Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is Israel Over?

By Israeli historian Benny Morris.

No longer the liberal, democratic, egalitarian society it once was, Israel is fighting the Arabs—and itself.

The same could be said of the U.S., I think.

More than 50 years ago, Israel’s leaders, headed by David Ben-Gurion, believed and hoped that they were creating a social democracy, with all the requisite egalitarian accoutrements (socialized national health care, progressive income tax, child benefits, subsidized cheap housing). Ben-Gurion, who owned almost nothing and retired to a primitive hut in the Negev Desert, typified the austere lifestyle, and greatness, of the state’s founders.

This is no longer Israel. A profound, internal, existential crisis has arrived. It stems in part from the changing nature of the country, more right wing, more restrictive, far less liberal, and far less egalitarian. Many moderate Israelis fear the country is heading for ruin. Indeed, the country’s ruling class, including Benjamin Netanyahu and his predecessors Ehud Olmert (now on trial for corruption) and Ehud Barak (a former head of the Labor Party and current defense minister), live in opulence, and the feeling is that they are out of touch with reality. In Tel Aviv, where some 350,000 gathered in protest, a widespread chant, set to a popular children’s ditty, was “Bibi has three apartments, which is why we have none.”

Is Israel the canary in OUR coal mine? The lesson is that right-wings - any right-wings anywhere - are the path to ruin and darkness.

There's more. Shorter: Wise up, Israel, or you won't be a nation in fewer years than you would believe.

The same could be said of the U.S., I think.

Update:

Is the "Special Relationship" Becoming Too Expensive?

"Now I know, that I had to borrow,
Beg and steal and lie and cheat.
Trying to keep ya, trying to please ya.
‘Cause being in love with yo ass ain’t cheap.”

- Cee Lo Green

2 comments:

Fixer said...

Like I've been saying since this "Arab Spring" took off; the dynamic is changing over there. If our oil supply is dependent on cutting Israel loose, they'll be under the bus in seconds.

jeg43 said...

Excellent post, Gordon. As you might expect from my recent email. . .