The Israeli Left’s Faustian bargain

Barack Obama seems to oppose intervention most everywhere. He is especially committed to minimizing the friction between America and the Muslim world – even trying to align America with Islamic objectives – and so continues to reduce the US footprint in Afghanistan and to take as little action as possible in Syria.

But one place in which he seems happy to meddle is Israel. He’s sent John Kerry to press for a Palestinian state yet again (and to blame Israel for the lack of ‘progress’ in this direction). Recently, the ‘V15’ (Victory 2015) organization which campaigned against Netanyahu in the February elections has come back to life with a new name (‘darkeinu’, our way) and is setting itself up as a left-wing lobby in Israel’s Knesset. V15 got its funding primarily from American sources, and was considered close to the Obama Administration. Doubtless the lobby will be too.

Various Obama surrogates and allies have joined the “save Israel from herself” club. J Street, of course, has always taken this route, and at the Ha’aretz/New Israel Fund conference in New York last week, representatives of every imaginable left-wing group pushed for the US to apply pressure to Israel in one way or another.

“Can Americans save Israel from its own extremism?” wrote Ha’aretz editor Aluf Benn. Benn should know extremism when he sees it, presiding over a staff that includes Gideon Levy, who caused hundreds of Israelis to cancel subscriptions when he viciously attacked the morality of Israeli pilots, and Amira Hass who asserted that throwing rocks at Jews is the “birthright and duty” of Palestinian Arabs. Both Levy and Hass spoke at the conference. Some people call Ha’aretz “the Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew.”

In his keynote address to its biennial convention in November, Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) President Rick Jacobs announced that his organization would not allow the fact that Israel is under assault by a wave of murderous terrorism to stop it from pushing its vision of “tikkun olam” in Israel, including everything from creating a Palestinian state to civil marriage to allowing egalitarian worship at the Western Wall to LGBT rights (although Israel is probably more LGBT-friendly than Jacobs’ Westchester County). Jacobs, too, spoke at the Ha’aretz conference.

Many of those who want to save Israel from itself like to say that the problem is that it is not ‘democratic’ enough, where democracy means such things as giving more power to the Arab minority, allowing African migrants freer access to our country, changing budget priorities to make Israel more like a European welfare state, funding non-orthodox streams of Judaism, and allowing foreign interests free rein in supporting Israeli NGOs.

Although they would not admit it, their real problem is that Israel is too democratic, continuing to elect politicians who oppose the Left’s agenda, particularly in connection with its fantasy of withdrawing from Judea and Samaria and entering into a blissful era of peace.

The minority of Israeli leftists, who present themselves as the voice of responsibility and moderation to the North Americans and Europeans who are so anxious to save Israel from theocracy and fascism, have been incapable of gaining political power in Israel because the majority are scared to death that – as already happened with the Oslo Accords and the Gaza withdrawal – they will somehow implement their impossible dream, which will turn Judea and Samaria into Gaza (or worse) and Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport into battlefields.

The Israeli majority, which might be receptive to some of the social themes of the Left like religious pluralism or civil marriage, will not give those ideas the time of day as long as they are accompanied by the suicidal ‘peace’ agenda.

The Left maintained an effective one-party government from 1948 to 1977, and has never reconciled with its loss of political monopoly. It is absolutely convinced of its rightness, as well as its moral and cultural superiority. It is frantic to get back into power and to enact its policies, especially to ‘end the occupation’, which it believes will herald a messianic age of peace and prosperity.

Because for them the end justifies almost any means, the small group of extremist politicians, media people, academics, intellectuals and NGO operatives that suffer from this obsession, are making alliances with European and North American interests that are prepared to support them. This includes the European Union and the Obama Administration, but also foundations supported by George Soros, anti-Israel religious organizations like the Quakers and Mennonites, and liberal dupes like the URJ.

Even those on the Left who have not made the decision to join the Dark Side with Levy and Hass are corrupted by this bargain. The European governments, the EU and Obama Administration (regardless of public pronouncements) pursue a policy that is intended to lead to the end of the Jewish state. This is also true of the Soros-funded organizations and surrogates like J Street. They think they can keep their integrity, but the Devil always gets your soul in the end.

The corruption is most evident in the various foreign-funded NGOs, who receive tens of millions of shekels every year from sources whose interests are often diametrically opposed to those of Israel. The Israelis whose salaries and perks come from these NGOs have become in effect if not in fact agents of hostile foreign powers.

But even those who benefit more indirectly are corrupted – like Ha’aretz, which makes money from its anti-Israel English edition and website, and Israeli academics who enjoy lucrative visiting professorships at universities abroad in return for taking the ‘correct’ line.

And last, but definitely not least, there are the political parties that are aided by groups like V15 at election time.

In Israel there is beginning to be a reaction to the influence of foreign money. The Knesset passed a ‘transparency law’ which is responsible for the documentation of foreign grants to Israeli NGOs that I linked above. But there are loopholes in the law, and a new law has been proposed that will not only require disclosure of grants, but will also require documents produced by these NGOs to be labeled as such, and lobbyists to wear ‘tags’ identifying them. An even stronger proposal would prevent such lobbyists from being in contact with government or military personnel. Under this law, anti-state NGOs could be dissolved by court order.

I’m convinced that some voters were turned off in the last election by the heavy-handed attempts of the Obama Administration’s proxies to tilt the vote against Netanyahu. This is a good sign, but what really ought to happen is that both the Likud and the Labor Party finally divorce themselves from the Oslo fantasy. Security can and should be a non-partisan issue, and the parties can compete on the basis of their domestic visions, or even create a National Unity Government.

In the case of the Likud, it is a question of declaring independence from the mendacious Obama Administration, which has forced it to pay lip service to a Palestinian state that everyone knows must never arise. Now is the time, when the Arabs are murderously demonstrating the absurdity of the idea of giving them a state, to do so.

It will be harder for Labor, which pays homage to the ‘heroic’ Yitzhak Rabin for giving us Oslo, which in fact he was sandbagged into adopting against his better judgment.

I hope that this idea can be made to appeal to Labor – if they understand nothing else, they should be able to see that this is their only chance to return to power!

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