Monday, December 05, 2005

What Israelis want and the failure of the right:

Over the weekend I received about 15 emails from people who all had one of the following messages:

...But how can you say that the Knesseteers aren't an option for the right wing, when National Union is the only right wing party that has a plan to offer...


...How can you say those things about Manhigut Yehudit...They are the only right wing option that most Israelis can swallow...


Okay, I am going to do you all a favor get educational for you guys. I am going to teach you about Israelis and their politics.

Here goes:

Israelis have two main political concerns: security and economic interests. They want to have money in their pockets and live without fear of violence.

These concerns dominate their political vocabulary. Everything else comes at an extremely distant third to these two concerns, be it Jewish identity, Zionism, what have you, etc.

In terms of choosing parties and politicians they are very tachless: Israelis want a party that has goals consistent with their concerns and a solid plan behind it.

Additionally, most Israelis want that plan to provide for what they perceive as the dignity of the arabs in Yesha and their state to be.

Ideally they want a leader that is politically powerful and savvy enough and to make it all happen.

They are no longer driven towards ideological based programs that cant demonstrate a concrete payoff.

Thus, they see right wing parties, and especially the far right parties, as non-starters because those parties don't address their concerns in any quantifiable way that is measurable by their senses of justice and pragmatics.

That's it.

No Jordan is palestine "concept" is going to motivate them; no Jewish Leadership "concept" is going to motivate them. Israelis want real plans based on today's strategic realities, not concepts without a clue.

The need for parties like NU and MY to proffer such concepts is an attempt by them to infiltrate the mainstream, where they hope to compete with the left for general support and save the day. This means that they have to water down their message to a point palatable to the big parties and coalition leaders, which in turn leads them to avoid taking meaningful stands on issues like the expulsion from Gush Katif.

Right now, this means that they are not going to create the kind of opposition needed to prevent more expulsion. But perhaps even more significantly, they have not and never will promote the type public awareness that regular citizens need to make relailbe decisions on crucial existential issues.

During the entire expulsion from Aza not one party published a single notice in any Hebrew or english newspaper giving a serious list of reasons why the expulsion was a bad idea. This is why all of the slogans against the expulsion were simple ideological rhetoric, lacking any conrete meaning to confused Israelis.

What these parties did do was sit in the cabinet and sip coffee while drafting ineffectual bills to delay the process, already half-heatedly accepting it.

Finally, another failure of the Knesseteers is that the left wing in Israel is way better off for the expulsion, whereas the right is no better off for it.

It should seem that there has been a lot to capitalize off the expulsion, the suffering of the Katif refugees, security at the Aza Egypt border, the tremendous cost of the operation, etc. But the right wing parties have not gained at all. And this is because they are inept.

As weird as it may sound to you, we should have gained a lot after the Hitnatkut, but we didn't. Every bad ituation is something that we should try and capiltalize off, but we have not. The left has, and this is why more expulsions are inevitable.

We need a force that can convey the right info and educate people through public awareness campaigns. But this wont happen under the Knesseteers and Feiglinites. So it doesn't matter if you support them. If you do, its like I have written before, you are like a lemming who goes out for swimming lessons rather than removing the stupid idea of getting into the water from your mind to begin with.

Hazit can promote public awareness, and that's why you should support them.

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