Britain gets its act together, it will be out of the EU in two days without deal
or contract. Instead of committing suicide, British politicians
move-on after they screw up, or better said, they have a Destroy and Leave tradition. They leave it to others to collect the remains of what they have destroyed.
Cameron called a referendum, which was badly prepared, and which enabled a
small group of anti-Europeans to deceive the voters into the disastrous Brexit.
Once done, he resigned. He had no wish to deal with the ramifications of the disaster
he had fathered. His successor, Theresa May – originally a Brexit opponent – who saw
an opportunity of becoming prime minister, changed her views and became a Brexit supporter, is
about to push the country over a cliff. Now, she is trying to offer her own
resignation to opponents in her own party, in return for their votes. So, she
too, will go, as soon as she has completed her act of destruction.
I still remember our feeling of relief in Israel after
the Golan Heights were conquered in the 1967 Six-Day-War. With the Golan in
Israeli hands, the Syrian army would no longer overlook Israel’s Upper Galilee from
its military posts strategically situated high above. The Golan was green, dotted
with apple and cherry orchards, it had water (which we were short of) and even
a skiable mountain (which we did not have). The general view in Israel was that
it was not to be returned to Syria. Moreover, unlike the West Bank and Gaza,
the Golan was only sparsely populated, which meant that it could be controlled without
Fourteen years later, in 1981, contrary to international law, Israel annexed
the Golan. The annexation of the Golan – which the international community
considers to be occupied Syrian territory – was never recognised by other
countries. Until last week: A few days ago, in an attempt to bolster Netanyahu’s
chances in the coming elections in Israel, President Trump announced that the
USA would recognise Israel’s act of territorial appropriation.
The breakup and chaos in Syria make the return of the
Golan Heights to Syria more unlikely than ever. And yet, its annexation remains
illegal. That Trump’s America should endorse brute force and illegal acts by
Israel is not surprising. Kindred spirits, Netanyahu and Trump, have developed a close relationship
and the Jewish lobby in the US is alive and kicking.
In his panic, as investigations around his corruption
were closing in, Israel’s Premier Netanyahu decided to call an early election.
It is thought that his plan is to win the election (not at all unlikely,
despite all), and immediately pass a law which prevents prosecuting prime ministers, whilst
they are in office.
The roulette table – as Netanyahu sees it – has only
two pockets: prime minister’s office and jail.
To avoid going to jail, he will do almost anything.
The big question is how narrow he and his family (who are active players in
Netanyahu’s shenanigans) will define “almost”.
Hate speech and racist incitement have always come
naturally to Israel’s prime minister. His latest ploy is an agreement to collaborate with ultra-extremist Jewish orthodox supremacists, Jewish Power (Otzmah
Jehudit). These promoters of ethnic cleansing and right-wing terrorism are
Netanyahu’s chosen bedfellows. This outrageous move has for the first time in
Israel’s history brought about condemnation from almost the whole bandwidth of
Jewish institutions in the USA.
Netanyahu’s predecessor, Olmert, was hoping to avoid
jail (yes, he too was indicted, found guilty and jailed for corruption) by
promoting a peace deal. Will Netanyahu try to win the coming (April 9th)
elections through war?
Netanyahu’s track record shows that he is not
trigger-happy when it comes to military actions. Will that still guide him when
he sees a jail cell looming? War as a get-out-of-jail-card?
And critically, how strong are Israel’s democratic
institutions (which Netanyahu’s government has systematically been eroding)?
Will the gatekeepers prevent any panic-driven moves on Netanyahu’s part?
To understand Israel, one need but consider the
names, which some of the country’s political parties have chosen, in their
quest to be attractive to the voters:
The New Right /Resurrection/Jewish Power/Israel
Resilience/There is a Future/ All of Us/ Israel Our Home /National
Statesman-like Movement/ The
Jewish Home/Banner of the Torah/United
Sephardim/Together -The People are with Us.
All the above as well as Netanyahu’s Likkud party
are ideologically identified with holding on to as much Palestinian land as
possible. Even Israel’s shrinking, and some think even disappearing, Labour
party (once the party of Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Rabin, Peres et al.) does not
really oppose Netanyahu in his land-grab strategy.
Misleading information, outright lies, and a badly
constructed referendum have resulted in half of the participants voting for Brexit.
(51.5% vs. 48.5%)
Prime Minister Cameron, who opposed Brexit, yet called the referendum,
resigned immediately after the result came out. Ambitious Theresa May, who also opposed
Brexit, saw an opportunity to become prime-minister and joined the remain side.
The opposition Labour party is led by Trotskyite Jeremy Corbyn, who is himself a Brexiter. So, both main parties in the UK are led
by Brexit supporters.
Hence, on the most contentious issue in British
politics for many years, the government has no opposition. That half (or by now
perhaps more) of Britain’s population, who prefer remaining in the EU, have no
one speaking for them in Parliament.
The whole process of Brexit – despite the seemingingly
democratic instrument of a referendum – has turned out to be a grand failure of democracy.
On more than one occasion has French President Macron proven
not to be very good under pressure. Last week, he panicked again, as in
reaction to recent Antisemitic incidents, he announced that France would now
consider anti-Zionism as a form of Antisemitism.
This, of course, is somewhere between ignorance and
I believe that it was morally right to establish the
Jewish state and thus define myself as a Zionist. I, however, accept that some
people – for whatever reason – do not share that view and therefore define
themselves as anti-Zionists. There will be antisemites, whose hatred of Jews,
will also make them anti-Zionists. This, however, does not mean that their anti-Zionism =
Israel and its supporting Jewish lobbies have been
very successful in their push to delegitimise critics of Israel by defining
them as antisemites. With Macron they can add another notch to their