Israel’s Increased Radicalization

Shas's leader - to the untrained eye, what differences visually does he have to an ayatollah or imam?

Israel is always a tough subject for countless reasons.  As soon as you criticize the country you are assumed by many to criticize all Jews, the existence of the Jewish State and that you are pro-Palestinian, Hamas, Hezbollah and so on.   Why can one not be worried, critical of and upset with the existing political structure and government of Israel?   There is another side, of course, that being the victim status of Jews stemming from the holocaust and the victim status of a country that has been defending itself from day one against its neighbors.

For my part I will make it clear right here and right now.  I support Israel in its right to exist, to defend itself against assault and even to be a homeland for Jews if that is what they wish.   I also support a two-state solution defined under the borders agreed and negotiated via the United Nations under the Oslo Agreement.  I condemn the collective punishment methods used by Israel and most of all I condemn the radicalization that is within the Knesset and linked to the far-right Likud party. This radicalism has infiltrated the military and the result is ugly.

Israel, the Bomb and the world’s most Religious Radical Country

Everyone knows that Israel has a nuclear arsenal, that they stole it and did not develop it, that they are not a member of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and that they are not under any scrutiny, inspection regime, checks and other balances.    Unlike Israel, Iran may or may not be trying to build it but are under sanctions and threats for not supporting scrutiny, inspection regimes, checks and other balances.   The argument is that somehow there is a difference, Iran is a belligerent state, dangerous and unpredictable, these arguments somehow implies that Israel is not.    I disagree.

Israel stole the plans for building “the Bomb”, it has consistently told every and any nation (including the United States of America) that it will do what it wants, its own way.  It has breached UN Resolutions on multiple times, mostly to do with its own treatment of lands and peoples it has occupied via force, and it has shown in the past and even presently that it will cross borders, kidnap, kill and attack those whom it thinks is a threat.   In my own country, they attempted to infiltrate their local Likud Representative in The Netherlands, Gidi Markuszower, into membership of the Dutch Parliament.  The Dutch Security Services forced his being removed from the ballot because he was an existing dangerous risk to Dutch national security.   Recently the assassination of a Hamas figure in Dubai has been all but confirmed as being a Mossad hit and again showing no respect for other nations, friendly or not, they used the names and faked passports from a number of countries.  Australia, having four passports abused, chose to expel a diplomat known as the Mossad representative.   In this last day, Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have crossed into international territory and attacked a flotilla of aid ships heading to Gaza, that is currently being blockaded by Israel.   International organisations including the United Nations as well as most countries that include the US have considered the blockade as a human rights violation.  Israel may well have had cause to think that arms or terrorists may have been in board that flotilla, but the attack in international waters, the response as well as the embargo are all “flipping the finger” at the rest of the world – they simply will do what want.

Lieberman's pro-Zionist Yisrael Beitenu party is pro-Settler. He hold the Foreign Minister portfolio

They have done so in the past under the assumption that their powerful lobby group and economic influence in the United States will save them from all their enemies if their own efforts fail.    They have relied on the US’s veto more than once.  The Gaza issue was one of the last vetoes that they have received when they attacked the Gaza Strip and to avoid a protracted battle from house to house, chose to use internationally repugnant and illegal weapons, such as white phosphorus.    The Bush US Administration argued but eventually bowed to pressure and showed that morally it had reached its lowest point, perhaps eclipsing even the Nixon era.

Though that blind support for Israel may have dried up with the fresh global approach to international diplomacy by the Obama Administration, why is it that Israel has not slowed down or joined the international community of nations, but in fact appears to have ratcheted-up its radicalism?

One only has to look at the make-up of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament).   The current right-wing coalition that has joined forces with Likud is a mix of radical, ultra-orthodox and ultra-nationalist parties that can only be put on a par with the most ugliness of what Israel says it is defending itself against – Hamas, Hezbollah and radical Islamism in general – such as Iran.

Likud may be a nationalist far-right party, but it is at least a radical mainstream Israeli political entity. 

The current make-up of the Knesset is as follows:

Kadima 28
Likud 27
Yisrael Beiteinu 15
Labor 13
Shas 11
United Torah Judaism1 5
National Union2 4
Hadash 4
United Arab ListTa’al 4
The Jewish Home 3
New Movement-Meretz 3
Balad 3
Total 120

The coalition that is the current Government is a combination of Likud, Yisrael Beitenu, Labour, Shas, the Jewish Home and United Torah Judaism.

Yisrael Beitenu is is a nationalist political party in Israel. The party describes itself as “a national movement with the clear vision to follow in the brave path of Zev Jabotinsky” the founder of Revisionist Zionism.

Shas is primarily representing the Sephardic and Mizrahi Haredi Judaism community.

Former deputy Housing Minister Meir Porush's United Torah Judaism party wishes to expand settlements. He does, though want to destroy the nuclear arsenal.

“United Torah Judaism” is an alliance of Degel HaTorah and Agudat Israel, two Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) political parties.  UTJ is led by Meir Porush who opposes negotiations with the Palestinians and the formation of a Palestinian state.  It wants to maintain a status quo relationship in regard to religion and state issues and supports increasing settlements in disputed territories.

The Jewish Home is right-wing national religious Zionist party formed by a merger of the National Religious Party, Moledet and Tkuma. It is led by Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz.

The religious Zionist Ahi party, previously part of the National Union alliance, merged into Likud in late December 2008.

If you search the list of non-Coalition parties, you will find all but one are secular based mainstream – that being the opposition party.     The rest are religious based, most pro-Zionism and not very promising towards peace with its neighbors simply because they are pro-settler and expansion of Israel into the Occupied Territories.

Zionism is “political Judaism” and most forms support the God-given Land of Israel that includes what is the West Bank, Hebron, Gaza and all of Jerusalem.   That concept is at conflict with not only the occupants of those lands that were there before the State of Israel but also countless UN Agreements, status of the Palestinian People and the Status of the City of Jerusalem. 

Radical Zionist groups have pushed and increased the number of zealots within the military and as "chaplins". Was this the cause of the brutality condemned in Gaza's recent conflict?

Another effective way of looking at Zionism is that it is the Jewish version of Islamism (political Islam).  In theory the concept may be benign and it works within a totally Jewish environment but is at instant conflict with the non-faithful.  It smacks against Secularism totally and it is the first banner to be taken up by radicals, zealots and terrorists.   If taken-up by the military, which it apparently has in Israel, you have Zionism with a gun, just like Islamism with a gun.  It is ugly.

Extremists in Zionism, such as the settler movement, with complicity from politicians, law enforcement and the military is an unstoppable force – and it has been present in Israel for way too long, much too long.

Remembering this country has also “the Bomb” (100 to 200 according to UN estimates) and people argue to me that Iran should be targeted for sanctions but not Israel – sorry, think again.

Iran is a problem, a danger and yes there should be something done to deal with that country dominated by radical religious philosophies but to do so and not consider and deal with another country that is in fact more susceptible to radical religious ideology and that has an unchecked nuclear arsenal is not only hypocritical but itself massively dangerous.

If the image was of a Muslim, the word terrorst or jihadist would be instantly thrown down, certainly correct in some instances. What is the difference here, religion and conflict is allowed if your not Muslim?

About donny2811
Trots Nederlands, goed gereist en een begerige politieke centrist met een speciale afkeer voor basissen.

2 Responses to Israel’s Increased Radicalization

  1. Kenny says:

    Thank you very much for your article and open-minded approach to what is clearly a one sided debate on right and wrong. Although Israel has the right to defend themselves they do not have the right to restrict media to show the truth. I for one am completely fed up with their lies and – as you state – the US backing them every step of the way. Although I do not care for Obama here in the US I certainly and wholeheartedly agree with him finally forcing Israel to be accountable.

  2. donny2811 says:

    Thanks and welcome Kenny.

    I found the funny situation last night (Rotterdam time) that the blogger Robert Spencer of Jihad-Watch was posting Israeli news items stating that most of the captured prisoners from the flotilla were linked to terrorism yet I was turning on CNN and watching them being released. When does Israel release terrorists – meaning again it was a lie …. or in bad journalism it is called – we thought it was true.


    Donny vdH

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