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August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
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Why Israel Has Shifted to the Right and Isn’t Coming Back

Israelis know that neither Fatah in the West Bank nor Hamas in Gaza will ever recognize Israel’s legitimacy no matter where its borders are drawn

Likud activists putting up a large election poster, December 27, 2012.

Likud activists putting up a large election poster, December 27, 2012.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

That will lead to much gnashing of the teeth on the part of liberal Jews who are uncomfortable with Netanyahu, let alone those to his right. But those who lament this development should understand that the Israeli people are making this choice with their eyes wide open.

Even Labor, the party that is historically associated with the peace process, has more or less abandoned the issue of reconciliation with the Palestinians in this election and instead is concentrating on economic and social justice issues. Those lists that are still devoted to the peace process, including the new party led by former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, have been thoroughly marginalized.

Unlike most Israelis, many if not most American Jews and many non-Jewish friends of Israel haven’t drawn conclusions from the last twenty years of failed peace processing. They cling instead to the fables about the Palestinians that once fueled the post-Oslo euphoria in Israel but which have now been discarded there.

About the Author: Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine and chief political blogger at www.commentarymagazine.com. He can be reached via e-mail at jtobin@commentarymagazine.com.


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4 Responses to “Why Israel Has Shifted to the Right and Isn’t Coming Back”

  1. The goals of Israeli centrists and their supporters that include Israel keeping the major settlement blocs that are near the green line are not advanced by those that are calling for more building everywhere in Judea Samaria and those that are calling for annexation and evacuation of Arabs from those areas.

    After the changes in the Arab Spring that made a territorial compromise much more unlikely, the peace camp was dealt a major blow.

    It is difficult not to react when you are slapped in the face.

    A parallel situation may be coming with the next four years of President Obama's administration, especially if Hagel is appointed.

    Again the Israeli public would be wise not to respond in a way that is counter productive.

  2. Rc Fowler says:

    Hagel is irrelevant–the secretary of state does the bidding of the president!

  3. Rc Fowler says:

    There was no Arab spring.

  4. The truth is that Mr. Netanyahu has never been the extreme 'right winger' of the press. He is at best left of center and on most issues to the left of President Obama.

    We are tired of electing people that claim to be on the right and they are actually no different than the extreme left.

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