FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Nadav’s Pre-election Coup?

by URI AVNERY

The coming elections will be decided–and perhaps have already been decided–by an anonymous person, whose nom-de-guerre is “Nadav”.

“Nadav” calls himself an “expert” in the service of the General Security Service (known by its Hebrew acronym Shabak or Shin-Bet). According to him, his official title is “chief of the research department in the field of Israeli Arabs.”

If “Nadav” were the commander of an armored brigade and instigated a military coup-d’etat, like a South-American general of old, the results of his action would not be much different. Of course, his bosses did not send their tanks to the Knesset, neither did they arrest leftist leaders and drop them from helicopters into the sea. Of course not. They are much more humane. They only use paper.

“Nadav’s” paper is an “expert opinion” submitted to the Central Election Committee by the Attorney General. In it, the man in quotation marks–the quotation marks appear in the document itself–states that the Balad party aims to destroy the State of Israel, to aid and abet the enemies of the state, to incite the Arab citizens to rebellion, and more of the same.

On the basis of this expert opinion, the committee intends to disqualify Balad and its leader, Azmi Bishara, together with some other Arab MKs, from taking part in the elections.

The Election Committee is composed of the representatives of the parties in the outgoing Knesset, on a proportional basis. Therefore, the representatives of the right-wing parties, including the Shinui party, have a majority. They are united in their hatred of Arabs, and they also have a common interest in their expulsion from the Knesset. They will follow the orders of the “security establishment”, as the Knesset majority has always done. In the past, this was done discreetly, but lately it is happening quite openly. “Nadav’s” bosses can count on them.

When a senior officer speaks, the Knesset stands at attention. In most cases, this applies also to the Supreme Court judges, one of whom is the chairman of the Election Committee.

The intervention of the Security Service in the election campaign is much more than a cosmetic defect. It is also much more than an act against the Arab citizens. It concerns every person in Israel, and most of all the Jewish public. Because this is a putsch that changes the very fabric of the state.

In order to understand why this is so, one has to analyze the Israeli electorate. It is composed of five large blocs, as follows:

1. The middle-class Ashkenzi (European-Jewish) sector, which votes mostly for Labor and Meretz.

2. The Oriental-Jewish (also called Sephardi) sector, which votes mostly for the Likud party.

3. The religious and orthodox sector, which votes mostly for the two orthodox parties (Agudat-Israel and Shas) and the Mafdal (National Religious) party.

4. The sector of the new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who vote mostly for the two Russian parties (led by Natan Sharansky and Avigdor Liberman).

5. The Arab sector, which votes mostly for the three or four Arab parties.

Sectors 2-3-4 constitute the right-wing camp. Sectors 1 and 5 constitute the Left. The two camps are almost equal in size, and elections are generally decided by the “floating votes” that swim with the current.

(In the forthcoming elections, the picture is blurred by the unexpected growth of a comparatively new party, Shinui [Change], which is almost entirely composed of well-to-do Ashkenazis, united mainly in their fervent hatred of the religious people. Seemingly, this party has no clear stand on the crucial problems of war and peace. But its unquestioned leader, Tommy Lapid, a journalist and television personality, is basically a rabid chauvinist. He has already declared that under no circumstances will he join a coalition that includes Arabs.)

One glance at this political map shows that without the Arab votes, no left-wing coalition has any chance of forming a government–not today, nor in the foreseeable future. Worse, without the Arab votes there can be no “preventive bloc”, such as those which have played a crucial role in the last ten years. In order to prevent the setting up of a right-wing coalition, such a bloc needs 60 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. This means that without the Arabs, the Left cannot even dictate terms for its participation in a coalition dominated by the Right. It could join such a coalition only with raised hands, like prisoners of war.

Against this background, the full implications of the putsch of “Nadav” and his bosses can be grasped. If the Balad party or its chief is disqualified, all or most of the Arab citizens will boycott the elections. The Arab sector, constituting almost 20% of the Israeli population, will disappear from the political map. Without it, there is no chance for the Left ever to return to power, or even to play a meaningful role in a “Unity Government”.

If the leftist parties, headed by Labor, do not put up a determined fight against this conspiracy, it will be tantamount to suicide.

When a coup d’etat of this sort is carried out by the General Security Service, it means that Israel is leaving the community of democratic countries and joining the Third World. This does not concern the Arab citizens only. It concerns every Jewish citizen, too.

URI AVNERY has closely followed the career of Sharon for four decades. Over the years, he has written three extensive biographical essays about him, two (1973, 1981) with his cooperation. Avnery is featured in the new book, The Other Israel: Voices of Refusal and Dissent.

 

URI AVNERY is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He is a contributor to CounterPunch’s book The Politics of Anti-Semitism.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail