Tony Greenstein | 18 March 2015 | Post Views:

Likud’s Triumph Emphasises the
Irrelevance of Labour Zionism 

When all the pundits predicted that Netanyahu and the Right would be defeated in the Israeli General Election, this blog stood alone in predicting that  the Zionist Right would triumph once again. 

Jews voting for the Joint Jewish-Arab List

How could one disagree?

 In a blog post and article for Weekly Worker of 5th March ‘Polarisation Will Continue to Grow’ I wrote:

Zionism racist?  Perish the thought

The Israeli Labour Party, running with Tsipi Livni’s Hatnuah, has high hopes of forming the next government. It is likely to be disappointed.  

Netanhayu addresses Congress

I did not, and do not, possess a crystal ball.  Nor was it, as I posted to Antony Lerman’s blog  a hunch or guess.  It is based on an analysis that Zionism has no need today of the appearance of a ‘socialist’ cover.  A nakedly free market society adapts ideologically and in Israel’s case it jettisons the old rhetoric of collectivity.  State capitalism as represented by Histadrut, which until the late 1980’s and early 1990’s was the second largest employer in Israel after the state itself, has given way to massive privatisation.  The welfare state has been progressively dismantled.  

Herzog – the Zionist Union (Labour) leader – Gaza should have been hit harder and earlier

The Israeli Labour Party, which pioneered the confiscation of Arab land, the military rule over the Arabs and the creation of an apartheid state, is now redundant, a left-over from the past.  In its wake there is a hysterical nationalist xenophobia that binds the settler majority and treats the Arab minority as a fifth column.  Arabs play the same role as the Jews did in Nazi mythology.  They are the traitors within, waiting to perform the ‘stab in the back’.

This is my post:

Tony Greenstein

Antony says that he guessed that Netanyahu would win the election.  Perhaps he did but in an article for the Weekly Worker I was one of the few who put their cards on the table with an article The Right & Far Right Will Almost Certainly Win the Israeli Elections  (unexpurgated).

Israel’s fascist foreign minister Lieberman – taking an axe to Israel’s Arabs.  Leader of the Zionist ISIS

But it’s not a question of who was right but why I predicted that the Right would win.  It was not a question of guessing.  Labour Zionism, to which Antony had a childhood attachment and still has a fondness for, is a busted flush.  It has served its political purpose.  It laid the basis for Begin’s victory in 1977 and as Ze’ev Sternhell wrote, it is difficult to identify one social grouping that enthusiastically supports it.  

Netanyahu celebrates

I agree with Ali Abunimah when he says that Netanyahu’s victory is the best outcome.  It means that the West has to confront its support for the war criminals in Tel Aviv.  The election of Livni and Herzog would have clouded that, raised hopes but have done nothing for those who need it most – the Palestinians.  Consider:

Livni is also the war criminal behind the attack on Gaza in 2008/9.  Some 1400 civilians were killed.  In the peace talks (see the Palestinian Papers, Clayton Swisher) she repeatedly proposes swapping Arab towns and areas of Israel for the settlements.  She is as much a devotee of a Jewish state as Netanyahu.

What of Herzog?  Is he just a traditional social democrat?   Hardly.  He campaigned on social issues but kept well clear of the settlements which he has vowed to maintain.  His party voted to support the banning of Haneen Zoabi.   He criticised Netanyahu in a video for going  soft on Hamas and not hitting Gaza hard enough or early enough.  2,200 dead in Operation Protective Edge was not good enough for him.

I know Antony does not like the comparisons but when you see Israeli mobs chanting ‘death to the Arabs’ or a demonstration of hundreds of Israelis outside a wedding reception of an Arab male and a Jewess you are reminded of Europe in the 1930’s and Germany in particular.  Zionism is playing itself out in Lieberman’s remarks about taking an axe and beheading Israeli Arabs.  Ayelet Shaked speaks for many when talking of exterminating Palestinian women so that they won’t give birth to ‘little Palestinian snakes‘.    All this accompanised by frightening military power.

We should be grateful that Netanyahu’s victory has at least provided clarity.

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