Mondo Weiss / July 12, 2022
Joe Biden will land in Israel tomorrow, and meet and try to boost Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid; and Biden’s script has appeared in The New York Times: the “change” government that just fell, led by Naftali Bennett and now Lapid, has been a great step forward in inclusion and a model to America on how we should get along!
Tom Friedman led the way two weeks ago with a piece calling the governing coalition a historic breakthrough and shaming the Palestinians who don’t want to join a Zionist coalition as “irrelevant.”
Now it’s a parade. Two other conservative writers in the Times have saluted the government for its inclusivity, and National Public Radio has joined in with its own assessment lauding the government as “one hell of an experiment.”
These hosannas to Israel all reflect the fact that for the first time, a Zionist Jewish coalition included a Palestinian party: the four votes of the Islamist party Ra’am. Yes, historic. But this is still fairyland Zionism. Ra’am is a minority of the Palestinian community, most of whom can’t vote in national elections– including the East Jerusalemites Biden will be visiting. And all these appraisals leave out the fact that one human rights group after another has lately issued reports that Israel practices “apartheid.” The Bennett government only advanced that apartheid by demolishing more Palestinian houses in the West Bank and approving more illegal Jewish settlements.
But let’s look at the script.
In The New York Times, Shmuel Rosner (an apologist for Israeli war crimes) hails the government as “a new and thrilling possibility of cooperation” — that came under fire from intolerant left-wingers and rightwing racists too.
Rosner prescribes an ideal of coexistence in which Palestinians accept the existence of a Jewish state.
A dam has broken….Arab [Palestinian] parties must ask themselves whether they are ready to embrace the state and accept its vision of Jewish national expression. They need to realize that cooperation and integration are the only ways to effect change for Arab Israelis, as we’ve seen, and in the future maybe also for Palestinians in the West Bank.
Suck it up, Arabs!
Also in The New York Times, Bret Stephens provided Naftali Bennett an exit interview and described the coalition as a “triumph” and a successful “experiment” and therefore a blow to all anti-Zionists: “an example of true diversity and inclusion that Israel’s critics rarely recognize.”
Stephens (who is a justifier of Israeli war crimes) went on that the government is a model for the United States– “a government that can still serve as a role model, in Israel and beyond.”
Daniel Estrin on NPR continued that theme. Israel is teaching the world how to coexist. He gave a platform to a philosopher to gush over the coalition.
ESTRIN: Micah Goodman, an Israeli philosopher who’s advised Israel’s leaders, says what matters was that three right-wing, Jewish party leaders were willing to partner with Mansour Abbas, the Muslim party leader.
MICAH GOODMAN: All three of them sat with Abbas, worked with Abbas and legitimized Abbas. That’s powerful, but it’s messy. It wasn’t smooth. Not all the people in the Arab community liked this. And not all the people in the right-wing communities really accepted this. But it’s the beginning of a dramatic shift in Israel.
ESTRIN: He says, for one year in Israel, the government went against the currents of history and against a worldwide trend of politics that polarized countries.
GOODMAN: And it was one hell of an experiment.
Expect Biden to parrot these talking points in Israel.
Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-2006