Is Israel Really Going to the Far Right?

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


David Horovitz’s Times of Israel article (not to be confused with David Horowitz) is one of the less abrasive pieces you’ll see on this topic, compared to the frothing and ignorant alarmist rhetoric you’ll see from New York Times and Washington Post columnists (to say nothing of the sheer meltdown in The Guardian or the Independent.) But that doesn’t mean he’s right.

Let’s take a look at a few things first. One, the Likud will still draw the most votes, led by a Prime Minister who accepted the Two State Solution and who has presided over two terms in which he compromised with terrorists. Netanyahu looks fairly liberal on military policy compared to Sharon or Shamir. At times he even looks liberal next to Rabin.

Sixty-five years after those who spoke for the local Arabs rejected a Jewish state, this will likely be an Israel that has voted to reject a Palestinian state — prompted by a combination of the Palestinians’ intransigence, doubletalk, hostility and terrorism, and of Israeli Jews’ security fears, historic connection and sense of religious obligation.

That’s inaccurate. Israelis aren’t voting to reject a realistic prospect of peace with a Two State Solution. There is no such thing available. Nor do they believe it’s available.

If you don’t believe that something is real, then you aren’t rejecting it as an option, but as a plausible outcome. Israelis have voted for pro-peace candidates before. And even Netanyahu is officially committed to the Two State Solution. But nobody on the Israeli side, aside from a few left wing nutballs, really believes that peace is going to happen with the Palestinian Authority.

It’s become pie in the sky.

Curiously, however, this dramatic imminent shift in the national orientation stems less from a surge by the Israeli electorate from left to right — if the polls are accurate, there isn’t going to be all that much of that. Rather, it is the right itself that has already shifted. The right has become the far-right.

That’s true and it isn’t true. The Likud went left before it went right. It’s still more left on military policy than it used to be. This is, at most, a correction.

In the new Israel of 2013, furthermore, kippa-wearing Bennett is the monopolistic political face of religious Zionism. The ideologically diverse National Religious Party has been entirely superseded by this new incarnation.

Bennett’s appeal goes well beyond the Religious Zionist movement and the NRP was irrelevant for a long time now. It was just the safe choice for the indecisive. That is what it will go on being.

this newly politically empowered Orthodox Zionist swathe of our electorate could not be relied upon to dismantle settlements if so required… and in the likely new Israel will almost certainly not be asked to do so.

If Netanyahu, again, forms a coalition with the left, and even if he doesn’t, a left-wing supreme court will assure that they will have to. But it’s not an altogether bad thing for a country to have soldiers who refuse to obey unpatriotic orders or attack civilians, which is not the legitimate role of the military.

a Likud whose 100,000 or so party members chose to send into political oblivion even Benny Begin, the scion of the man who first brought them to power in 1977, not because of a rejected political orientation, a la Meridor, but because of Begin’s determined fealty to the rule of law.

The scion part wouldn’t have helped. The Likud has been clotted for too long by the sons of famous fathers. And Benny Begin in his own right is hardly an impressive political figure. Does he deserve to stick around because he is the son of a great man?

Barak is gone, and the Labor Party that he abandoned in 2011, so that he could cling onto his beloved ministry just a little while longer, has gone too — in that it has had nothing of relevance to say during this campaign on the core issues of Palestinian statehood, West Bank settlement, the physical contours of this country, our national values, and our place in the international mosaic.

It’s been a long time since the Labor Party had anything of relevance to say except, “Blame Bibi” or “Blame the Settlers”, which is also the theme of this article.

Labor initiated this disaster and has been in denial about it ever since.

Furthermore, Labor decided to pivot away from the peace process to economic protests on the advice of Clinton guru Stan Greenberg. And that looked like a good plan until they got caught flatfooted by the war.

Barak might have let Labor posture on security, but they don’t have him.

Jewish Home and most in the newly hardline Likud essentially proclaim “To hell with world opinion,” and argue that in this region you survive by standing up for what’s yours and that the soft and the soft-hearted just get trampled. And the Labor Party, the alternative voice? Silent.

I believe Ooom Shmoom was the slogan of that infamous right winger, Ben Gurion.

the Labor party of a bygone age would have argued that Israel’s interest lies in protecting the country today while doing what it can — however Sisyphean the task — in seeking to gradually create a climate more conducive to conciliation and compromise tomorrow.

Sacrifice of peace aren’t as popular they used to be. And they were never popular outside the yuppie left. And good luck with the peace tomorrow angle when you’re surrounded by Muslim Brotherhood states.

The Labor Party of a bygone age would have bitterly protested the extremism on the far right, which is deeply discomfiting for Israel’s supporters, and makes it so easy for critics to blame Israel even for diplomatic deadlocks for which it is not primarily responsible

The Labor Party does nothing but scream about far right extremism, while completely ignoring the bigger threat of left wing extremism which plunged Israel into Oslo and used soldiers to ethnically cleanse Jewish towns and villages. Not to mention putting major cities on the firing line.

  • JacksonPearson

    Everyone seems to be wondering why Muslim terrorists are so quick to commit suicide. Lets have a look at the evidence:

    - No Christmas;
    - No television;
    - No nude women;
    - No pork chops;
    - No hot dogs;
    - No BBQ pulled pork;
    - No beer;
    - No bacon;
    - Rags for clothes;
    - Towels for hats;
    - Constant wailing from some idiot in a tower;
    - More than one wife;
    - More than one mother in law;
    - You can't shave;
    - Your wives can't shave;
    - Your mothers-in-law can't shave;
    - You can't wash off the smell of donkey;
    - You cook over burning camel sh*t;
    - Your wife is picked by someone else for you.

    Then they brainwash them that "when they die, it all gets better"? Well no-sh*t Mohammed, it's not like it could get much worse.

  • Ben Cohen

    Different David Horowitz?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Horovitz.

      • Mary Sue

        heh, people thought it was a typo! XD

  • Lori LowenthalMarcus

    Excellent. The more people that get this the better.

  • EugeneW

    Great.
    Just a note – guess many readers having no knowledge of Hebrew acronyms, won't understand famous "Ooom-Shmoom". Need translation here.