Collapse of the Israeli left, such as it was

by Yaniv Reich on November 19, 2009

There was always a certain paradox with claiming you are an Israeli progressive who believes in freedom and democracy and other universal ideals ethnic exclusion and demographic threats. But recent events are bringing these contradictions to the fore in what I would argue is a new way.

Yitzhak Laor expands on this theme in Haaretz:

This left insisted on clinging to the consensus, treating the conflict with the Palestinians as a war in defense of the state rather than as a massive policing of an occupied nation with tanks and F-16s.

In short, this left vanished because it was afraid to call a spade a spade – a colonial war. Gradually, tens of thousands of left-wingers altered their positions. They continued to sing ” Song for Peace,” came to terms with “large settlement blocs” and said “no more violence.” Their government plundered water and land, and they knew nothing about it. They told the Palestinians to “lay down your arms” and denounced soldiers who refused to serve in the territories as though they had betrayed them.

Throughout the 42 years of occupation, those moderate peace movements hardly made any contacts with the Palestinians. The Palestinians, for their part, did not always help, at least not during the first two decades of the occupation. But in that estrangement and in the peace camp’s clear preference to be on “the Israeli people’s side,” the left vaporized between one military operation and the next. It supported the IDF, sighed over the situation and waited for the Americans to make order in the region.

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