Right=Bright, Left=Bereft?

Taken from Netanyahu's Twitter account.

A new poll finds that Israeli right-wingers, who tend to be poorer than the national average, are optimistic about the country’s economic future, while Israeli left-wingers, who tend to be richer than the national average, are pessimistic about the country’s economic future. Was PM Netanyahu right when he said that leftists like us are just sour-pussed nattering nabobs of negativism?

This is a segment from The “Left=Bereft?” Edition.


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One comment on “Right=Bright, Left=Bereft?

  1. Greg Pollock says:

    I once asked an Israeli expatriate academic, then in his 50s, why the Israeli population tipped toward ending the First Intifada, the corral occupation. Oslo did not tip a majority of the Jewish Knesset; Arab MKs had to vote for passage Still, a growing number of Jewish Israelis wanted out. Why? The academic replied “Because parents got fed up with it. They were tired of their young adult children having to police it all, sometimes coming home with flesh wounds, occasionally worse.” Nor did they want their children just starting an independent life to have such memories.

    Does not the same process now buttress the occupation, now devoted to insulating their children from condemnation, public or private? An argument that the occupation is immoral will then have no traction unless the immorality can be shunted to military and political command, even then requiring a perceived betrayal by these, just as the judge convicting Olmert cried a betrayal of Zionism. After the suicide bombings, the rockets, the suicide knifings, the Gaza border push, the incendiary kites, no empathetic balancing will be allotted to the Palestinian side, nor a reckoning of innocents therein. Nationalism erases all that, which is why it is such an effective combat ideology (other ideologies do the same, but in a minority fashion, such as Marxist cells or, indeed, suicide cells; but nationalism does so en masse, the mass policing itself). The same process operates, albeit less efficiently, among occupied Palestinians, for these do not have, in a organized potentially universal military, a route to social integration and future personal success on the same scale. While having none of that, they do have a much larger number of killed, maimed, wounded and otherwise life shattered. They have at least equal reason, if one ignores the colorings of nation and peoples, to refuse empathy to the other side.

    The Israeli left then has no traction because they got what they wanted and failed, true or not being quite tertiary. Every “Palestinian reply” can be traced back to the weakening resulting after opening closed fists. Never again.

    I see no way forward. Perhaps a disaster might numb the electorate away from the national right, leaving them not born anew leftists but silent recusants. Perhaps only economic integration of a relatively servile population will induce civil unrest; but consider the South African elite only moved when the violence became terrifyingly constant and the US, nonetheless, turned its back through a Democratic Congress. Considering just the American South, about 90 years of economic ties, overlain with increasingly dense news media and a changing economy, plus late military draft extracting the subjected from their home environment, prepared the ground for civil resistance. The Israeli experiment–and I say that in a completely neutral, laboratory way–is unto itself, new, just as the Zionist infusion was and is. Dominance relations do not allow easy outs.

    Although I suspect no one will say so, out of liberal politeness, I will stop these comments if so asked.

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