Zeiten(w)ende

Netanyahu – und in seinem Gefolge eine Mehrheit des israelischen Parlaments – hat für ein religiös-nationalistisches Projekt entschieden.

Christian Meier, seines Zeichens Korrespondent der konservativen Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung, schreibt heute auf der ersten Seite:

„Im Innern wie nach außen hin präsentiert sich die Regierung als religiös-nationalistisches Projekt. Mit Blick auf den israelisch-palästinensischen Konflikt lässt sich die Ideologie, die einige der Koalitionspartner vertreten, als militaristischer jüdischer Suprematismus charakterisieren. Allen voran betrifft das die nationalreligiösen Politiker Bezalel Smotrich und Itamar Ben-Gvir. Sie haben lange verhandelt, um sich die gewünschten Zuständigkeiten zu sichern.

Nun erhält der Annexionsideologe Smotrich weitgehende Kontrolle über den Siedlungsbau, während der politische Pyromane Ben-Gvir so stark in die Arbeit der Polizei eingreifen darf wie kein Minister vor ihm.

Ben-Gvirs und Smotrichs Erfolg beruht auf wenigen, simplen Parolen. Im Mittelpunkt steht die Behauptung, die Juden würden von den Palästinensern an den Rand gedrängt – in Israel, aber auch in den besetzten Gebieten. Die Juden müssten wieder „Herren im eigenen Haus“ werden. Der Besen, mit dem dieses Haus ausgekehrt werden soll, ist eisern: Terroristen umstandslos erschießen, Soldaten vor Ermittlungen schützen, gegen Menschenrechtsorganisationen
vorgehen sind nur einige der Maßnahmen, die vorgeschlagen wurden, um sich gegen die Übernahme durch „die Araber“ und gegen deren Unterstützer zur Wehr zu setzen, allen voran gegen die EU.

Diese Umkehrung der Realität ist charakteristisch für Ben-Gvir und Smotrich. Sie bietet zugleich einen Schlüssel zum Verständnis ihres Erfolgs. Die israelische Gesellschaft ist von tiefen Gräben durchzogen, etwa zwischen Säkularen und Religiösen oder zwischen Israelis unterschiedlicher Herkunft. Hinzu kommt das seit 55 Jahren währende Besatzungsregime: Es hat die Israelis verhärtet und macht, wie selbst Regierungsmitarbeiter hinter vorgehaltener Hand zugeben, die Gesellschaft kaputt. Die Verbindung von Populismus und Fake News wirkt in
dieser Atmosphäre unwiderstehlich.“

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Der bekannte israelische Schriftsteller David Grossmann sieht angesichts solcher Perspektiven kaum eine Zukunft für das bisher existierende Israel, vielmehr ein politisches, moralisches und soziales Chaos, in das die Demokratie in Israel versinkt. – Dazu sein Beitrag in der Haaretz vom 28. Dezember 2022.

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und um 16:07 die diplomatische Ergänzung:

Bundeskanzler Scholz gratuliert dem Premierminister des Staates Israel, Benjamin Netanjahu

Pressemitteilung 392

Donnerstag, 29. Dezember 2022

Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung (BPA)

Sehr geehrter Herr Premierminister,

zu Ihrer Amtsübernahme als Premierminister des Staates Israel übermittle ich Ihnen meine besten Glückwünsche.

Israel und Deutschland verbindet eine besondere und enge Freundschaft. Diese Grundlage der partnerschaftlichen Zusammenarbeit unserer beiden Länder werden wir weiter pflegen.

Für die anstehenden Aufgaben wünsche ich Ihnen gutes Gelingen, eine glückliche Hand und viel Erfolg.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Olaf Scholz, Bundeskanzler der Bundesrepublik Deutschland



Mehrheit – wofür?

Der Spagat – für die einen, Quadratur des Kreises den anderen -, ob Israel ein jüdischer Staat, ein demokratischer Staat oder ein jüdisch-demokratischer Staat sei, bewegt das Land seit Anbeginn. Die neue Regierung des Jahres 2023 und die sie tragende parlamentarische Mehrheit kann – und wird? – das Land umbauen.

Ein Gastbeitrag im Tagespiegel von Suzie Navot, Professorin für Verfassungsrecht und Vizepräsidentin des Israel Democracy Institute, zu diesem Thema, das uns in den nächsten Monaten sicher noch oft beschäftigen wird.

Ausriß Tagesspiegel

Playing with Fire

… und es gibt viel leicht Entzündliches in der ‚Heiligen‘ Stadt‘ …

Alarming developments in coalition agreements and promised ministerial appointments following the Israeli elections in November have left many of us rightfully worried about the future of Israeli democracy and human rights in the region.

The incoming government, comprised of far-right extremist and Jewish supremacist politicians, is shaping up to give their parties profound power and control over a wide range of politically sensitive and explosive issues in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and within the Green Line.

What does this mean for Jerusalem and the prospects for peace?

Ir Amim invites you to join us for a virtual event exploring the implications of the incoming government on Jerusalem and what it means for civil society organizations active in pursuing justice, equality, and the end of the occupation.

The event will take place on Zoom on Sunday, December 18th @ 12:30 Eastern US | 17:30 London | 19:30 Jerusalem
Register Here for Our Upcoming Virtual Event on Dec 18

** Zoom link will be sent upon registration **

Featuring the expert analyses of:

Professor Naomi Chazan, Professor Emerita of Political Science – Hebrew University of Jerusalem & former MK

Nivine Sandouka, Regional Chief of Staff – ALLMEP & Board Director – Hoqoqna

Eine andere Sicht der Dinge

Israels neue Regierung wird revolutionär sein

Israel Nachrichten – eine Kommentierung von Ariel Kahana:

„Israels außer Kontrolle geratenes Justizsystem wird endlich einer angemessenen Überwachung unterliegen, und die notwendigen Reformen werden das Leben in Judäa und Samaria verbessern.“

Was bleibt da zu sagen? Eine Herausforderung zu begreifen, daß hier über das gleiche Land gesprochen wird, es liest sich eher wie die Nachricht von einem anderen Planeten…

No More ‘My Ally, Right or Wrong’

Ein Meinungsbeitrag von Susie Becher, Kommunikationsdirektorin der Policy Working Group, einer Gruppe von Israelis, darunter ehemaligen Mitgliedern des diplomatischen Dienstes und der Sicherheitseinrichtungen des Landes, die sich gegenüber der internationalen Gemeinschaft weiterhin für eine Regelung des Israelisch-Palästinensischen Konflikts auf der Basis der einer Zwei-Staaten-Regelung einsetzen:

„Not only the Israeli left but progressive governments everywhere are reeling from the outcome of the Israeli elections.  It is not so much the decisive victory of the right-wing, pro-Netanyahu camp, whose voters showed utter disregard for the values of honesty, integrity, and truth as characteristics for leadership, that has shaken liberals around the world.  What is far more worrisome is the impressive 12% of the seats in parliament won by the extremist Religious Zionism party, the wretched alliance of the Kahanist Itamar Ben-Gvir with the fundamentalist Bezalel Smotrich that has both Jews and Arabs, quaking at the thought of the racist, reactionary, homophobic, chauvinistic policies they may seek to advance.

Smotrich, Ben-Gvir, senior Likud members, and commentators identified with the right wing are busy trying to assure the public that there is nothing to fear, that the status quo on gay rights, abortion laws, and other issues related to civil rights will be preserved.  It is too early to assume that that will not be the case, to no small degree because of the Religious Zionist leaders’ understanding that the surge in this popularity did not come from a public hungry for halakhic rule but rather from a public that loathes the Arabs among whom we live. Despite assurances to the contrary, there may yet be a turn on the domestic scene that makes the current level of religious coercion in Israel look like a liberal paradise, but what is an absolute certainty is that we will see an increase in anti-Arab discourse designed to delegitimize the Arab political parties and make the entire Palestinian population in Israel appear suspect and entitled to no more than conditional citizenship.  Furthermore, the incoming government – right wing from end to end with a large percentage of religious parties – will be united not only in its objection to the establishment of a Palestinian state but also in its refusal to recognize the very need for a diplomatic resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict and its portrayal of the expansion of settlement in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as the fulfillment of the destiny of the “chosen people” on its own land.

Germany, as a leading EU member state but, even more importantly, as a country that has committed itself to the defense of the security of the Jewish people and the State of Israel as its raison d’etat, is facing a unique challenge. Its leaders are wondering how Germany can chastise the Israeli Government or impose punitive measures without breaking the promise that lies at the foundation of German-Israel relations and without being perceived as reverting to an antisemitic stance reminiscent of the Nazi era.  The real question, however, is how can it not?

Following the approach adopted by the Biden administration, Europe and Germany in particular must stress that democratic values are fundamental to their relations with Israel and that they expect to see these values upheld both domestically and in its treatment of the Palestinians.

Such a change in German policy would not constitute abandonment of its unwavering commitment to the security of Israel; rather, it would demonstrate willingness to act when Israel strays from the path of justice and democracy because it recognizes that the greatest danger to the security of the state and of world Jewry would be giving license to a racist, fascist government whose policies ignite the Middle East.“

Erinnerung: Morgen, 15. November

diAk-online mit Katharina Konarek (Haifa)

zur Einordung des israelischen Wahlergebnisses und der potentiellen neuen israelischen Regierung, zu der ja in den vergangenen zwei Wochen schon eine Reihe von Namen und möglichen Projekten in der Öffentlichkeit kursieren.

diAk online Konarek

Analytische Bemerkungen von Rabbiner Arik Asherman

Der Direktor von Torat Tzedek über den Ausgang der Knesset-Wahlen 2022

Eine linke relgiöse Stimme, hier besonders interessant der Punkt 2b

(Link zur Webversion, die auch noch Aktuelles enthält)

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A FEW QUICK OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE ELECTIONS

  1. The elections were a choice between bad and worse. We should have no illusions that the outgoing government had a decent human rights record.

a. The failure of Meretz to make it into the next Knesset was not just because of the fact that Labor refused to unite with them or the fact that Yesh Atid siphoned off votes. Many Meretz voters punished the party because they were somewhere between complicit to ineffective regarding serious human rights violations in the Occupied Territories. The violence and the land takeovers didn’t slow down.

b. Since January Torat Tzedek was in contact with a top advisor to Internal Security minister Bar-Lev (Labor). For all their good intentions, they were not able to get the police on the ground to prevent settler flocks from invading and destroying Palestinian fields, groves and vineyards. They were not able to get the police to properly investigate and prosecute even when there was good documentation of violence or invasions.

c. The latest spike in support by Israeli security forces for settler violence more or less coincides with Benny Gantz’s tenure as defense minister both for Netanyahu and in the outgoing government. I don’t know whether that was a matter of policy, or because it was not something Gantz was paying attention to. We had contact with his deputy defense ministers, who had very little real influence.
d. Nevertheless, without intense international pressure that goes beyond words, we are likely to move from bad to worse. We need to wait to see who will receive which ministries, what the coalition agreements look like, etc. However, if already those acting violently against Palestinians and human rights defenders have understood that they will pay no price for acting violently, we could be in a situation in which there will be open season against us and against Palestinians.

e. The Religious Zionism party has made it very clear that further undermining our judicial system is a top priority. They have a great deal of support for this in the Likud and ultra-Orthodox parties. While the courts have not been particularly favorable to human rights or international law, they can be further compromised. Judicial appointments can set the tone for years to come. It is also conceivable that the law will be employed to make it impossible or very difficult for human rights organizations to operate.

f. It may seem surrealistic, but our last best home might be Netanyahu. Before his indictments, he had some red lines regarding the rule of law. He always preferred to be in the political middle of his coalitions, and currently he is the far left of the Likud and of his coalition. The Likud democrats are long gone. Netanyahu may try to balance the radical rights with somebody to his left. Being dependent on Netanyahu’s potential moderating influence is not something to count on or to relish.

g. Arguably the outgoing government has been more neo-liberal and worse on internal Israeli socioeconomic issues than the previous Netanyahu governments. If nothing changes, this coming Tuesday will find many of us barricaded in the home of a single parent mom on the day that she is to be evicted from public housing. It was the current. There will likely be a power struggle in the incoming government between the ultra-Orthodox parties working on behalf of their lower income constituents, and others with clear neo-liberal tendencies. However, the solutions of the ultra-Orthodox parties tend to be band aid solutions that don’t tackle underlying factors keeping people living in poverty.

h. “Meshilut” (governability) is a favorite word of the right wing, and we have heard it a great deal during the campaign and since the elections. It is code for the majority “democratically” imposing laws on non-Jews, particularly Israel’s Negev Bedouin citizens.

  1. It is of course to early to say what the new composition of the Knesset will mean for our political landscape in the future.

a. If Meretz does not survive outside the Knesset, will anything replace it? Will there be a home for the Zionist left? Labor is center left both in terms of the Occupied Territories and socioeconomic justice.

b. It is arguable whether there was ever a political party representing religious Jews who were anti-Occupation. The relatively moderate Orthodox parties in favor of some sort of pluralism and rule of law were always pro-Occupation and had become increasingly neo-liberal. However, all that is left in the Knesset is a religious party supporting the legalization of unauthorized outposts, as well as the expansion of settlements. Their constituents largely support the violent hilltop youth. I know some right wing national religious Orthodox Jews who voted this time for ultra-Orthodox parties because the Religious Zionism/Jewish Power party was too extreme for them. Will this be a trend for the future? Truly progressive Orthodox Jews largely voted for non-Orthodox parties.

  1. The difference in the popular vote between the pro-Netanyahu and anti-Netanyahu coalitions was very small. However, the reason why the outgoing government was no better than the Netanyahu governments regarding Palestinian human rights, and arguably more neo-liberal was because the anti-Netanyahu coalition contained parties that had identical positions on human rights issues to the positions of the parties in Netanyahu’s block, but were anti-Netanyahu. In other words, trying to elect a future government more supportive of human rights is not just a matter of avoiding the strategic mistakes of the anti-Netanyahu coalition or doing better in terms of voter turnout.
  2. We should be careful about not idealizing the past, but there is a change going on in Israel. In the past, uncomfortable truths were swept under the table, but the declared public ethos was one which allowed most Israelis to maintain their self-image of a just people seeking to uphold universal values. Today, there are still many Israeli Jews who want to maintain that self-image. That will now be harder to do because we will now have a government with many members who are completely open about their racist, anti-democratic, and ethnocentric agenda. We may have an opening, if we can capitalize on the cognitive dissonance created when the veneer is stripped away. That will not be simple. I recall hearing from Palestinians that they thought that the election of Ariel Sharon would strip away the veneer.

However, there is also a sizable number of Israelis who knew just what they were voting for when they chose to vote for candidates with the openly racist, anti-democratic and ethnocentric agenda. Given that a large percentage of this population is Orthodox or traditional, can we craft a message of a different Judaism on their terms? I have long commented on how much more those who think differently than we do invest in education. Anonymous educators get to every small community in the country. The Eli settlement created the first pre-army academy dedicated to spreading their world view through a gap year program. They now run programs for post army young adults. There is no quick fix, but can we have “skin in the game?”

  1. These are just some initial thoughts, and I too need to spend a lot more time reflecting on what our strategy must now be, and discussing with others.

a. It is clear to be that we will need to take even further physical risks. Today, the Friday on the eve of Shabbat Lekh Lekha, is the day I was attacked by a knife wielding settler in 2005. The risks may well be becoming even greater, although I hope that I am wrong, and hope that somehow we will find a way of influencing the system to restrain settler violence by creating deterrence. However, that may only happen when the violence gets so bad that it has to be dealt with.

b. We must seek to go on trial, in the best tradition of civil disobedience. As mentioned above, just before the elections I did something I have almost never done. Guy Hirschfeld and I physically blocked the pickup of a violent settler racing into a Palestinian flock. I then grabbed him after he got out of the car and approached the flock on foot with a large rock in his hand, even as he banged my hand with the rock. On social media and in my blog, I begged the police to arrest me. I haven’t been arrested, but if Itamar Ben Gvir becomes Internal Security Minister, I might get my wish.

c. We must have the resources to use every legal strategy remaining to us, even as we keep our fingers on the pulse of the shifting legal sands in order to avoid doing harm. That is why increasing our budget to have a lawyer on staff is such a top priority for us.

d. We must work with our supporters abroad to maximize the impact of the international community.

e. We must find a way to speak to the Orthodox/traditional community in their language and on their terms.

Some may recall that when I was attacked on the eve of Shabbat Lekh Lekha, I asked to be called to the Torah to say the Mi Sh’Berakh prayer after the aliyah in which Abraham chooses not to employ his seniority and power to impose a solution on Lot when their shepherds begin to fight over grazing lands. He invites Lot to make the choice of who will graze where, because they are family, and family shouldn’t fight. Rashi teaches us that the conflict was also one of values:

7) ויהי ריב AND THERE WAS A QUARREL because Lot’s shepherds were wicked men and grazed their cattle in other people’s fields. Abram’s shepherds rebuked them for this act of robbery, but they replied, „The land has been given to Abram, and since he has no son as heir, Lot will be his heir: consequently this is not robbery“. Scripture, however, states: „The Canaanite and the Perizzite abode then in the land“, so that Abram was not yet entitled to possession (Genesis Rabbah 41:5).

May we all understand that we are one human family, that there are enough resources for all if we share them properly, and that we too must respect what belongs to others.

Shabbat Shalom,

Arik

Rabbi Arik W. Ascherman – Executive Director Torat Tzedek

Was hat ‚die Linke‘ erwartet…

… fragt Gideon Levy in einem Meinungsbeitrag in Haaretz, der in seiner Gänze hinter der Bezahlschranke zu finden ist.

Hier einige Zitate:

After More Than 50 Years of Supporting Israel’s Occupation, What Exactly Did the Israeli Left Think Would Happen?

The aftermath of the elections have shown that Israeli society has become partly religious and largely racist, with hatred of Arabs being its main fuel, with no one to stand against it.

No one should be surprised by what happened. It could not have been otherwise. It began with the occupation – pardon the annoying and clichéd mention of that – but that is where it really began, and it had to culminate in a government of racism and transfer. Fifty years of incitement against the Palestinians and scare tactics about them cannot culminate in a government of peace.

It was simply impossible to continue with the illusions – Jewish and democratic, an enlightened occupation, a temporary occupation – and that whole tired repertoire of phrases. The time for truth had arrived, and that is what Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir are going to tell us.

For years, a rudderless left and center that lacks leadership and lacks courage has desperately attempted to grovel to and look like the right. It just had to end with Ben-Gvir and with the nationalist Shas. There was no other possible outcome.

Am Ende faßt Levy zusammen – in einem Absatz, der sehr zu denken gibt … oder wenigstens zu denken geben sollte

For years, Israelis have been about the Chosen People, about the Holocaust after which anything is permitted, about the Arabs who want to throw us into the sea, about our right to the land because of the biblical stories, about the IDF as the world’s most moral army, about David versus Goliath, about Israeli Arabs as a fifth column, about the whole world being against us and that anyone who criticizes us is an antisemite.

What did we think would arise out of all that? Ben-Gvir actually took his time. He could well have made his big splash a long time ago. That’s what happens when you have a Bolsonaro and no Lula facing him. That’s what happens when cries of “Death to the Arabs,” which will now be drilled at morning assembly in schools, were not met with a single cry of “Freedom for the Arabs.”

That is where it began, this is where it ends.