A prominent leftist policy activist went on Israeli radio to gloat right after Britain’s House of Commons symbolically recognized a Palestinian Arab state.
“We have been working hard in Europe,” declared Dr. Alon Liel, a close protégé of Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin, who built Israel’s NON-peace with the PLO.
Neither Liel, Peres or Beilin will admit error. They prefer to have foreign governments and organizations try forcing their idea of “peace” down Israel’s throat.
This is sad testimony to the state of Israel’s so-called “peace movement,” which is so unpopular inside Israel that it spends most of its energies outside Israel trying to lobby inside Britain, the European Union, Scandinavia and especially with the U.S. government.
Israel’s Left is more popular in Britain—where the Establishment hates Israel—than inside Israel, where Israelis love Israel and realize that Great Britain is no longer great.
The Israeli Left has taken its show on the road to a once-Great Britain that had to fight to hold on to Scotland. British leaders and security forces seem hapless to stop beheadings of Britons on the streets of London or in Iraq and Syria. Britain’s prime minister cannot get his own party to fight the Islamist scourge abroad or at home.
British politicians preen and flirt with a growing Muslim audience that is not at all moderate or peace-loving. That has become the audience of the Israeli Left.
British authorities seem hapless in trying to control radicalized Muslims who publicly threaten Jews or non-religious Muslims or who sexually abuse great numbers of girls in some British localities. Some of these same phenomena—on the street and in government—are taking place in France, Belgium and other countries.
Israel’s Left also likes Scandinavian countries whose leaders love to hate Israel or pass resolutions limiting the religious freedom of local Jews (eg: kosher food and circumcision), and whose central cities are controlled by Islamic workers who are growing as an extremist force in political and cultural life.
Dr. Liel also cheered Sweden’s announcement that it would recognize a PLO-led state “governed” by Mahmoud Abbas, a worthless figure-head with zero legitimacy, whose term ran out five years ago.
Abbas tells some forums he wants peace but when he talks in Arabic, he has a different message.
“Let our rifles, all our rifles, be aimed at the Occupation,” he declared in a big Fatah Day speech in 2005. “Occupation” (Al-Ikhtilal in Arabic) actually was code for Israel. Abbas knows he is weak and he has always wanted to link up with Hamas.
When the Left preaches to Israelis about talking to Abbas or Hamas, it is like trying to recite poetry from an overdue library book—all of whose pages are missing.
In Europe, where they cannot see the writing on their own walls, they like the Israeli Left’s message. Europeans would rather not face their own problem with Islam, the rampant Jew hatred in academia and on the streets.
Some European leaders want Israel to be equally clueless. Most Israelis have a clue, and the opinion polls and elections results show it.
The sad truth about Israeli Leftists is that they refuse to see the sad truth—that Mahmoud Abbas is not merely a shadow of a leader but more like the ghost of a castrato in the choir who never could sing and never will.
The Leftists call him “Abu Mazen”—an affectionate nickname that recalls how an earlier generation of wishful thinkers referred to Josef Stalin as “Uncle Joe.” But an affectionate name does not change a harsh reality.
Abbas is worse than Yasser Arafat. Abbas will not talk to Israel without getting a consent note from the Arab League. Several Israeli prime ministers have offered him and the PLO everything. They gave Gaza, but he could not hold it. They offered 95-98 percent of the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem, but that is somehow not enough.
It is part of the reality problem of the Israeli Left and its forlorn leaders that they cannot even admit that Abbas does not want peace with Israel. He only wants a piece of Israel, and then another piece and then another piece.
Most Israelis realize the Israeli Left does not realize Abbas cannot blow his nose in Ramallah without Israeli protection, let alone go to the bathroom unescorted in Gaza.
Shakespeare once said that a rose by any name would still smell sweet, but PLO plans and policies are no rose, only manure. Israel’s Left still wants to sell fertilizer as flowers. Nobody is buying its merchandise or its message.
That is why the Israeli Right has a built-in advantage in elections in Israel, and that is why the Israeli Left takes the anti-democratic route of trying to impose its will through foreign governments, NGO’s, the UN, etc.
Part of the Israeli Left would rather go to the World Court in the Hague than face the court of opinion in Israel. This is not democratic or ethical, but it is not be the first time that the Israeli Left has chosen this route.
For years, Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin reported that they had reached all kinds of deals with PLO officials like Yasser Abd-Rabbo or Mahmoud Abbas, but it was not true. Beilin even violated Israeli law in the 1980’s to talk with the PLO when it was illegal.
Beilin has never apologized for law-breaking or being wrong about PLO intentions—a strategic error that cost hundreds of lives in Israel. That is why Beilin went from a position of power in the Israeli Labor Party to being unable to get elected even in the Left-wing fringe party Meretz.
Peres had a similar journey and also stretched the law. Peres used the ceremonial post of president to try enact his failed peace ideas. It got him many interviews, but the last time he was elected to anything functional was alongside Yitzhak Rabin in 1992.
The last time Peres ran for a functional job, he was beaten in the Labor Primary for the job of head of the Israeli Labor Party by union organizer Amir Peretz. Peres defected from Labor in the middle of the election cycle to join Ariel Sharon’s Kadima Party.
Democratic norms and legal niceties are only good for the Israeli Left when they can be used for its agenda.
Peace—even a phony peace—trumps democracy, sovereignty and the rule of law.
“You have to do what you can,” said Dr. Liel in his radio interview when asked why he and his friends did not work harder in Israel, instead of taking the non-democratic route.
The response to Liel is simple: if you want to make Israeli policy, make it in Israel.