Israel’s new government does not support a two-state solution. But don’t take it from us. Listen to the words of the leading figures in Israel’s government. Read more at the FMEP blog.
An edited version of this article appeared first at LobeLog.
They were dueling op-eds, one in the New York Times and the other in the Jewish communal magazine, Tablet. The question being
bandied between them was whether Israel is becoming a theocracy. Not surprisingly, both pieces missed the mark. It’s not theocracy but unbridled nationalism that is the threat in Israel.
The Times piece was authored by Abbas Milani, who heads the Iranian Studies program at Stanford University and Israel Waismel-Manor, a lecturer at Haifa University who is currently a visiting associate professor of Political Science at Stanford. Their thesis is that Iran and Israel are moving in opposite directions on a democratic-theocratic scale, and that they might at some point in the future pass each other. Milani and Waismel-Manor are certainly correct about the strengthening forces of secularism and democracy in Iran, along with a good dose of disillusionment and frustration with the revolutionary, Islamic government that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ushered in thirty-five years ago. But on Israel, they miss the mark by a pretty wide margin.
Waismel-Manor and MIlani posit that the thirty seats currently held in Israel’s Knesset by religious parties shows growing religious influence on Israeli policies. But, as Yair Rosenberg at Tablet correctly points out, not all the religious parties have the same attitude about separation of religion and the state. Where Rosenberg, unsurprisingly, goes way off course is his complete eliding of the fact that the threat is not Israel’s tilt toward religion, but it’s increasingly radical shift toward right-wing policies, which are often severely discriminatory and militant. Continue reading
In my latest piece for Alternet, I take a broad look at the increasing civilian violence within the Green Line, inside Israel “proper,” even though that phrase has lost a lot of meaning now that the settlers have won. I’ll get into that more in another article soon, but for now, I look at how economic policies that were embraced years ago by Netanyahu but have roots that go much farther than him actually have sown the seeds of the violent xenophobia that has mushroomed in Israel, making headlines with a lynching in Jerusalem and riots in Tel Aviv in recent months.
This week’s Souciant article is up. In it, I look at the bigotry of the Zionism of Eli Yishai, its prominent role in Israel and Zionism not only today but historically, and how Jewish self-determination could exist without both that hate and the obsession with an artificially created and enforced “Jewish majority.”
In this week’s column at Souciant you can see the second entry in my series on the causes and effects of the 1967 war and beginning of the occupation, as we near the 45th anniversary of those events. In this piece, I look as well at the recent race riots in south Tel Aviv and how the xenophobia of the rioters and, perhaps more importantly, the political leaders who inspire that hate, is connected to a culture of occupation.