For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
At first sight, it may not appear as the sexiest story in the world. But Gideon Levy’s deeply flawed analysis today of the effective collapse of the Israeli Labor Party following Ehud Barak’s departure to create the Atzmaut party, is symptomatic of wider misunderstandings of key political dynamics in both Israel and western Europe. Writing in Haaretz, where he is a regular columnist and something of a superstar figure for the old Israeli left, Levy laments Barak’s alleged treachery in the following terms:
“[Barak] officially turned Israel into the only state in the West, not counting the United States, that lacks a Labor party, a Socio-Democrat party or a left wing. All European countries have such parties… we are now more like the third world ¬ we are a state that has about one and a half parties. Almost all there is in Israel is an ultra-nationalist right, comprised of parties that have various names: Likud, Kadima, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, National Union; yesterday, Atzmaut (Independence) joined them”.
But Levy spectacularly misses the point. The reason for the collapse of the Israeli left is that the multi-culturalist, third-worldist assumptions that sustained it have taken a 10 year beating from which they were never going to recover. Ever since Barak’s peace offers, brokered by Bill Clinton in 2000 and 2001, were flatly rejected by the “moderate” Palestinian leadership in favour of violence and rejectionsim the core argument of the Israeli left that the Palestinian cause was based on legitimate grievances that could be addressed via the “land for peace” formula simply lacked credibility inside the Israeli electorate. And given that social populism — another facet of left-wing parties — is now almost as much a feature of several other parties in Israel, the Labor Party simply found itself with nothing to offer. Its implosion was thus inevitable.
Apart from his inability to get the point, it is Levy’s implicit assumption that Israel is now inferior to other western democracies that really speaks to the paucity of his analytical framework.
For what applies in Israel is surely an augury of what is coming elsewhere in the West. Europe in particular is creaking under the strain of multiculturalist agendas that look less and less sustainable as the years go by. As the trial of Geert Wilders — the first political trial in post-Cold War Europe — for insulting Islam in the Netherlands illustrates all too clearly, it is now ever harder to argue that the assumptions of multi-culturalism are truly compatible with sustainable democratic societies. The collapse of self-belief that multi-culturalism implies, and the concomitant strategy of appeasement that it tends to bring with it, weaken western democracies to the point of collapse.
Europe does not yet face the kind of security and identity challenges faced by Israel. But Israel illustrates those challenges in bold relief. What Levy doesn’t like about Barak is that the former prime minister has finally accepted what all the available evidence has been pointing to for years: the third-worldist, multiculturalist ideology which sustained the Israeli Left for far too long is flawed and dangerous. As the front line state in a wider civilisational struggle Israel, once again, leads the way.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"