And might not carry many Democrats along with it
May 31, 2016
The Unz Review
Within the Democratic Party a progressive guilt trip about how the Israelis have treated the Palestinians has been growing. One recalls how at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte a voice vote on including the usual party platform plank affirming that an undivided Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel received many more “nays” than “ayes” three times in a row but was nevertheless passed anyway on an incomprehensible call by the presiding chair Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles. The audience of loyal Democrats booed when the “result” was announced.
Since that time, Israel’s government has astonishingly moved even farther to the right and, lest there be any confusion, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that he is not interested in permitting the creation of a Palestinian state. He is, however, anticipating a promised call from President Hillary Clinton in January 2017 to arrange his visit to the White House as a first step in moving the U.S.-Israel relationship to a “whole new level.”
The recent firing of Israel’s respected Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon by Netanyahu and the naming of the astonishingly unqualified Avigdor Lieberman as his replacement has motivated a number of Israeli generals and senior politicians to condemn the direction the country is moving in, citing the surfacing of fascist tendencies in the latest political developments. Yaalon spoke of a “rising tide of extremism” while former Prime Minister Ehud Barack warned that the country has been “infected by the seeds of fascism.” A group of more than 200 ex-miitary officers has demanded serious peace talks to create a Palestinian state.
More credit to them, the critics are actually using the politically radioactive word “fascist,” which most U.S. mainstream media would be unwilling to touch with a barge pole when describing Israel. In fact, the American media has largely ignored the entire political drama playing out in Tel Aviv, avoiding any heavy handed criticism while self- censoring some of the more lurid details regarding the life and career of Mr. Lieberman, a former nightclub bouncer from the one-time Soviet Republic of Moldova.
Lieberman is famously witty, having in the past colorfully expressed his disdain for Palestinians and Arabs in general. He has called for Israeli-Arabs who are disloyal to have their heads chopped off with an ax, has proposed paying Arab citizens to emigrate and has suggested requiring a loyalty oath from Arabs before allowing them to vote. Lieberman has described Arab members of the Israeli Knesset as “terror collaborators” and has called for their execution. He has advocated bombing the Aswan Dam to create a massive flood that would potentially kill hundreds of thousands if Egypt were to step out of line. While Transport Minister he offered to provide busses to take 350 Palestinian prisoners to the Dead Sea to drown them “because that is the lowest point in the world.”