The Israeli left is dead. It’s politically dead, conceptually dead and brain dead. But like the fabled Norwegian blue parrot, there is an industry dedicated to assuring us that it’s still alive and well, just pining for the peace process.
The left in Israel is one of the few in the world to exist on foreign subsidies. Without generous funds from the European Union, the State Department, George Soros and assorted members of the Shadow Party, the last remnants of the Israeli left would have packed up their suitcases, their degrees in art philosophy and their framed photos of Amos Oz and Leon Trotsky and moved to Paris or San Francisco.
Israelis are about as eager to vote for the left as chickens are to saunter into a KFC restaurant. Israel’s equivalent of the Democratic Party, the once dominant Labor Party has shrunk to being only the fifth largest party in the country. Meretz, the Israeli equivalent of the Green Party, the vanguard of the left, has three seats in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. Only the Arab parties seem to be doing well, led by Hadash, the Arab Communist Party, where Israeli leftists who think Meretz is too moderate go.
And just to remind Israelis of why they left the left behind, a few hundred left-wing activists gathered in front of the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv to protest against any strike on Iran. The old slogan of the left, “An entire generation demands peace” had given way to signs reading, “The nation demands Iranian friends”, which sounded more like a nursery school slogan. Equally idiotic signs read, “Social justice does not equal war with Iran” and “No to pre-emptive suicide”.
The entire event was a cliché complete with red banners, colored scarves and dopey participants who seemed to have no knowledge whatsoever of the world outside Tel Aviv. A number of protesters urged negotiations with Iran, apparently unaware that Iran does not recognize Israel as a country making any negotiations impossible. Iran’s Islamic leaders have repeatedly called for Israel to be wiped off the map, which is not the behavior of a regime interested in negotiating anything.
The rally followed the even more ridiculous, “Israel Loves Iran” Facebook campaign which combined the grandiosity of social media with the empty mindless sentimentality which has characterized the rhetoric of the Israeli peace camp.
“Iranians We Will Never Bomb Your Country: We Love You”, read posters that looked like they were designed by teenage girls. There are photos of narcissistic young couples staring into the camera, Israelis kissing Iranians, Iranians kissing Israelis, Israeli hippies kissing other Israeli hippies and bored Europeans looking to fill a vacuum after the Arab Spring trying to join in the fun.
“Israel Loves Iran” turned out to be the perfect campaign for those too lazy to stand in front of the Habima Theater for an hour holding up a hand-lettered sign and made for excellent headlines. News stories reported on the 50,000 likes for the Facebook group, a small number even in a country as small as Israel, and much of the activity on the group appears to consist of German and Spanish language posters.
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