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New Tikkun Magazine Article: Unleashing Israeli Palestinian Political Power

This is my latest Tikkun Magazine article.  It is an analysis of the Israeli election, attacking the mainstream notion that this was a victory of the sensible center against the radical right.  The second half of the article offers a strategy to transform Israeli electoral politics.  It demands that the center-left political parties become Israeli, rather than Jewish parties, incorporating Palestinian leaders into their ranks and adopting Palestinian political interests as their own.  This, in turn would cause many Palestinian voters to return to the ballot box and could create a center-left majority in Israeli politics.  The alternative is more of the same meaningless political prattle leading Israel down the rabbit hole.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • pabelmont January 31, 2013, 9:03 AM

    Richard, you demand that certain Israeli political parties, now “Jewish” parties, become “Israeli” parties and incorporate Palestinian voters and Palestinian goals. OK. But we all “demand” all kinds of things (I demand that Israel remove all settlers, all settlements, and the wall, and the siege) (UN H/R group demands removal of all settlers and settlements) (UNSC 465 / 1980 demands removal of all settlements and all settlers). But so what?

    The question is only partly the search for mechanisms for useful change. It is also the search for reasons for thinking such a mechanism has a snowball’s chance of being — one day — effective. Israel the state refuses my demands, INSC’s demands, UN H/R’s demands. Israeli (Jewish) political parties refuse your demand. Your electoral arithmetic is there for anyone to see. If they wanted to doff the clothes of Jewish-Israelis and don the clothes of multi-sectarian Israelis, they could have done it at any time. They have not done it. Not one of them has done it.

    They have now seen the USA’s Republicans back down on Hispanic voters (aka immigration), so maybe they will consider your idea, but Jewish Israeli opposition to Arab rights seems so visceral on the whole that I doubt that even the desire to come into power will move Israeli parties to adopt Arab goals and voters (or coalition partners).

    But as they say, from your mouth to their ears.

    • Richard Silverstein January 31, 2013, 5:45 PM

      Thanks. I realize what I’m suggesting is going to be a very tough thing to achieve. I realize it might never happen. But if Israelis want to live & not die they will come to something like this modus vivendi regarding their politics. Somehow.

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