben White but I would like Israeli apartheid to disappear.

That’s a very narrow view you have of “Left-wing”. It’s got nothing to do, generally, with liberal values like tolerance, or democracy.

The Left is about redistribution, and power for workers against owners. Liberal left movements may also believe in empowering individuals, while authoritarian left movements believe that top-down regulation and control are the best way forward. It certainly doesn’t mandate any particular opinion on Palestine.

@3 may I politely suggest you read a little on the history and reality of apartheid before mindlessly applying that term to Israel?

Thank God for people like Ben White who can see things clearly..the whole world sees Israel through the pink rosy pair of glasses that US and Israel have painted through the biased media.It is sad! It is appalling and disgusting how Israel gets away with everything it does! There are no rules or laws when it comes to Israel.Shame on everyone who supports Israel.

7. Michael Moran

Usual leftists, OK with apartheid, unhappy with the price of cheese

I have seen this cheese comment a few times now. Where does it come from?

9. Shatterface

Remember the response of the EU to the participation in Austria’s ruling coalition of Jorg Haider’s Freedom Party? Or the current justified anger at what is happening in Hungary?

Israel isn’t in the EU – though I’m sure the EU might take a few refugees when your mates move in.

10. Gallbladder

“So why should an Israeli government of racist, international-law defying ministers be exempt from diplomatic isolation and other appropriate measures?”

Because they’re the nicest government in the neighbourhood, and to set an example, you still need to talk to someone.

C’mon. According to the Bible, they have a covenant with their ethnic deity which granted His chosen people all the lands of ancient Palestine for eternity. They are only seeking to recover what is their’s by divine right. It is blasphemy to deny this.

The reference to ‘left-wing’ is meant to be sarcastic! In reference to others who called them left-wing

Just in case any here think I’m making exaggerated claims about the divine right of Israelis to all the lands of ancient Palestine, try this interview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl7lecaTYK8

Left-wing or not left-wing, Israelis will not give up on what they really believe is their’s by divine right.

14. Shatterface

[deleted]

[deleted]

This article would have been more effective had Ben contrasted this government with any existing examples of genuinely progressive, egalitarian, tolerant and non-sectarian Middle Eastern government.

What’s that? There aren’t any? Fancy that. I suppose that’s Israel’s fault too.

“Another minister, Uri Orbach, wrote in a national newspaper in 2008 that “we, the Jews, have no intention to commit suicide and lose our Jewish State in the name of our democratic values.”

How awful that they won’t simply roll over and submit to the second-class (at best) status that Jews previously enjoyed in the Middle East.

If Arabs are fed up with Jews being in Israel, maybe they shouldn’t have persecuted and expelled hundreds of thousands of them once it had been created. You know, had they not treated Jews as badly as or worse than they claim Israel treats Arabs.

“Left-wing or not left-wing, Israelis will not give up on what they really believe is theirs by divine right.”

Pretty much typical Middle Easterners, then. But it’s only a Jewish Middle Eastern state that exercises the outrage of the likes of Ben White and yourself.

In view of the abysmal historical treatment of Middle Eastern Jews by Arabs, both long before and even after the founding of modern Israel, I’m not surprised that they won’t give up the little land they’ve now got, no matter how much you and Ben gnash your teeth in frustration at the fact that they won’t go willingly to their annihilation.

The point of this article holds. The pro Israel Alliance was spinning like tops after the election to try to con people into thinking Israel had changed it’s govt and moved away from the jack booted thugs of the far right. As this article makes clear the Israeli govt is full of people who dream of a final solution to the Arab problem.

Why Sally, with all these Israeli politicians dreaming of a final solution it is amazing that it has not already been done.

The UN made the big mistake of voting in November 1947 to partition Palestine. Britain – which had the League of Nations’ mandate to administer Palestine – abstained in the UN debate warning that partititon would lead to continuing conflict, which is has.

The fact is that Israelis have relied on terrorismand military power to enforce and extend their hold on Palestinian land:

- Sinking of SS Patria in Haifa harbour in November 1940
- Terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel, Jerusalem in July 1946 by Irgun
- Deir Yassin massacre April 1948
- Qibya massacre October 1953
- Massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps September 1982
- Khiam Prison in South Lebanon 1985-2000
- the findings in 2000 of the Physicians for Human Rights on the suppression of the Intifada by the IDF which: “used live ammunition and rubber bullets excessively and inappropriately to control demonstrators, and that based on the high number of documented injuries to the head and thighs, soldiers appear to be shooting to inflict harm, rather than solely in self-defense. . . ”
- “Israel acting like Nazis in Gaza” according to Gerald Kaufman

20. Anne O'Nimmus

@ 8 Evert
The Arab Spring began early 2011. In the following summer, Israelis had their own (nothing to do with the I/P issue), totally focused on domestic socio-economic issues, such as the costs of housing and the price of cottage cheese! On some occasions, hundreds of thousands demonstrated. So, the cheese has become a bit of a joke.

21. So Much for Subtlety

The Left loves root causes. They talk about the root causes of terrorism and anything else that looks bad all the time. Of course they are not engaged in a dishonest attempt at justification when they do so.

So Israel once had the largest and strongest Left outside of the Soviet Union. The Labour Party held power more or less continually down to the 1980s.

What happened to it?

What root causes drove the Israeli voter out of the Leftist camp and into the arms of the loony Right? Now there’s a discussion worth having. Well not with Bob B as we know it is coz they be Joos. And probably not with the OP himself. Because rational thought is usually not well rewarded in these threads. However it seems strange to condemn Israelis for being what the Palestinians made them.

I’m not sure the apparent disjuncture between responses to the election and the current shape of the government can be put down to initial pro-Israel spin. I didn’t follow in detail but it seemed there was a moderate shift to the left which was a little more striking because people had been predicting that the opposite might happen. But given the nature of Israel’s system, the final complexion of the government was always going to depend on who was willing to team up with whom – and who wasn’t.

SarahAB

“I’m not sure the apparent disjuncture between responses to the election and the current shape of the government can be put down to initial pro-Israel spin.”

Really? Not even in part? Even though the two examples I linked to were both by people who work for an Israel lobby group (BICOM), and pro-Israel advocates in the UK have explicitly promoted a strategy of reaching out to ‘progressives’?

Thank you Anne, so I am still confused as to why it become a stick with which to beat the Israeli left who do care about “apartheid”.

@Ben – I would have thought another possible motive for any talking up of the slight shift to the centre left might be the simple fact that those commentators found the news very welcome. If pro-Israel types *do* play up any progressive/left trends in Israel – then surely the reverse is equally true. I think the Guardian left Livni out of its own analysis of the new government in one piece for example.

Ben, why would BICOM be trying to reach out to progressives on the telegraph blogs? It is hardly a beacon for tolerant left-wing thought.

No wonder Israel don’t have

@SarahAB

Livni is an example of progressive/left trends? That’ll be news to the victims of war crimes in Gaza. #facepalm

When SMFS says that “Israel once had the largest and strongest Left outside of the Soviet Union”, this doesn’t seem quite true. In 1973 for instance, Israeli Labour and allies won just under 40% of the vote, and most of the small parties were religious ones.

In Sweden the same year, the Social Democrats alone won 43% of the vote and the combined left share of the vote was at least 49%.

Still, SMFS is right (for once) – one of the big stories of Israeli politics over the last 50 years has been the decline of the Labour Party – which this year won 11% of the vote. Meretz got 5% and Hadash 3%, so the genuinely left-of-centre share of the vote was about 19%. In that context (and in the context outlined by the OP), the fact that an ex-Likudnik “centrist” like Livni gets slightly more votes than expected is small comfort.

SMFS

If I turned up at your abode saying that I’ve read copies from an ancient scroll dated a few millennia ago where it was written that I own your house together with all its land you’d probably think that I’m just a harmless loony until I start threatening you to get out of your home so I could occupy it and live there.

As for the shift to the “right” in Israeli politics, recall what happened to prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995 who was really trying to push along a peace process with the Palestinians. He got shot.

Labour was back in government with Ehud Barak as PM during the Palestinian Intifada. This is what a visiting American team from Physicians for Human Rights reported in 2000 on the suppression of the Intifada by the IDF which: “used live ammunition and rubber bullets excessively and inappropriately to control demonstrators, and that based on the high number of documented injuries to the head and thighs, soldiers appear to be shooting to inflict harm, rather than solely in self-defense. . . ”
http://rense.com/general5/ctimes.htm

The Palestinians and many of the rest of us have serious difficulty in seeing any difference between the right and left in Israeli politics.

Lamia: “If Arabs are fed up with Jews being in Israel, maybe they shouldn’t have persecuted and expelled hundreds of thousands of them”

You’re applying collective responsibility for the acts of governments to an entire ethnicity. You might have half a leg to stand on if elected leaders were responsible – but they were nearly all monarchs and dictators.

Oh yes, and on top of that the average Palestinian – whom you basically argue in the rest of your post should have no rights at all regarding anything Israelis choose to do to them or their land because of this crime – wasn’t even alive when it happened…

SMFS: “it seems strange to condemn Israelis for being what the Palestinians made them.”

It seems at least equally strange to condemn Palestinians for being what the Israelis made them – since after all the power dynamic is rather the other way round.

From the FT in Google News: “Obama visits Israeli national shrines”

The shrines were those to Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, and Yitzhak Rabin.

I was reassured to learn that Obama’s visit to Israeli national shrines didn’t include Robert Maxwell.

“Now that so much more is known about Maxwell. Is the man who was given a state funeral by Israel still buried in israel’s most honoured place of rest as a national hero?”
http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100401085624AAOL2qZ

Knowing Bob B’s hangup in this region and with “you know who” I wasn’t terribly shocked to see the source of his Yahoo link was another obsessive.

But it strange (or at least it should be) where linking to such questionable material goes unnoticed on a Left/Progressive blog.

Johnny Trelawney’s Activity (this author is Bob B’s link):

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/activity/qa?show=Ha1SuXciaa&link=answer

One of Johnny Trelawney’s replies:

“ZioNazis are freaks of nature and must provide fertile research for extraterrestrials as opposed to studying regular humans.”

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AukiE_5VQ1355JGoEgFqH3MhBgx.;_ylv=3?qid=20110423104308AAZWJ4C

Later on Johnny Trelawney (Bob B’s favourite) comes up with the old Christ killer guff:

“Legitimate question after all israelis unrelentingly use incidents from 60 years ago to continue shaking down Western Governments and institutions for an unending stream of cash.

<The Bible does point emphatically to the Jews – (the Scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus held in such withering contempt) as the perpetrators of the most evil deed the world has witnessed in the murder of Jesus.

Have a look at the link below – you will see that Jews in israel not only accept their guilt of murdering Jesus but proclaim it with triumph!”

The indisputable facts are that Maxwell was given a state funeral in Israel and buried at Mount Olive and that he was a fraudster of giagantic proportions which robbed thousands of his employees of their pension entitlements. There are many online sources which document the extent of his criminal duplicity of which this is but another:
http://rense.com/general32/claim.htm

Very likely Cameron will make an official visit to Israel before the British election in 2015 to show solidarity with the notorious cause of Israel and to gloss over the failing peace process with the Palestinians.

It is truly remarkable that Robert Maxwell, a British national, after all, was proclaimed a national hero of Israel and buried with state honours on Mount Olive, among the good and great of Israel, so I expected Cameron will want to pay his respects at the national shrine there to Maxwell.

While visiting Jerusalem, Cameron will possibly also want to place a wreath outside the King David Hotel to commemorate the 91 people killed there by that terrorist bombing of the hotel in 1946 organised by Menachem Begin, who went on to become Israeli prime minister. And surely Cameron won’t miss out on visiting Tel Aviv, where he will be able to look round the museum there to celebrate the historic achievements of the Lehi Group – or Stern Gang – and those endeavours of Avraham Stern during WW2 to contract an alliance with the Nazis to hamper Britain’s war with Nazi Germany.

Btw check on Wikipedia for more of the history.

Aide memoire for Cameron:

Israel ‘supplied arms to Argentina during Falklands War’
Israel secretly supplied arms and equipment to Argentina during the Falklands War due to Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s personal hatred of the British, a new book discloses.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/falklandislands/8463934/Israel-supplied-arms-to-Argentina-during-Falklands-War.html

Bob B thinks Rense, with its constant stream of conspiracy theories is a valid source?

Presumably Bob B doesn’t have a problem when Rense publishes Holocaust deniers’ material?

Or when Rense plasters its pages with racist filth from ex-KKK, David Duke ?

Perhaps Bob B will link to Rense’s David Irving page to bolster his arguments?

“Bob B thinks Rense, with its constant stream of conspiracy theories is a valid source?”

C’mon. There are plenty of websources documenting the extent of Robert Maxweill’s fraud which robbed thousands of his employees in Britain of their pensions. The fact is that he was buried with full state honours in Israel on Mount Olive. Try the detail in Wikipedia if Rense isn’t good enough:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Maxwell

The terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 is also well documented, as was the organisation of that by Menachem Begin, who went on on to become prime minister of Israel.

“His 1977 electoral victory and premiership ended three decades of Labour Party political dominance. He probably served as Opposition Leader longer than anyone in the history of modern democratic politics. ” [Wikipedia] 91 people were killed by that atrocity. Israeli terrorists get promoted.

The report in 2000 of the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) on the suppression of the Palestinain Intifada when Ehud Barak was Labour PM in Israel can also be widely sourced. The regular practice of the IDF at the time was to shoot stone-throwing teens in the head or else in the thighs to criple them. The PHR team of specialists was from America. After the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, little wonder that Palestinians can’t believe that there is any significant difference between the Left and Right in Israeli politics.

Also well documented are the endeavours during WW2 of Avraham Stern of the Lehi Group in trying to contract an alliance with Nazi Germany to hamper Britain’s war effort.

The repeating attempts at denials of the disreputable aspects of Israeli history are hugely illuminating. Why the continuing cover-up for well-documented history?

…racist… and xenophobic comments will be deleted

Except when the subject of those comments is Israel/Israelis/Jews – sorry “Zionists” (must get the fig-leaf in place)

39. Charlieman

@34. Bob B: “The indisputable facts are that Maxwell was given a state funeral in Israel and buried at Mount Olive and that he was a fraudster of giagantic proportions which robbed thousands of his employees of their pension entitlements. There are many online sources which document the extent of his criminal duplicity of which this is but another…”

What Bob B says is fair. Until we hit the ellipsis when he asks us to accept a race hater to support the argument. I cannot go there.

Hmm.

Anyone (hey Ben White, this is your chance!) care to speculate why Bob B is fond of the racists at Rense?

And what connection could that have to Israelis?

Hint: Ask yourself who does David Duke, really, really hate?

I just love the fact that this left-wing blog not only has that champion of Arab rights Ben White writing for it but allows links to Rense.com to stand.

David Duke is available if you want an ATL commentator to support Ben’s points.

“Anyone (hey Ben White, this is your chance!) care to speculate why Bob B is fond of the racists at Rense?”

I’ve been debating in various web forums since December 1995. In that time I’ve long since learned that any critics of Israel are regularly painted as Nazi sympathisers, antisemites, racists etc, all presumably to divert public attention from well documented history of serial Israeli atrocities and disreputable behaviour – such as that state funeral for Robert Maxwell, who was indisputably a fraudster of the first magnitude.

I’m but a very minor, distant observer of the conflict over Palestine. What the noisy Israeli lobby really needs to answer is why did Gerald Kaufman make a speech in Parliament in 2009 saying that Israel was behaving like Nazis in Gaza?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJPMcEkcfy4

Why did he also denounce the Deir Yassin massacre, inflicted by a joint operation of Irgun and Lohamei Herut Israel Zionists, in April 1948? In case any readers haven’t previously heard or read about the Deir Yassin massacre, try the entry in Wikipedia.

Why did Professor Avi Shlain describe the Qibya massacre in 1953, conducted by Israeli commandos under the command of Ariel Sharon, in this way in his book The Iron Wall (Penguin Books)?

“. . Unit 101 was commanded by an aggressive and ambitious young major named Ariel Sharon. Sharon’s order was to penetrate Qibya, blow up houses, and inflict heavy casualties on its inhabitants. His success in carrying out this order surpassed all expectations. The full and macabre story of what happened at Qibya was revealed only during the morning after the attack. The village had been reduced to a pile of rubble: forty-five houses had been blown up, and sixty-nine civiliains, two-thirds of them women and children, had been killed. Sharon and his men claimed that they had no idea that anyone was hiding in the houses. The UN observer who inspected the reached a different conclusion: ‘One story was repeated time after time: the bullet splintered door, the body sprawled across the threshold, indicating that the inhabitants had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside until their homes were blown up over them.’”
Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall (Penguin Books, 2001), p.91.

” Bob B

“Anyone (hey Ben White, this is your chance!) care to speculate why Bob B is fond of the racists at Rense?”

I’ve been debating in various web forums since December 1995. In that time I’ve long since learned that any critics of Israel are regularly painted as Nazi sympathisers, antisemites, racists etc, all presumably to divert public attention from well documented history of serial Israeli atrocities and disreputable behaviour – such as that state funeral for Robert Maxwell, who was indisputably a fraudster of the first magnitude.”

Debate? Can you explain why it was wrong for the Israelis to allow Capt’ Bob to be buried at the mount of olives but why it wasn’t a problem for him to be a Labour Party MP and the owner of the Mirror Group Newspapers?
I take it you think the Israelis evil for allowing him to be buried, but not the Labour Party for allowing Bob to pwn a large fraction of the left’s media?

DocMartyn: “Can you explain why it was wrong for the Israelis to allow Capt’ Bob to be buried at the mount of olives but why it wasn’t a problem for him to be a Labour Party MP and the owner of the Mirror Group Newspapers?”

You’ll need to ask the Labour Party and the Mirror Group Newspapers about that as I’m not answerable for their decisions. As often mentioned, I’m a floating voter as I’ve voted at various elections for the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberals, the LibDems and the Social Democrates depending on the issues and circumstances at the time.

Whatever the reasons of the Labour Party and Mirror Group newspapers for their decisions about Maxwell, that doesn’t explain why a duplicitous fraudster like Maxwell, a British national, was declared a national hero of Israel and buried on Mount Olive with state honours.

To return to Israeli atrocities, try this BBC report on the Khiam Prison in South Lebanon from when South Lebanon was under Israeli military occupation:

Soon after the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon, the guards of the notorious Khiam prison fled, leaving the prisoners free.

More than 100 men women and children had been held in appalling conditions.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/766746.stm

Ah, Bob, now i begin to understand. The Israelis have done so many things, so many terrible things, in that past that every time someone answers a specific point you bring up another reason for their utter bastardness.
I bet you are against all forms of racism and discrimination too. As for you being a floating voter, you are proof that it is not only cream that floats.

“Ah, Bob, now i begin to understand. The Israelis have done so many things, so many terrible things, in that past that every time someone answers a specific point you bring up another reason for their utter bastardness.”

The Israeli state and Israelis have perpetrated a long series of documented atrocities on Palestinians – hence Gerald Kaufman’s speech in Parliament on 2009 on Israel acting like Nazis in Gaza linked @42, to mention only one of the many.

As far as I can see there have been no explanations for any of the many atrocities or as to why Maxwell was declared a hero of Israel and buried on Mount Olive. The standard response is to smear the commentator or the source of information and so avoid discussing the atrocities.

“As far as I can see there have been no explanations for any of the many atrocities or as to why Maxwell was declared a hero of Israel and buried on Mount Olive. The standard response is to smear the commentator or the source of information and so avoid discussing the atrocities”

Tsuk,Tusk, how remiss of us.
Maxwell was a fat crook who managed to fool many people that he wasn’t a fat crook, including his own children (note the result of the Maxwell Trial), so the fact that the Israelis buried him shortly after his death can’t be held against them by any reasonable person.
You want the events leading up to victory in 48 examined? Done to death, the King David Hotel was a military command center as well a civilian Hotel. Not only was it a military target, but the proto-Israelis attempted to give a warning.
Yes there was evidence of a massacre in 48 at Deir Yassin, but nowhere else, suggesting that this was not policy. The Qibya massacre was part of 4 years of tit for tat attacks on both sides of the 49 Armistice lines so why you think all Arabs are civilians and all Jews not is a mystery to me.

The Massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps September 1982 and conditions at Khiam Prison in South Lebanon 1985-2000 were not carried out by Israel and are a manifestation of just how well loved your beloved ‘palestinians’ are beheld in Lebanon.

When you consider this conflict has been going on since 1948 the number of Arab dead is quite astonishing. The numbers are so low, given the firepower they have available, that accusations of ‘Nazi’ like behavior are the signs of a mental incompetent.

I disagree with Ben you can have a left of centre government with aggressive right wing sentiments. The British Labour party after the war set up the NHS, nationalised the mines, brought in their welfare estate but were very aggressive foreign policy wise. Bevin set up NATO and persuaded the US to join. I don’t know that much about Israeli economic policies to judge if the new government will be leftist in it’s approach to the economic situation.
But taking each statement not all are exclusively right wing
“Trade and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett supports the annexation of most of the occupied West Bank (he’s not the only member of the cabinet with this position).”
This is a concern but his view seems the minority view
“ Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has said that “the Palestinian threat harbours cancer-like attributes”. The track record of his deputy minister includes a proposal for obtaining an ID card to be conditional on a declaration of loyalty to the state.
This could be the statement of a left or rightist politician. ID cards in this country had cross party support.

Another minister, Uri Orbach, wrote in a national newspaper in 2008 that “we, the Jews, have no intention to commit suicide and lose our Jewish State in the name of our democratic values.”
Strange statement. Seems the reason you want a state is to remain democratic. Stay clear of this guy

Minister Yair Shamir’s views on the West Bank: “The Arabs there who call themselves Palestinian, they’ll stay or go, but we’ll definitely stay. We need to keep building in the land.”
This is the worrying one. If this part of the Ethnic cleansing strategy then it must be opposed. Also remember it was the Israeli press that brought this to the attention of the world. I would say to the friends of Israel that sometimes friends remind their mates when they are wrong and not blindly accept every action in some pavlovian response .

Minister Yuval Steinitz has previously backed legislation denying citizenship to Palestinian spouses in order to protect the “demographic balance.”
This is another concern. Personally I don’t like the idea of denying citizenship based on racial background but I am old fashioned like that

Doc Martyn
Modern terrorist techniques were started by the Stern gang. The IRA copied their technique. In fact they use to run classes at Sandhurst in the 70′s about the similarities.
Also the ST David’s bomb attack killed mainly civilians and the bombers knew that an explosion would have that effect. Also the evidence about the warning is a myth
You certainly can make a distinction between the Stern gang and the Hagannah but please don’t defend those murderous right wing toads of the gang

P. Daddy you are completely misinformed or so filled with hatred that you are unable to function.
The Stern Gang as the ‘modern terrorists’? One cannot help but give that award to the PLO.
A place is either civilian or military, it cannot be mostly civilian; it is like being a little bit pregnant.
The King David Hotel was the British military command center and the British Criminal Investigation Division’s location. Three telephone calls were placed warning of a bomb in the King David Hotel; one to the hotel switchboard, another to the French Consulate, and a third to the Palestine Post.

DocMartyn

That’s even more rubbish. The Stern Gang had its origins before WW2. During the war, and long before the PLO, Avraham Stern was implicated in attempting to contract an alliance with the Nazis to hamper Britain’s war effort – check out the Wikipedia entry for the Lehi Group. There a museum in Tel Aviv to celebrate its achievements. How sick.

Warnings about the terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel? C’mon.

A regular terrorist practice almost anywhere is to innundate the media and security services with umpteen warnings about impending bomb outrages – most of which don’t materialise.

If one does, the terrorist organisation promptly claims that its warning was ignored. That hotel bombing killed 91 people, among whom were jews and arabs. There was a complete disregard as to the likely victims. What is very telling is that the Irgun organiser of that atrocity in 1946 – Menachem Begin – went on to become Israeli PM. So much for the hypocritical Israeli complaints about PLO terrorism.

DocMartyn

That’s even more rubbish. The Stern Gang had its origins before WW2. During the war, and long before the PLO, Avraham Stern was implicated in attempting to contract an alliance with the Nazis to hamper Britain’s war effort – check out the Wikipedia entry for the Lehi Group. There a museum in Tel Aviv to celebrate its achievements. How sick.

Warnings about the terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel? C’mon.

A regular terrorist practice almost anywhere is to innundate the media and security services with umpteen warnings about impending bomb outrages – most of which don’t materialise.

If one does, the terrorist organisation promptly claims that its warning was ignored. That hotel bombing killed 91 people, among whom were jews and arabs. There was a complete disregard as to the likely victims. What is very telling is that the Irgun organiser of that atrocity in 1946 – Menachem Begin – went on to become Israeli PM. So much for hypocritical Israeli complaints about PLO terrorism.

Nice to see you again, Ben :)

A thing that is often left out of this is the very complex relationship between Palestinians and Arabs.

Araby is not the Middle East; the ‘Arab Nations’ we always talk about are really some Arab Nations plus Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and Iran.

The Arab League did not attack Israel in 1948 to defend Palestinians. By the standards of much of Arabia, most Palestinians are not Arabs. They’re Muslims (which is a religious designation) but they’re not Arabs (which is a tribal one, and is much narrower than the West tends to remember). Arabs commonly refer to Palestinians as the dogs of the Levant.

The famed Jewish diaspora under the Romans left better than 70% of the available Jews in Lebanon, Palestine and Syria: over the centuries they became Christians, and eventually mostly Muslim, due to local politics. They are the ancestors of most modern Palestinians. The immediate neighbours of Palestine, with what was happening in India as an example, were terrified that a great wave of out-tribal refugees would invade their nice, Arab countries. The irony there is that by starting and losing the wars they more or less guaranteed it.


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