Israeli elections, supporting Israel, etc

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Israelis will be going to the polls tomorrow in an election which looks likely to be a good one for the right-wing parties.

The journalist Chas Newkey-Burden is a staunch philosemite (i.e an enJewsiastic lover of semitic peoples, even though not one himself). Infact he takes his philosemitism so seriously that his entire blog is now based around it.

Now I’ve always thought that it does not make it any easier to solve conflicts such as Israel-Palestine when people choose to view the division in black and white terms; granting all their empathy and support exclusively to one side and completely neglecting to consider whether the other side might have any sort of point. Sunder Katwala of the Fabians talks about this sort of mindset here.

The usual way to deflate these people’s over-simplistic arguments is to ask them if they seriously consider the side on which their loyalties lie to be faultless. For example, when someone is banging on with bulging eyes about Israeli evils why not draw their attention to reports suggesting that those Islamo-fascist bastards Hamas also murder Palestinian civilians, so perhaps the situation is not as straightforward as Israelis = bad, Palestinians = good.

Chas does, however, have a nuanced opinion on Israel. Even though he himself is openly gay and is not an ultra-Orthodox religious Jew (I believe the two identities are supposed to be mutually exclusive?) he does not think gay pride rallies should be allowed to take place in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, as it will offend the boring reactionary old religionists. It’s a nuanced way of thinking to say the least!

But back to the upcoming Israeli elections. Some bright spark has built an ‘Israeli Election Political Compass’ to let us all establish where our Israeli partisan loyalties lie. Chas’ lie with the National Union (Halhud HaLeumi), a fun-loving, peace-loving bunch of Israeli right-wingers who think the answers to their country’s problems lie in more settlements, more firepower, and being tougher on the Arabs.

Israeli settler doesnt quite capture the spirit of Woody Guthries song

Israeli settler doesn't quite capture the spirit of Woody Guthrie's song

I took the test and (unsurprisingly) my take on things is apparently best represented by the Israeli Labor Party, the Greens, some other lefties like Meretz and the Israeli-Arab party Balad. I doubt any of these groups are going to rock the vote tomorrow. Polls are predicting that Labor might even be pushed into fourth place. I can only hope that optimistic articles such as this one are accurate and that a victory for the Israeli right will actually open up a new path to peace.

Captain Jako

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2 Responses to “Israeli elections, supporting Israel, etc”

  1. The Bibi Bus! | Oy Va Goy! (Chas Newkey-Burden) Says:

    […] can read it here. Posted by Chas Newkey-Burden on 02.11.09 (categories: […]

  2. Pride before a maul | Oy Va Goy! (Chas Newkey-Burden) Says:

    […] First, an Israeli teacher I know started quoting it in one of his classes. Then a website used it as evidence that I am ‘nuanced’. Well, I’ve been called some things in my […]

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