Published: Sunday 27 November 2011
“As the settlements expand, Israeli democracy shrinks.”

Part I - Bad Movies

Have you seen those old time movies notable for their endings? The cowboy is seen riding into the sunset or the lovers are reunited, etc. And then comes the end - the screen dramatically fades to black. Most of these movies are pretty bad. The stories are predictable, the acting melodramatic and directing inept. Well, this genre seems to be making a comeback, but off the screen rather than on it. In this revival, the Israelis are leading the way.

Israel’s bad movie starts out as an historical drama with moral overtones. It’s the story of Israeli democracy but, unfortunately, it has an illogical and misguided script. It begins with the premise that you can have a religiously exclusive democracy amidst a multi-religious population. Under these circumstances happy endings are impossible and the drama quickly turns to tragedy.

Part II - Final Act

The final act of this tragedy appears to be playing itself out before our eyes. It opened in 2009 with the second term of Prime Minister Netanyahu Netanyahu is a hard-line "Likudnik" determined to expand Israel to the Jordan River (if not the Potomac). That makes him an ally and supporter of the settler fanatics who represent today’s version of Zionist fascists.

There is a correlation between the condition of Israeli democracy and the ambitions of Netanyahu’s allies. As the settlements expand, Israeli democracy shrinks. This in turn is tied into the fact that the prime minister is determined to keep greater Israel demographically Jewish, and this means expansion must be coupled with ethnic cleansing. One can see this clearly in present Israeli policies in East Jerusalem as well as the violent harassment of Palestinians by settler thugs throughout the West Bank. Following logically from the flawed premise in the original script, this is a perfectly predictable ending for the story of modern Israel.

The drama ...

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