Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail (Sorry, Hunter)

The comments on my last post have been very thought-provoking, so I thought I'd upgrade my response to here.

One person
wrote:

MK's are flocking to Kadima because it represents a broad emerging centrist consensus among the populace. Put differently, the country does not want what you want. This is not to sweep under the rug any abuses of democracy that have occurred under Sharon's watch. But it does mean, and this is something that you have to start to be able to hear, my friend - that the large majority of Israelis fear religious Zionists a lot more than they fear Sharon. And it also means that beyond a certain point there is a falseness to all the cries about crimes against democracy. It is one thing to demand that civil rights and minority rights be respected (a cause, by the way, which Religious Zionism utterly ignored until things started to not go its way, which is part of why many of its spokespeople sound so hypocritical now.) But to live in a democracy means to acknowledge that the majority rules. And the majority does not want to send its children to defend small yishuvim in the midst of a million Arabs. It does not want to fight wars for Eretz Yisrael haShlemah, and it does not want to be held hostage to policies which mean that neither we or our descendants will ever see peace unless all the Arabs miraculously disappear.

So, let's see:

1) I agree that democracy is the rule of the majority, which must be upheld. That's why I opposed disobeying orders during the so-called 'Disengagement.'

2) The civil rights abuses that have built up over the past few months are eloquently laid out
here and here. [The swipe at Religious Zionist ignoring of prior Civil Rights abuses is gratuitous.]

3) I am sure he is right that 'the large majority of Israelis fear religious Zionists a lot more than they fear Sharon. ...the majority does not want to send its children to defend small yishuvim in the midst of a million Arabs. It does not want to fight wars for Eretz Yisrael haShlemah, and it does not want to be held hostage to policies which mean that neither we or our descendants will ever see peace unless all the Arabs miraculously disappear.'

However...

The majority fear Religious Zionists, because we have been diabolized in a way that is truly incredible. The media and politicians have taken a page out of Trachtenberg's
The Devil and the Jews, and applied it to every knitted kippah in the world, and everything for which it stands. In this, they had the help of our lunatic element. But, hey, if a few coin clippers can get the entire Jewish community thrown out of England (1291), think of what a larger group can do for the rest of us.

For everyone's information, Eretz Yisrael ha-Shlema stopped being a real program in 1993. So, I don't really understand why it keeps getting thrown up in the faces of the Right. The question now is, will Israel undertake a terrtorial realignment or will it run a liquidation sale. Every time this comes up, it's liquidation sale hands down. Furthermore, since most Israelis don't know the difference between an outpost and a city of 12,000 like Betar Illit, they really don't want their sons to protect anything. (Difficult situation for those of us in Yosh who have children defending the Northern or Southern borders.)

This is a recipe for disaster, because (and how many times do I need to say this?) the Arabs are playing a zero-sum game. You can't play compromise when the other side says all or nothing. This is the principled position of the overwhelming majority of Muslims. Period. Anything less is blasphemy against the Divinely ordained order of things, as set by the Qur'an, the Hadith and the Shari'ah. So let's deal with it. There will be, can be no peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs (or any other Arabs) until an alternative Muslim conception develops. [Please, don't retort that we have peace with Egypt and Jordan. Yes, the governments are in a state of non-active belligerancy. However, states that you can't visit lest you be killed because you're Israeli or a Jew are not states where peace reigns.] Furthermore, as Bernard Lewis and Ehud Yaari keep pointing out, the Arabs see ANY concession as a sign of weakness and imminent implosion of the Zionist entity.

So, yes it's true that the Israeli majority doesn't want what some things that I want. OTOH, maybe it does.

7 comments:

Dave said...

While I certainly appreciate the plug, the comments you're responding to are by an anonymous poster - not me.

Jeffrey said...

Sorry. I've made the appropriate changes.

settler@zion.org said...

Majority rule is not the end all and be all of democracy. No one has said this better (and over and over again) than Aron Barak and the Israeli High Court of Justice and Israeli Supreme Court

Anonymous said...

"The swipe at Religious Zionist ignoring of prior Civil Rights abuses is gratuitous."

I don't agree that this is the case at all. It speaks to the fact that religious Zionist leaders have little credibility in the eyes of the public, because they, and we, are perceived as caring only about our own needs and our own rights and our own segment of society.

I refer again to the case of Dov Lior (who I very much hope was misquoted.) Can't you see what his comments sound like to the rest of Israeli society? : "There is only one group here who has rights - those who think like we do. If you oppose us you don't deserve to be here."

So when the civil rights of religious Zionists are violated and we scream loud and long, as we should, what do you think the rest of Israeli is saying to themselves? They are saying that we are utter hypocrites. And they are right, unless we have the guts to stand up and repudiate comments like Lior's.

Anonymous said...

"So, I don't really understand why it keeps getting thrown up in the faces of the Right. The question now is, will Israel undertake a terrtorial realignment or will it run a liquidation sale."

You answered your own question - people speak of the ideology of the right as eretz yisrael hashlema davka because so much of the right seems unable to distinguish between any territorial realignment, no matter how small, and a liquidation sale. There are many arguments against compromise. Even if we accept all of yours as being valid, most Israelis do not see this as being an all-or-nothing situation. They are not going to buy the assertion that the hitnatkut is the beginning of the liquidation of the medinah.

The tragedy, Jeff, is that so much of what you say is 1000% right, and I think most people realize it. And even so, it remains the case that religious Zionism is only pushing the rest of the nation farther and farther away. No reasonable person can disagree that the Haaretz crowd looks for any chance to vilify us. But _we_ need to admit that we haven't always made their job so hard.

Jeffrey said...

I agree.

Ze'ev said...

MOD, how do you define "territorial reallignment"?

Interesting post.