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Saturday, 7 February 2009

I'm not talking about an extreme dictatorship

Some quotes from a Ha'aretz article on Leiberman, the leader of the right-winged Yisrael Beiteinu , and the rise of support for him, especially among younger Israelis. He has a chance of becoming prime-minister (Liebermania, Ha'aretz, February 7, 2009). The whole article is in depth, and worth reading.

[At a Yisrael Beiteinu conference]:

The youths, ages 16-18, many of them good friends from school, had stood for a long time before the event began at the intersection near the hotel, waving Israeli flags and shouting "Death to the Arabs" and "No loyalty, no citizenship" at passing cars.

"This country has needed a dictatorship for a long time already. But I'm not talking about an extreme dictatorship. We need someone who can put things in order. Lieberman is the only one who speaks the truth." Adds Edan Ivanov, an 18 year old who describes himself as being "up on current events":

"We've had enough here with the 'leftist democracy' - and I put that term in quotes, don't get me wrong. People have put the dictator label on Lieberman because of the things he says. But the truth is that in Israel there can't be a full democracy when there are Arabs here who oppose it.
[A civics teacher talking about the rise of the above popular sentiment, which contradicts the civics classes which are part of the Israeli curriculum]:
"When I talk in civics class about the Arab minority, and about its uniqueness in being a majority that became a minority, my students argue and say it's not true that they were a majority. When I go to the history teacher and ask her why the students don't know that in 1947 there was a certain number of Arabs here, and in 1948 there was a different number, she becomes evasive and says it's not part of the material."
Well, the western world overtly destroys elected governments (Hamas) through its apathy and supply of weapons, support of blockades, its arming and training of rival factions, and so on; through the massive US foreign aid which Israel receives, which is far more than Palestine receives. And, if Lieberman is elected, the western world overtly supports a government with principles far from democratic. I think, if economic sanctions are imposed on Hamas for their failure to recognise Israel (and that term is debatable, as seen by this Ha'aretz article, and many before it), and their platform, then the international community should be as comfortable imposing sanctions on an Israeli government that does not recognise the rights or right to exist of the Arabs in the area, whether within Israel or illegally occupied Palestine. It's only democratic, after all
(Hamas: We will accept long-term truce if Gaza borders opened, Ha'aretz, February 2nd, 2009).
Uri Avnery also had the following to say (Dirty socks, Gush Salom, Israeli Peace Bloc, 7 February, 2009):

THERE REMAINS the Liberman phenomenon.

Liberman has created a party that is simply and thoroughly racist. Its election campaign is centered on the demand to annul the Israeli citizenship of “non-loyal” people. Meaning: the Arabs, who constitute 20% of Israel’s citizens.

In every other country, Liberman’s program would be called fascist, without quotation marks. Nowhere in the Western world is there a large party that would dare to advance such a demand. The neo-fascists in Switzerland and Holland want to expel foreigners, not to annul the citizenship of the native-born.

The core of the party is made up of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, many of whom have brought from their homeland an utter contempt for democracy, a desire for a strong leader (a Stalin or a Putin), a racist attitude towards brown-skinned citizens and a taste for brutal, Chechnya-style wars. They have now been joined by young, native-born Israelis, who have been radicalized by the recent war.

When Joerg Haider was taken into the Austrian cabinet, Israel recalled its ambassador from Vienna in protest. But compared to Liberman, Haider was a raving liberal, and so is Jean-Marie le Pen. Now Netanyahu has announced that Liberman will be “an important minister” in his government, Livni has hinted that he will be in her government, too, and Barak has not excluded that possibility.
Avnery ponders whether what he terms the facism of Lieberman's government is a passing fad, or a serious player in politics. He feels that as the three main parties have legitimized it that it might be the latter.
* The Avnery link was added February 8, 2009.
More about that school .

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this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr