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Those Israeli Left-wing Purists


I can’t stand the thought that the Labor Party is headed by a man, Avi Gabbay, who says that he 'doesn’t deal with the rights of the Palestinians'

I am a left-wing purist. I can’t stand the thought that the Labor Party is headed by a man, Avi Gabbay, who says that he “doesn’t deal with the rights of the Palestinians.” (And who will deal with them? Avidgor Lieberman? Naftali Bennett? Maybe Marwan Barghouti, from prison?)
Someone who asks, maybe out of embarrassing ignorance, maybe out of pretended ignorance: “If you make peace, why do you need to evacuate settlements?” Who brags like the worst right-wing thug: “They fire one missile? You fire 20. That’s the only way they understand in the Middle East.”
Who bases the country’s existence on the divine promise to Abraham, who opposes evacuating “80,000 settlers,” as if this number will ever provide even a partially just solution. Who calls the Palestinians “Arabs” and says he has nothing in common with the Joint List Knesset faction.
I am a left-wing purist, the kind that those who see themselves as leftists love to attack. They aren’t purists. They are so practical and sober, realistic and pragmatic. They don’t like purists. They think Avi Gabbay is a worthy candidate who shouldn’t be criticized, because the goal of every non-purist leftist is to rid ourselves of Benjamin Netanyahu – and after him, the déluge.
I am a purist who thinks that the plagiarized version of Netanyahu isn’t preferable to the original, that the silence of cowardly Labor Party MKs in the face of their leader’s remarks is shameful, and that it only proves why there’s no need for their accursed party or for cursing their new leader. At least Yair Lapid gets filmed in boxing matches, even if they’re ridiculous.
I’m a left-wing purist who thinks you have to keep drawing people’s attention, over and over, until the end of time, to the elephant in the living room. Precisely because it’s so boring and annoying, so expected and unoriginal, so repetitious, just as the occupation is repetitious, annoying and expected. So-called leftists have tired a bit from dealing with it. They’re against it, but they know it’s not topical or attractive, not sexy, and, above all, not a vote-getter. The country is right-wing, so everyone tacks to the right. There are other things to deal with. The number of teachers’ assistants in kindergartens is more interesting.
But nothing is less of a vote-getter than impersonation. The only reason the Labor Party isn’t in power is because of its vacillating, because it hasn’t presented an alternative, and because it doesn’t have a single figure like Jeremy Corbyn to restore it. On our left wing, there are endless leftist charlatans and cowards, with their left-wing advisers telling them if they would only look to the center and imitate the right, ignore the occupation and Palestinian rights, they would without a doubt get elected, Isaac Herzog after Shelly Yacimovich, election after election. But the elections always end in tears.
It’s not a matter of purism. On the other hand, neither is it a matter of being left-wing. Sticking to one’s basic principles, the most basic that the left has, such as the idea that dealing with the occupation takes precedence over anything else, that it’s the most crucial, most decisive, most bothersome issue – that’s not purism. It’s essential realism, the height of political realism.
It’s actually those who are repressing and denying the issue who are not seeing things correctly, misleading themselves and others. They think that if they don’t deal with the sore, it will heal itself. But it won’t. Ever. And they won’t get elected either.
There’s the left wing and the right wing, and 50 shades of gray in between, which are also legitimate. What isn’t legitimate, however, is deceit. It doesn’t exist on the right. MK Bezalel Smotrich doesn’t deceive, and no one claims he is a right-wing purist. Even Netanyahu himself no longer engages in pretense.
In the face of their proud nationalism, all the left can say is something to the contrary. Gabbay talks right and delegitimizes left-wing positions by concealing them. In the process, he is sticking to his party’s most trusty path.
There is no left-winger who can remain silent over this, because if left-wing people remain silent, they’re saying Gabbay is right, we don’t need to deal with Palestinian rights, which also represent Israel’s moral image. Let’s transfer manufacturing to China, as Gabbay suggests. We’ll fire 20 missiles for every incoming rocket. We’ll build settlements that we’ll never evacuate and believe it’s our right because of the divine promise to Abraham. What’s important is for Gabbay to get elected, and all those purists can go explode.

Gideon Levy

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.818041

Those Israeli Left wing Purists

Tags: #politics

Video Service

Video of the Week: Recent Israel History Miko Peled

Transcription made from The Miko's Speeches

This is a beautiful church so once again thank you to the pastor for allowing us to use this is really beautiful and thank you all for being here tonight and and for caring enough to take the time and listen and participate and be active I always begin my remarks with a disclaimer and that disclaimer is this if anybody here came hoping to hear a balanced presentation then they're going to be sorely disappointed I say this because a lot of things that you're about to hear tonight are difficult to hear and also because I don't believe that a balanced presentation on this topic is possible anybody that cares enough to speak about this probably has a very strong opinion one way or the other almost everybody has feelings and strong emotions on this issue one way or the other for me it's deeply personal and the issue itself is not a balanced issue there is no balance in this issue so therefore I say this because there cannot be a balanced presentation on this and I think if anybody claims that their presentation is balanced they're either misleading themselves or the misleading of their audience this whole issue of Israel and Palestine is covered in so much myth and there's so much there's so much double standard when people talk about this issue and I'll give you two examples

Don't know if you heard Bibi Netanyahu speech at the United Nations I heard it not live but after he actually delivered it and he began and he began it with probably the two most striking examples of myth and double standard and he began by talking about the right of return of the Jews to their ancient homeland and of course the Jews that returned so-called returned to their homeland were not exactly the the same Jews who were expelled from their homeland right because these were expelled a couple of thousand years before that these were not their descendants either because they this is business has been a very long time so these are people the people that actually came back so to speak are people that claim some kind of a heritage some kind of a connection a relationship to the ancient Hebrews and they claimed that they had the right to return to their homeland and this was this is what Zionism was about and this is expected this was you know accepted by the world as the right they had the right to return now if we talk about the right of return of one nation you'd expect that there would be if we accept it as a principle than

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