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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not so stunning

In The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg calls Tuesday's election results 'stunning' (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
1. The stunner, for me at least: The Labor Party is dead. More than that, the peace camp is dead, or comatose, at least. According to exit poll numbers I heard, Haifa and Tel Aviv went for Livni (who is no leftist, except in comparison to Netanyahu and Lieberman); the south went for the hard right. The rockets voted, in other words.

2. Washington should prepare itself for the possibility of Avigdor Lieberman as Israel's foreign minister. This is almost-pure speculation on my part, but seems not unlikely. Netanyahu, assuming he can form a government, won't give the defense portfolio to Lieberman's party -- which leaves the foreign ministry. This isn't as bad as it sounds, since Israel doesn't have a foreign policy, just a defense policy. It's also not as bad as it sounds because Lieberman is preoccupied with Israel's Arab citizens, and not the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank. In fact, he seeks territorial compromise in order to rid Israel of responsiblity for these Arabs. The man does not like Arabs, in case you haven't heard. His rise brings up an obvious question for Democrats: Which Lieberman do they like less?
I'm not that surprised about Labor or the 'peace camp.' It's been a long time in coming. It didn't just happen in the last two months or the last three years. Try 15 years. Labor had less than 20 seats in this Knesset and Meretz has been in decline for the last two elections as well. Shimon Peres knew when to bail out of a dying ship (he switched to Kadima in 2006) and Dalia Itzik and Chaim Ramon were smart enough to go with him.

Livni is not Meretz material, but she is definitely left-of-center in present-day Israel. It's not just that she favors a 'territorial compromise.' It's that despite her trying to posture as tough for the last month or so, she's really not. She was the biggest proponent in the current government for walking away from Gaza without finishing the job. And did I mention that she's incompetent?

Goldberg has Lieberman pegged. Lieberman doesn't like Arabs. I'll tell you a secret: You know who hates the Arabs the most and wants to live with them the least? You won't believe it Jeffrey: Israel's left.


At 4:47 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

How would you place yourself and those you agree with? Would you say you, "Like Arabs" "Don't Like Arabs"?

At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff, I despise the Arabs.

Carl, here's your morning coffee, and it's bitter.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Don't like Arabs.

Shy Guy,

Saw that in the hard copy before I got near the computer.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israeli Arabs seem determined to prove Avigdor Lieberman was right about them by contemptuously turning their backside to the state in which they live.

Its a self-fulfilling prophecy.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Abu Yussif said...


just for the record, is this dislike of arabs here a wholesale dislike of arabs in general, both muslim arabs and christian arabs alike? or is it disliking arabs of a particular persuasion?

i think it is important to clarify lest you be misunderstood.

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abu, my opinion:

It is a general dislike, for Christian Arabs overall have dhimmified themselves and joined their Islamic overlords in their quest to destroy Israel.

There are tons of exceptions. Druze are not Arabs (yet there are distinct entire Druze communitees very loyal and very antagonist to Israel).

There are Maronite Christians, who are not Arab Christians. They are a mixed lot.

Hey, there were good Germans, too, in WWII. So what.

See this Hillel Halkin article from 2002: Pride and Prejudice. That bout sums it up for me.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Abu Yussif said...

maybe it's just me, but i kinda cringe when i hear people say "the jews..." or "the israelis...", usually in an unfavorable way. i don't say those sorts of things, mainly because it is not accurate, but also because of what it says about me and my character. i don't want to be in the same category as people who wholesale stereotype others, both the guilty and the innocent, into one homogenous group.

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Abu Yussif,

I dislike Arabs who refuse to live in peace with us. Given realities in Israel, one assumes that an Arab does not want to live in peace with us until it's proven otherwise. And in the overwhelming majority of cases, the assumption proves correct (and I say that having worked with and gotten along with Christian Arabs - the ones who work with Israelis tend not to have such a jaundiced view of us).

There's a saying in Hebrew about how to deal with a rival: kabdeihu v'chasdeihu (respect him and suspect him). It sums up my attitude towards Arabs fairly well.

As to the distinction you make between Christians and Muslims, while it is true that Christian Arabs suffer severely from Muslim rule - an issue I have discussed many times in the past - I fail to understand why they are often as harsh towards Israel as the Muslim Arabs. Instead of being the bridge between Israel and its Arab population, many of them insist on being more hostile than the Muslims are. I don't understand why.


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