INTO THE FRAY: Israel’s ruinous right

For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:

Israel’s ruinous right

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Perhaps the gravest threat facing the nation today is the twin perils of a dangerous, delusional “Left” and an impotent, incompetent “Right”, unable to decisively and definitively discredit it.

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

JEWISH PRESS (To be posted)

Several short excerpts:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions – attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, circa. 1150

It is neither an easy nor an enviable undertaking today for anyone trying to alert the public as to the perilous vulnerability in which the nation currently finds itself.

Deceptive signs of success and strength

Tel Aviv skyline
Tel Aviv skyline
After all, there are so many reassuring signs that seem to contradict such dour and dire assessments. Everywhere one looks, there are myriad signs of increasing success, affluence and strength—ever-wider highways, spanned by ever-more impressive interchanges, snake through ever-wider areas of the country, ever-more imposing glass and steel skyscrapers soar into urban skylines across the nation, the economy continues to be robust, with GDP spiraling upwards and—almost inconceivably a few years ago—the shekel was deemed the second strongest currency in the world.

Unlearned Lessons from deeds done…and undone

Iranian military base in Syria, close to the Syrian-Israeli border, November 16, 2017
Iranian military base in Syria, close to the Syrian-Israeli border, November 16, 2017

For Israel, the lessons of what it has done—and what it hasn’t—should be clear…After all, the previously cited instances of non-state/quasi-state actors developing into strategic threats, able to menace millions of Israelis and to paralyze the nation’s economy, were the direct result of Israel abandoning territory to Arab rule—the center piece of the policy prescriptions promoted by the Israeli Left wing…Conversely, the fact that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is not perched on the Golan Heights, overlooking the entire north of the country, is precisely because Israel did not act in accordance with this perilous prescription.

The significance for the Left/Right divide 

For readers wondering what this rather lengthy appraisal of Israel’s geo-strategic situation has to do with the domestic political divide within the country, the answer is simple…Wherever the concessionary policy of the Left has been adopted, dreadful danger and devastation—for Jew and Arab—have ensued. Indeed, it is difficult to identify a single danger that the Right warned of that did not materialize, nor a single benefit that the Left promised that did…By contrast, wherever the policy of the Left has been eschewed, terrible trauma and tragedy has been avoided.

Dangerous delusional Left vs impotent incompetent Right

.. if one were called upon to best articulate the prevailing syndrome that characterizes Israeli domestic politics one would be hard pressed to find a more apt and accurate stipulation than the following: A dangerous and delusional Left promoting a fatally flawed and failed formula which an incompetent and impotent Right is neither capable of invalidating nor of producing a convincing, comprehensive and compelling alternative.

Left’s sins of commission vs Right’s sins of omission?

Accordingly, up until a few years ago, it could be deemed with a large degree of accuracy, that Israel is mired in an impasse that is the regrettable product of the sins of commission by the Left and the sins of omission by the Right…However, in the last 4-5 years, some ideas—originating largely from civil society initiatives, rather than incumbent politicians—have emerged and are being advanced as an alternative to the pernicious two-state, Land-for-Peace proposal…But as well intentioned as they undoubtedly are, virtually all these alternatives are poorly thought through Sadly, as appallingly risk-fraught as the two-state concept is…most the alternatives being advanced by the Israeli Right demonstrably endanger the future of the Zionist enterprise no less—arguably, even more—than the two-state paradigm, which they are meant to replace

The Lebanonization or the Balkanization of Israel

Naftali Bennett proposes to annex Area C (brown)
Naftali Bennett proposes to annex Area C (brown)

None of these proposals chart a clear path to a strategic future, in which Israel can fulfill the raison d’etre for its establishment…Indeed, as I have repeatedly been at pains to point out:
– The “conflict management” approach is little more than “kicking the can down the road”  towards an even more risk-fraught future
– The full annexation of Judea-Samaria and the incorporation of the Arab residents into the permanent population …inexorably result in the Lebanonizaton of Israeli society and the eventual Islamization of the country
– Partial annexation of Judea-Samaria and restricting the bulk of the Arab population to a  patchwork of miniscule disconnected semi-autonomous enclaves will lead to an unsustainable Balkanized situation

Failure on the Right   

The political Right in Israel has failed to capitalize on its adversaries’ failures, on its own electoral successes and the clear, innate support it enjoys in the Israeli public…Only once these failures have been adequately redressed, can the Israeli Right begin to formulate policy alternatives that will be any less perilous than the two-state, Land for Peace paradigm which it rightly—and righteously—rejects.

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

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