The Meretz Primaries and the Crisis of the Israeli Left

July 21 2022

With Israel’s general elections taking place in November, Zehava Galon has announced her candidacy for the leadership of the far-left Meretz party, a position she had held for five years before withdrawing from politics in 2018. The party that she is returning to, explains Ben-Dror Yemini, now faces a difficult choice: will it revert to being the party of the Zionist left, committed to Israel as a Jewish state while advocating territorial concessions, or will it be the party of those proclaiming Israel an “apartheid regime”? Yemini writes:

The Meretz of today differs from the one that . . . was part of the government that signed the Oslo Accords. . . . Yossi Sarid headed Meretz at that time, and did so until 2006. When he left, the party underwent a major ideological change, along with the entire political left in Israel: from fighting for peace to putting up signs that accuse Israel of being an apartheid state.

Whoever backs putting Israelis on trial in the International Court of Justice, whoever goes to college campuses abroad and presents Israel as an illegitimate state isn’t fighting for peace. Whoever is doing that is fighting against Israel and its right to exist.

Galon . . . is unlikely to stop the party’s plunge into the far-left abyss. [Her competitor, Yair] Golan, however, leans more center-left. . . . At the same time, Golan has in the past made statements that make even Galon seem tame.

Meretz is the Israeli left, and the Israeli left is Meretz. . . . There are also those on the left who vote for the Labor party, which appears hellbent on becoming just as out-of-touch as Meretz. . . . Israel needs a Zionist left-wing. Meretz insists on being something else.

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Read more at Ynet

More about: Israeli left, Israeli politics, Meretz

The Palestinian Authority Is Part of the Problem, Not the Solution

Jan. 31 2023

On Thursday, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials announced that they had ceased all security cooperation with Israel; the next two days saw two deadly terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. But the PA has in the past made numerous threats that it will sever its ties with the Israeli government, and has so far never made good on them. Efraim Inbar poses a different set of questions: does cooperation with Palestinian leaders who actively encourage—and provide financial incentives for—the murder of Jews really help Israel protect its citizens? And might there be a better alternative?

The PA leader Mahmoud Abbas seems unable to rule effectively, i.e., to maintain a modicum of law and order in the territories under his control. He lost Gaza to Hamas in 2007, and we now see the “Lebanonization” of the PA taking place in the West Bank: the emergence of myriad armed groups, with some displaying only limited loyalty to the PA, and others, especially the Islamists, trying to undermine the current regime.

[The PA’s] education system and media continue propagating tremendous hostility toward Jews while blaming Israel for all Palestinian problems. Security cooperation with Israel primarily concerns apprehending armed activists of the Islamist opposition, as the PA often turns a blind eye to terrorist activities against Israel. In short, Abbas and his coterie are part of the problem, not of the solution. Jerusalem should thus think twice about promoting efforts to preserve PA rule and prevent a descent into chaos while rejecting the reoccupation of the West Bank.

Chaos is indeed not a pleasant prospect. Chaos in the territories poses a security problem to Israel, but one that will be mitigated if the various Palestinian militias vying for influence compete with each other. A succession struggle following the death of Abbas could divert attention from fighting hated Israel and prevent coordination in the low-intensity conflict against it. In addition, anarchy in the territories may give Israel a freer hand in dealing with the terrorists.

Furthermore, chaos might ultimately yield positive results. The collapse of the PA will weaken the Palestinian national movement, which heretofore has been a source of endemic violence and is a recipe for regional instability in the future.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror