Thursday, April 05, 2012
The Brain Dead Israeli Left
Apr 5th, 2012
The Israeli left is dead. It’s politically dead, conceptually dead and brain dead. But like the fabled Norwegian blue parrot, there is an industry dedicated to assuring us that it’s still alive and well, just pining for the peace process.
The left in Israel is one of the few in the world to exist on foreign subsidies. Without generous funds from the European Union, the State Department, George Soros and assorted members of the Shadow Party, the last remnants of the Israeli left would have packed up their suitcases, their degrees in art philosophy and their framed photos of Amos Oz and Leon Trotsky and moved to Paris or San Francisco. Israelis are about as eager to vote for the left as chickens are to saunter into a KFC restaurant. Israel’s equivalent of the Democratic Party, the once dominant Labor Party has shrunk to being only the fifth largest party in the country. Meretz, the Israeli equivalent of the Green Party, the vanguard of the left, has three seats in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. Only the Arab parties seem to be doing well, led by Hadash, the Arab Communist Party, where Israeli leftists who think Meretz is too moderate go.
And just to remind Israelis of why they left the left behind, a few hundred left-wing activists gathered in front of the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv to protest against any strike on Iran. The old slogan of the left, “An entire generation demands peace” had given way to signs reading, “The nation demands Iranian friends”, which sounded more like a nursery school slogan. Equally idiotic signs read, “Social justice does not equal war with Iran” and “No to pre-emptive suicide”.
The entire event was a cliché complete with red banners, colored scarves and dopey participants who seemed to have no knowledge whatsoever of the world outside Tel Aviv. A number of protesters urged negotiations with Iran, apparently unaware that Iran does not recognize Israel as a country making any negotiations impossible. Iran’s Islamic leaders have repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map, which is not the behavior of a regime interested in negotiating anything.
The rally followed the even more ridiculous, “Israel Loves Iran” Facebook campaign which combined the grandiosity of social media with the empty mindless sentimentality which has characterized the rhetoric of the Israeli peace camp.
“Iranians We Will Never Bomb Your Country: We Love You”, read posters that looked like they were designed by teenage girls. There are photos of narcissistic young couples staring into the camera, Israelis kissing Iranians, Iranians kissing Israelis, Israeli hippies kissing other Israeli hippies and bored Europeans looking to fill a vacuum after the Arab Spring trying to join in the fun.
“Israel Loves Iran” turned out to be the perfect campaign for those too lazy to stand in front of the Habima Theater for an hour holding up a hand-lettered sign and made for excellent headlines. News stories reported on the 50,000 likes for the Facebook group, a small number even in a country as small as Israel, and much of the activity on the group appears to consist of German and Spanish language posters.
The Iranian responses have been more discreet. The star of a video titled “Iran Loves Israel” has his face covered reminding the more sensible participants of the futility of the whole affair. Iranians generally do not hate Israel, but they have no say in their government’s policy. After Ahmadinejad’s victory, it’s clear that they don’t have a choice in any element of their government.
The Israeli participants represent an even more marginal group that despite all the banners and signs reading, “The Nation” and “The People” hardly represent anyone at all. Haaretz, the lead organ of the left, was forced to concede that only a few hundred people had bothered to come in person to the rally. The Facebook campaigners have as little influence over their government as the Iranians do over theirs, but the reasons for that are different. The Iranian regime is not open or democratic. Israel is. The Iranian protesters may represent the popular voice, the Israeli protesters most certainly do not.
The best rebuttal to both sides comes from the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said four years ago, “It is incorrect, irrational, pointless and nonsense to say that we are friends of Israeli people… Who are Israelis… They are combatants at the disposal of Zionist operatives. A Muslim nation cannot remain indifferent vis-a-vis such people who are stooges at the service of the arch-foes of the Muslim world.”
After the stolen election and the consolidation of power, Iran’s nuclear bomb will be in the hands of the Supreme Leader. Ayatollah Khamenei will decide what to do with the weapon and he has already stated that, “We are on a collision course with the occupiers of Palestine.”
That collision course does not depend on Israeli action, it depends on Israeli inaction. Iran does not need Israel to attack it in order to justify an attack. The attack has already been justified countless times by the regime and by Islamic theologians. The only thing missing is the weapon that can finish the job and that is what Iran’s nuclear program is there for.
On Shimon Peres’ 80th birthday, Bill Clinton stopped by to serenade the godfather of peaceniks with a round of John Lennon’s Imagine. But yet even Peres delivered a speech recently in which he said, “A peace that is a dream for both of us, is a nightmare for the Ayatollahs in Iran. Iran is an evil, cruel, morally corrupt regime. It is based on destruction and is an affront to human dignity. Iran is the center. The sponsor. The financer of world terror. Iran is a danger to the entire world.”
Those simple ideas still escapes much of the Israeli left which insists on playing red-shirted Eloi, weaving flowers in their hair and pretending that hating their country and loving their enemies will make everything right.
But if Israel truly loves Iran then it will take out its nuclear program. Preventing the Ayatollahs from gaining nuclear capability will save millions of lives on both sides that would otherwise be lost in a nuclear exchange. The truest form of love for the people of Iran will be to save them from that fate so that the people of Tehran and Tel Aviv, including the red shirted sheep grazing around the Habima Theater will be able to go on living their lives.