2 thoughts on “Israel’s Creeping Criminalization of Democratic Rights – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. One of the main arguments of apologists for Israel has always been that it is “the only real democracy in the Middle East”. One can rely on the Israeli secret police to tear that last fig leaf away. Anti present day Israel activists couldn’t do a better job.

  2. Creeping is really the operative word in this article. Beliefs and values are being shifted here by exactly this slow but sure process. For years we have seen middle Israel creeping to the right and the inevitable shift away from democracy that accompanies this move. It’s not difficult to see why this happens. An average Israeli reads and views news only from Israeli and Hebrew sources, and all his or her opinions are formed by this stream. They are rarely exposed to opinions or advice from outside. The result of this insulation is that anyone (like Kobi Snitz) who blatantly steps out of line can be dealt with without too much public outcry. Certainly Amira Hass doesn’t count for most Israelis since she is on the “radical left”, as is Haaretz.

    The results of this creep are also obvious for the next election. The Labor party is now extreme left, Bibi is in the center, and the rise of HaBeit HaYehudi, no longer confined to the religious right (http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-new-secular-face-of-religious-zionism/ ) is frightening and inevitable.

    During a conversation with a number of “left-to-middle” Israelis yesterday there were a number of interesting observations.
    1) All of them had voted Meretz, Labor, or Kadima at the last election. Each profess not to like or trust Netanyahu.
    2) None of them will vote labor this time because they are afraid that having a woman with no army background as prime minister will mean disaster if we have to go to war.
    3) Many of them are moving to the right in spite of previous ideology because a) The Arab spring and Syrian events prove that no one outside will help or support us and we can trust only ourselves, and b) The Green Line is no longer an issue because everyone knows that entire cities cannot be dismantled, and anyway most of those over the green line are just like them (with radicals and hilltop youth as the exception, but then there are crazies everywhere).
    4) Those who voted labor in the past now see it as a “wasted” vote and are considering voting for the “moderate right” (read Yair Lapid) so that he can balance the more extreme right-wing govt in which he will inevitably sit.

    No matter how ridiculous some of these statements, they show that for many Israeli fear reigns supreme. It outweighs democratic values, considerations for Palestinian rights, caring for international opinion or law. Fear is what will drive votes in just a few weeks, and sadly we will have a new government that is a political expression of this negative emotion.

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