[Freemanlist2] (MUST READ) Prof. Paul Eidelberg - Right and Left in Israel
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Right and Left in Israel
Prof. Paul Eidelberg
The terms Right and Left have been bandied about ever since the French Revolution. Use of these shibboleths to damn individuals or groups or to avoid dealing with the merits of an issue is deeply engrained in the mentality of the modern world. Their use in Israel is especially pernicious, Because Israel is the only country in the world whose very survival is at stake, such labels as Right and Left obscure life and death issues.
For generations Right and Left have taken the place of the traditional distinction between good and bad. To probe beneath this moral obscurantism in Israel, we must see how the terms Right and Left relate to Israels raison detre or paramount principle as a Jewish state. Thus, while labeling a partys position on a basic issue Right or Left, one must determine whether its position is consistent with Israels raison detre.
1) Morality: Generally speaking, the Right identifies with the Biblical tradition, hence with family values. It abhors the Lefts permissive attitude toward homosexuality, gay marriages, pornography, etc.the position of left-wing parties like Labor, Meretz, now Kadima parties. Accordingly, whereas the Right would preserve Jewish morality by means of education and indirectly by means of law, the Left regards morality a private matter. Clearly, the Lefts position is contrary to Israels raison detre, which is not to say that the Rights conception of education and law is adequate for Israels survival in the Middle East.
2) The Territorial Issue: Israels territorial retreat from Jewish land cannot but erode Jewish national consciousness and undermine Israels survival as a Jewish state. This is precisely why the Kadima, Labor, and Meretz parties favored withdrawal from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (Yesha) and the deracination of their Jewish communities. Meanwhile, these parties support a Palestinian state. They are clearly opposed to Israels raison detre as a Jewish state, which is not to say that the Right (if it is more than a name) has the wisdom to deal with the territorial issue.
What about the Likud? Former Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon advocated a Palestinian state, and he had the support of most of the Likuds Knesset membership. Although some Likud MKs opposed Palestinian statehood, only former MK Naomi Blumenthal voted to abrogate Oslo. Taken as a whole, therefore, the Likuds position on the territorial issue is not consistent with Israels raison detre. It is a thoroughly compromised party and may be classified as the Reluctant Leftand for more reasons that will appear below.
Consider the reputedly right-wing National Religious Party (NRP). Although it ostensibly opposes a Palestinian state, it signed the March 2003 Likud coalition agreement that binds the signatories to Oslohence, a Palestinian state. Moreover, both the NRP and the Likud would submit the territorial issue to a national referendum even though Israels Arab citizens make up 20% of the electorate! This would make a Palestinian state almost a certainty.
What about Avigdor Liebermans reputedly right-wing Israel Beiteinu Party.? Lieberman has advocated Arab cantons in Yesha as a transitional stage toward a Palestinian state. Therefore, Israel Beiteinus position on the territorial issue is more leftist than rightist.
3) Religion and State: Kadima, Labor, and Meretz, as well as Israel Beiteinu and various members of the Likud, advocate separation of religion and state. This cannot but transform Israel into a state of its citizens (which prompts many Arabs to vote for these parties). No wonder these parties tolerate seditious Arab parties in the Knesset. Moreover, Kadima Minister Meir Sheetret advocated rescinding the Law of Returnthe foundational law of Israel as a Jewish state.
Clearly, these parties oppose Israels raison detre as a Jewish state. Hence, as concerns Israels raison detre as a Jewish state, they should be classified as part of the Left!
4) Governmental Structure: No party says anything about the undemocratic character of Israels political and judicial institutions, which enables office holders to ignore or trample on the abiding beliefs and values of the Jewish people with impunity. Hence, no party in Israel can be classified as serious nationalist party.
It follows that there is no genuine Right in Israel! No party publicly advocates Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza in the name of Gods covenant with the Jewish People. No party boldly proclaims that Israels raison detre as a Jewish State must be the States paramount principle, to which all other principles are subordinate. And no party offers a Constitution that embodies this paramount principle.
Insofar as the terms Right and Left have taken the place of the traditional distinction between good and bad, things are pretty bad in the State of Israel.
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