INTO THE FRAY: Israel’s Left as a jilted lover

For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:

Israel’s Left as a jilted lover

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The Left in Israel is behaving like a person who cannot accept that the object of his love has chosen another in his stead

It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):


Several short excerpts:

…unrequited love does not die; it’s only beaten down to a secret place where it hides, curled and wounded… [and] turns bitter and mean…― Elle Newmark, The Book of Unholy Mischief

…love is a scary thing. If not reciprocated, it can turn a person into a monster. ― Michele Young-Stone, The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors

It is, of course, undisputable that a good portion of what is dubbed as the Israeli “Left” have entrenched reservations as to the concept of a Jewish nation-state. Indeed, many even harbor resolute resistance to the validity, legitimacy and/or desirability of the idea. Actually, for all intents and purposes, such rejection is the central plank in their openly declared anti-Zionist political credo. Accordingly, they have little desire to see it develop and prosper.

Particularly puzzling and perturbing

However, this is not necessarily true for the entire spectrum of the self-professed “Left” in Israeli politics. I happen to believe that a considerable number of “Leftists” are indeed imbued with what they perceive to be strong Zionist sentiments and genuinely believe that their policy prescription of political appeasement and territorial retreat is in the best interests of Israel and will help preserve it as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Perverse and paradoxica

Moreover, although the caustic cries of criticism of the “Zionist Left” reached a cacophonous crescendo over the Nationality Bill, that is not the only issue on which the positions it articulates are startlingly similar to those of the most virulent opponents of Zionism. To the contrary! The same is true with regard to a range of other topics—such as the presence of Jews in parts of the ancient Jewish homeland, methods employed in counter-terror endeavors, attitudes to Jewish heritage and tradition, to name but a few.

How then is it possible to account for the perverse and paradoxical behavior, in which those who profess love for the Jewish state, align themselves with its most iniquitous foes?

“…unrequited love…turns bitter and mean…”

A possible explanation is perhaps provided in the work of two contemporary American authoresses, who address the question of unrequited love and its consequences. Thus, in The Book of Unholy Mischief, Elle Newmark (1946-2011) warned: …unrequited love does not die; it’s only beaten down to a secret place where it hides, curled and wounded… [and] turns bitter and mean.” …  It is not difficult to diagnose distinct symptoms of these pernicious proclivities in the conduct of the “Zionist Left” in recent years—eerily reminiscent of someone unwilling to accept the fact that his lover has chosen another in his stead.

What jilted lovers fail to grasp

However, exactly as our jilted lover fails to grasp that by blackening the name of his lost love, he virtually ensures that he will never win her back, so the “Zionist Left” fails to grasp that by sullying the name of the Jewish state, it makes the chances of reasserting its rule over it ever more remote.

But so it goes with jilted lovers, I guess.

As usual your talkbacks/comments/critiques welcome,
Best wishes,

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