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The Israeli far-left The Israeli far-left
by Joseph Gatt
2021-12-04 09:08:24
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I must admit it took me several years to fully understand the Israeli equivalent of the far-left (or Israeli Communists if you want to call them that).

isrlef000001_400The Israeli far-left has some distinguished scholars (Shlomo Sand, Gilad Atzmon) along with quite a few prominent political figures, and they are in the government at the time of the writing of this article (November 14, 2021).

So what does the Israeli far-left say?

-First, they say that only Israelis should discuss Israeli politics. Diaspora Jews are not Israeli, should never automatically become Israeli, and diaspora Jews should not make public or official statements on Israeli politics.

-Second, the far-left says arrangements should be made for Israeli Arabs and other minorities (Druze, Armenians, Circassians, Samaritans) to have full equality, so Jews in Israel should receive no preferential treatment (Kosher kitchens in schools and public buildings should be banned, and if you want to eat Kosher food, you should pay for it out of your own pocket).

-Third, they say economic projects should focus equally on Jews and Arabs. For example, Ultra-Orthodox Jews should not receive subsidies because ultra-orthodox Muslims do not receive subsidies.

The problem with the Israeli far-left and its ideology?

-First, the Israeli far left does not understand that every time there's a war or conflict with the Palestinians, many Arab nations lobby the rest of the world to issue sanctions against Israel.

Sometimes, during wars with the Palestinians, Arab nations ask that the rest of the world stop trading with Israel. And those Arab nations halt trade with anyone who trades with Israel (example: the US trades with Israel, so Arabs stop trading with the US) and sometimes Arab nations go as far as halting trade with nations who trade with nations who trade with Israel (example: France halts trade with Israel. But France trades with the US and the US still trades with Israel, the Arabs boycott France).

And this is why diaspora Jews are the flesh and blood of the Jewish state. When diaspora Jews counter-lobby the Arabs, that's when things balance out. Because if Arabs do all the lobbying, Israel loses all its trade partners.

So diaspora Jews are just as important to Israel as any Israeli.

-Regarding minorities in Israel, let's be fair. The Jews in Israel have a lot of privilege that Arabs do not have. It's not just Kosher kitchens. The Arab sectors are often poorly treated by Israel (poorly subsidized schools, no hospitals, no police, roads that are not repaired etc. etc.). But, the right-wing government over the last 10 years gave the Arab sector considerable amount of subsidies, including free dental healthcare for children under 12 in the Arab sector, but that's probably not enough.

So, indeed, there is injustice. The Arab sector should receive the same amount of direct and indirect government subsidies and should be allowed to develop at the same pace as the Jewish sector.

To me, honestly, if the Arab sector gets equal treatment as with the Jewish sector, it's good for Israel. Because Israeli subsidies and development in the Arab sector could inspire neighboring Arab countries to do the same.

So I'd say the Israeli goal should be to develop the Arab sector, and to make sure the Arab world sees how the Israelis are developing the Arab sector, so we can encourage Palestinians and Arabs to emulate Israeli policies towards the Israeli sector.

-Should diaspora Jews still be allowed to come to Israel and be naturalized upon arrival?

The far-left is trying to ban automatic citizenship upon arrival for diaspora Jews and wants to implement a policy where diaspora Jews are naturalized after having spent some time in Israel, rather than automatically. The far-left says that the persecution of Jews is a thing of the past (not for me!).

I'd say in a way I'll have to agree with the far-left on this one. The different waves of Jewish immigration to Israel (Eastern Europe until the 1930s, Arab Jews in the 1960s, Ethiopian Jews in 1984, USSR Jews in 1991) those Jews were desperate and persecuted (like me).

But today, it's mostly young European, North American or South American adventurers who want to try something different by moving to Israel. And a lot of times they are disappointed with the Israeli adventure and they go back to their original countries. That's a lot of wasted relocation allowance money (I could use some of that money).

So, gradual citizenship rather than automatic citizenship, and automatic citizenship on a case by case basis, it is not a bad idea.

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