A status on Facebook today by Micky Harel begins with a quote: “Do everything to enable Israeli society to send Bibi into exile from politics, instead of him sending us to take out foreign passports”, says Naor Narkiss (Haaretz). She then writes:
“The problem is that [while] the Arabs are doing it for themselves, uniting so they can get enough mandates to get into the Knesset, the Left is willing to commit suicide & not unite & the same goes for the Center, which already understands that it has nothing to do on the Right but will not reach out a hand to the Left. Our state doesn’t know the concept of solidarity. Evidently life’s too good here… so there’s no homes for young people, but evidently no lack of food […]
“Every crack in the political wall raises a hope, but regrettably we’ve been proved wrong each time. I don’t see any hope until the parties of the Left and the Center and the Arab parties (which are already uniting because they have no alternative) unite and build a Left-Center bloc powerful enough to topple the House of the Right with its ugly face!”
This is yet another voice calling for what several others have called for recently. In a recent post I mentioned Chaim Pessah’s brief status (my translation): “Unnecessary elections? No more excuses: an anti-fascist Left front – or a fascist Right government.” That was in the intro to my translation of Nir Baram’s speech at the demonstration of the Left opposite the Prime Minister’s Residence a few evenings ago, in which he said “The first message that needs to emerge from this demonstration is that in Israel there is no Jewish Left and Arab Left – there is only a Jewish and Arab Left.”
As to why I think DEMOCRATIC is probably a better word to use today than Left & Center: see my translation of Rachel Elior’s status in which she makes the illuminating distinction between the two opposed sides within the Israeli electorate: the “egalitarian-liberal-democratic” and the “discriminatory-racist-nationalist & anti-democratic”.
& although I see no party other than Hadash professing all these egalitarian-liberal-democratic principles, with Meretz coming fairly close to them, I see little chance of many Israeli Jews casting their vote for the former & also not very many for the latter if they are not part of a bloc that looks as if it could be significant. & then, sadly, it looks as though Richard Silverstein’s prognosis, which I didn’t like, but shared for what seemed to me its realism, will come true.
I sit here in the bushland outside Mullumbimby in the easternmost shire of Australia, & think these things, & share my thoughts on this blofsite & on Facebook I think first of all because I care for all the people living there in Israel & in Palestine who are unwilling victims of the fascist occupation regime, first, true, for those who are family &/or friends, but then for everyone else, perhaps even for those who are willing victims, those who carry out the work of occupation & discrimination, etc, & are unknowingly (perhaps) traumatized &/or damaged as human beings as a consequence of what they do (or don’t do). & I can understand someone who lives there saying it’s none of my business: & it’s certainly true that since I don’t have to physically live with the consequences of how people there vote I have no right to tell anyone how to vote. But I’m not doing that here. I’m ruminating. Imagining. Imagining a solidarity movement, a united democratic front, with a charismatic leadership, people of the caliber of elder politicians like Yossi Sarid, Uri Avnery, Yossi Beilin, Avraham Burg, & currently active politicians like, Ahmad Tibi, Dov Khenin, Haneen Zoabi, I don’t know, these are just some names that come to mind right now… for I can’t see how without charismatic leaders anything positive can come to pass…
I’m reminded of Plekhanov’s essay, “The Role of the Individual in History” (1898), in which he wrote: “A great man is great not because his personal qualities give individual features to great historical events, but because he possesses qualities which make him most capable of serving the great social needs of his time, needs which arose as a result of general and particular causes. Carlyle […] calls great men beginners. This is a very apt description. A great man is precisely a beginner because he sees further than others, and desires things more strongly than others. He […] points to the new social needs created by the preceding development of social relationships; he takes the initiative in satisfying these needs.”
Without beginners I see no historical change possible.