Thursday, November 27, 2008
Israel elects its Bush
By Gideon Levy
The elections for the 17th Knesset have already been decided: Benjamin Netanyahu will be the next prime minister. Nothing will change the current trend, which was reflected in polls this weekend. At a time when the entire world, including Israel, is amazed and moved by the miracle election of Barack Obama, Israel is on the verge of electing George Bush.
Tzipi Livni will not become less feeble, and Ehud Barak will not fix his waywardness. And the new left-wing party in the works will not make a difference one way or the other - it is too little, too late. Israelis intend to vote for the conservative, right-wing, nationalist, bellicose candidate - the Israeli Bush. The world is moving forward, while Israel is taking a step backward.
Netanyahu may not be as awful as it would appear for the left, but the sweeping support he enjoys in the polls signals to us and to the world, including the Arab world, the true nature of Israeli society. Good riddance to the deceptive myth that most Israelis want peace; you can forget about all the deceitful polls that showed most of the public supports a two-state solution. No solution and no two states, but only the truth, which once again has been exposed: a nationalistic, belligerent society electing its spitting image as its leader.
Once every few years we have this referendum over the future of peace and the occupation, the main issue in every election campaign. Once every few years, the left is revealed to be as virtual a force as there ever was. Candidates bicker among themselves over who will "divide" and who will "return," who will "concede" and who will "give" - questions that are downright immoral given that the discussion is over territories that are not ours.