What is Neo-Zionism?

Posted: September 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: racism, The Left, The Right | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about the relations between the Arab citizens of Israel and the Jewish majority. I think it is the most important issue on the agenda today, and the one that will determine the nature of this state in the years to come.

As the price of holding on to the West Bank is growing, more and more Israelis are coming to accept the idea of an Israeli withdrawal. However, on the same time they demand the state to go on favoring Jews, both on the symbolic level (meaning that state symbols, such as the flag and the anthem, will be Jewish ones) and on the practical level, meaning that Jews will enjoy a better position in the citizenship acquiring process, or with regards to ownership over land, etc.  And something else is happening: racism is on the rise, contrary to what happened during the first round of the peace process, in the 90′s.

I’ve been referring here to those people who want to strengthen the exclusive Jewish nature of the state as “neo-Zionists”, as oppose to the “post-Zionists”, who emphasized the liberal-democratic (and sometimes multi-cultural) nature of the state. Post-Zionism was on the rise during the 90′s; neo-Zionism is the dominant intellectual and political force of the past decade, and it hasn’t even reached its full potential. Read the rest of this entry »

Regarding the “New Israeli Left” manifest

Posted: September 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: media, The Left | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I was in Berlin last week, so I missed most of the debate on the “New Israeli Left” manifest published by playwriter Shmuel Hasfari and political consultant and attorney Eldad Yaniv. When I got back, so many people around me were talking about the interview Hasfari and Yaniv gave in Haaretz, so I sat down to read it (the interview, not the 83 pages long manifest).

To be honest, I didn’t know Hasfari and Yaniv cared so much for the future of the left. In fact, I never thought they were part of the left. Hasfari flirted for a while with activism, but was and still is a mainstream writer, and his latest success, TV surprise hit “Polishook”, was a middle-of-the-road political satire, mush less radical than any Friday night show. As for Yaniv, he was known mostly as Ehud Barak’s close adviser, until the partnership broke a few years ago, and Yaniv started speaking everywhere against his old boss, which is a common tendency among people who worked with Barak. The last thing I remember from Yaniv is an interview with him in which he said that being called “a snake” is a compliment. Now he and Hasfari are tring to explain what’s wrong with the Israeli Left.  Read the rest of this entry »

Ari Shavit

Posted: January 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, war | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Something bad overcomes Haaretz’s Ari Shavit when he smells gunfire.

On August 11 2006, for some obscure reason, Haaretz published Shavit’s op-ed as the top story on the paper’s front page. It was three days before the end of the 2nd Lebanon war, and Shavit’s article called for PM Olmert resignation if he were to accept the UN security council cease-fire resolution without engaging in a massive ground operation against the Hezbollah.

The ground operation did start that night. It turned out to be the war’s biggest failure, claiming the lives of 33 soldiers. Two days later, Israel accepted the security council cease-fire resolution. Some sources – including military reporters Ofer Shelah and Yoav Limor in their book about the war – claim that Shavit’s article had a major influence on the decision to approve the ground invasion.

I don’t remember Shavit – nor his editors in Haaretz who chose to place his article as their front page statement – ever taking responsibility for their call, or even explaining it. Instead, Shavit became Olmerts greatest critic, calling for his resignation on a weekly basis.

Now Shavit has a new enemy. It’s the Israelis who oppose the war. His ugly article in today’s Haaretz showed Shavit’s utter lack of any understanding of Democracy – but more importantly, that even 33 dead soldiers couldn’t teach him some modesty. That’s what makes the journalists so different from politicians – there is nobody to ask them to resign.