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.

May 05, 2016
David L. Glotzer
Welcome to Fortified Europe: the Militarization of Europe’s Borders
Adam Szetela
Beyoncé’s “Formation” and the Boutique Activism of the Left
Bruce Lerro
Lost at Sea: Left Liberals Have No Party
Paul Cochrane
Hot Air in the Saudi Desert: a Kingdom in Descent?
Brian Terrell
My Visit to a Las Vegas Jail
Judith Deutsch
The Military’s “Securitization” of Climate Change
Phyllis Bennis
Kunduz Bombing: Proof the Pentagon Should Not Be Allowed to Investigate Itself for War Crimes
Chad Nelson
When Compassion is Terrorism: Animal Rights in a Post-911 World
Dan Arel
Making Sanders’ Dream a Reality Through Political Activism
Kent Paterson
Ten Years Later: Reflections on the Legacies of Immigrant Spring
Serge Halimi
Why Firefighters are Against Free Trade
Andrew Stewart
Green Bernie or Green Party Machine?
Binoy Kampmark
Yuri Gagarin in Space: the Politics of Cosmic Discovery
Hayes Rowan
This Naming of Things
May 04, 2016
Kshama Sawant
It’s Not About Bernie: Why We Can’t Let Our Revolution Die in Philadelphia
Conn Hallinan
Baiting the Bear: Russia and NATO
Joshua Frank
Hanford’s Leaky Nuke Tanks and Sick Workers, A Never-Ending Saga
Paul Craig Roberts
TIPP: Advancing American Imperialism
Ted Rall
Hillary to Bernie Supporters: Don’t Vote for Me!
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton and Wall Street’s Neoliberal War on Latin America
Leslie Scott
The Story of Jill Stein: Putting People, Peace and the Planet Before Profits
Ann Garrison
Building the Greens Into a Mass Party: Interview with Bruce Dixon
Tom Clifford
Crying Rape: Trump’s China-Bashing
Lawrence Davidson
Getting Rid of Bad Examples: Andrew Jackson & Woodrow Wilson
Ellen Brown
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?
Nelson Valdes
Is Fidel Castro Outside or Part of Mainstream Thinking? A Selection of Quotes
Jesse Jackson
Don’t Send Flint Down the Drain: Fix It!
Nathan Riley
Help Bernie Keep His Halo
Rivera Sun
Remembering Nonviolent History: Freedom Rides
Clancy Sigal
Rachel and the Isolationists: How Maddow Blew It
Laura Finley
Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail