Events and Life

Has the Israeli right guaranteed Israel’s future as a Muslim state?

The Israeli right seems to have won, at least for now, and settlements are increasingly entrenched in territories previous Israeli governments have been prepared to withdraw from to secure peace with the Palestinians. Avi Issacharoff‘s article titled “The end of the two-state solution” paints an alarming and seemingly probably picture of Israel’s future and it’s possible demise as a Jewish state in the decades to come:

The Israeli policy in which the right wing takes such great pride — not resolving the conflict, but managing it — is a strategy that Hamas believes will lead to its victory. With no separation, with rapid demographic change, the Arabs will become a majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. And the State of Israel as we once knew it will start to look different, beginning its inexorable slide toward eventually becoming a Muslim state.

If this is what lies ahead for Israel, we’ll have only ourselves to blame when the State of Israel ceases to exist.

Image credit: Banksy graffiti in Bethlehem, Palestine by Michael Rose, licensed CC BY NC ND 2.0

Politics and government

“Narrow, fragile, and right-wing-Orthodox …”

Israeli politics fascinate me far more than I understand the dynamics (which I barely do). Times of Israel’s editor, David Horovitz, has an interesting op-ed piece titled “Netanyahu promised a ‘better, more stable government.’ And we got this?” which has me wondering if estimates of our return to the polls for another election in 2 years are pretty optimistic.

Calling elections at the start of December, having fired his finance minister and his justice minister, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the people of Israel. “You, the citizens of Israel,” he told us all, “deserve a new, better, more stable government, a broad-based government that can govern.”

The 61-strong coalition Netanyahu finalized 90 minutes before his time ran out on Wednesday night can be called many things. Narrow, fragile, and right-wing-Orthodox come readily to mind. “Stable” and “broad-based” certainly do not.

I was hoping we wouldn’t find ourselves with such a right-wing-Orthodox coalition but perhaps it is only a matter of time before it collapses and the country shifts back towards a more sustainable center? I’m just guessing at that, though.

On the plus side all of these elections point to a working democracy (not necessarily functional without much longer term stability, but working in the sense that the system operates).

Image credit: Prime Minister and Defense Minister at Weaponry Display by the Israel Defense Forces, licensed CC BY-NC 2.0