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(10,523 posts)
Sat May 18, 2024, 10:58 AM May 18

The View Within Israel Turns Bleak [View all]

The NYT has recently published a couple of articles about the right-wing takeover of Israel, essentially by the equivalent of our MAGA crowd. For a long time, I believed that the right-wing settlers were the minority in Israel. I was wrong. They and their philosophy of genocide for all Palestinians are now the majority. I know my views matter little to anyone but me, and I have no say in what happens in Israel or the US other than my vote, yet I find this change in Israel so very disturbing. It is as if the Proud Boys were now ruling the United States. How do we reckon with support of Israel as a state when that support funds the type of right-wing government that most of us abhor? A government and a population determined to exact death and destruction for another people?

“America’s romantic mythology and wishful thinking about Israel encourage a tendency to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the main cause of the ruthlessness in Gaza, where Israel has killed more than 35,000 people. The unpopular, scandal-ridden premier makes a convincing ogre in an oversimplified story.

But Israel’s slaughter in Gaza, the creeping famine, the wholesale destruction of neighborhoods — this, polling suggests, is the war the Israeli public wanted. A January survey found that 94 percent of Jewish Israelis said the force being used against Gaza was appropriate or even insufficient. In February, a poll found that most Jewish Israelis opposed food and medicine getting into Gaza. It was not Mr. Netanyahu alone but also his war cabinet members (including Benny Gantz, often invoked as the moderate alternative to Mr. Netanyahu) who unanimously rejected a Hamas deal to free Israeli hostages and, instead, began an assault on the city of Rafah, overflowing with displaced civilians.”


“Israel has hardened, and the signs of it are in plain view. Dehumanizing language and promises of annihilation from military and political leaders. Polls that found wide support for the policies that have wreaked devastation and starvation in Gaza. Selfies of Israeli soldiers preening proudly in bomb-crushed Palestinian neighborhoods. A crackdown on even mild forms of dissent among Israelis. The Israeli left — the factions that criticize the occupation of Palestinian lands and favor negotiations and peace instead — is now a withered stump of a once-vigorous movement. In recent years, the attitudes of many Israelis toward the “Palestinian problem” have ranged largely from detached fatigue to the hard-line belief that driving Palestinians off their land and into submission is God’s work.”


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