Israel renews itself—not!

Gideon Levy the brilliant and fearless Haaretz scribe I have often quoted here could become the first Israeli Philip Roth, well maybe the second after David Grossman suddenly took a comedic turn with his novel A Horse Walks Into A Bar.

Levy’s most recent article is an ironic gem of perceptive criticism on the sad state of Israel’s No Left Labour voices.


He writes
The day after tomorrow, Labour will be holding internal leadership elections. We are holding our breaths. Who will be chosen as leader? It’s almost like asking who will lead Israel to its new horizon. There are five leading candidates, all of them worthy. There is a deep and fascinating ideological chasm dividing them and all of them herald major change, if not a revolution. Even if the party’s current leader, Isaac Herzog, is reelected, it will be a major change, because it will be a Herzog like you’ve never known.


There’s no need to waste words on what will happen if one of the others is elected. It would be like Britain’s New Labour Party. A revolution. The next leader is already warming up and peace is warming up for him in the capitals of the region. In Ramallah, they’re preparing for the signing ceremony. In the Jenin refugee camp, it’s the celebrations over the end of the occupation. In Gaza, there are plans for removal of their cage of a security fence, and in Tel Aviv, they’re decorating the streets in advance of the freedom holiday for asylum seekers. Israel is renewing itself.




The left wing has come out into the light, human-rights groups have been set free and the Israel Prize is being given to Breaking the Silence. The settlements are being put on hold, nation-state laws – and the submarine purchase contract from Germany – are to be rescinded, and the money that would have gone for the submarines will be redirected to spending on public health. Civil society will come back to life, the process of nationalistic-religious control of the country will be halted and the extreme right-wing group Lehava will be outlawed. We won’t recognize Israel. All we have to do is imagine Amir Peretz, Erel Margalit, Avi Gabbay, Omer Bar-Lev and a new Isaac Herzog at the helm. Imagine.


Levy 30



He then pans the warmed over gruel of the five candidates, the same old, same old status quo tripe which has plunged Israel into a molasses state, one swimming in total stasis. In other words: Each and every one of them said ‘no’ to the most significant potential partner for genuine change in Israel.

What do we need that Labor Party for when not a single one of its future leaders says anything that hasn’t already been talked about ad nauseam? Not a single one of them dares say a thing about the crimes of the occupation, about the big elephant in the room. Not a single one of them is proposing a solution, other than proclamations from the past that have been tried endlessly. Not a Corbyn among them, Levy says. Go back to sleep.


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