Friday, 24 July 2009

On Greater Israel, Politics, and Ideology

"Jabotinksy was not wrong, Mr. President. He is relevant today more than any other time in our nation's history." source.

The above statement, was made by the speaker of the Israeli Parliament, Likud party member Reuven Rivlin, on Tuesday, in response to Peres' remark about Ze'ev Jabotinsky's dream of establishing a Jewish state on both banks of the river Jordan being "too big".

Revisionsit Zionism is more alive today, than it's ever been, and the current Israeli leadership, is ideologically influenced by Jabotinsky's doctrine of the inevitability of the creation of a Jewish state on both banks of the Jordan. Netanyahu's Father, Benzion Netanyahu, was Jabotinsky's secretary, he's still his son's top "unofficial" adviser, and the source of his right wing ideology, while the ideology of the Likud -of which the prime minister of Israel is the leader- is an extension of the ideology of Herut, despite their later divorce in the aftermath of the Wye River agreements of 1998.

The current Knesset includes more right wing zionist zealots than ever before, with the distribution of seats among Likud: 27, Yisrael Beitenu, which is led by currant Foreign Minister, and former nightclub bouncer Avigdor Lieberman and holds 15 seats, Shas: 11, United Torah Judaism aka Yehudut HaTora: 5, and The National Union, which is a coalition of smaller right wing parties and movements including Moledet, Hatikva which is headed by non other than Aryeh Eldad the guy who brought forward the proposal for considering Jordan as the Palestinian state, which passed with the support of 53 members, including Labour Party ministers Ehud Barak, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, and Yitzhak Herzog in its preliminary reading. The bill is set to go before the Knesset's foreign affairs and defense committee. The other 2 factions are Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, and Tkuma, and between them they hold 4 seats. source. So to sum it up, 62 seats out of the 120 seat legislature and representative of the will of the Israeli people, are held by parties openly or covertly advocating either a forced transfer of Palestinians to Jordan, or to a more extremest degree, the including of the land east of the river Jordan in the Jewish state, according to ideological/religious beliefs.

We'd be stupid, if we ever believe that the peace treaty we have with Israel is our guarantee of peace, and that it forever sealed Israel's ambitions of expansionism to the east, we'd also be stupid if we believe for one second that the sudden recurrence -inside Jordan and outside- of the idea of transfer/substitute homeland/extension to the land of Israel is a coincidence or a mere seasonal flu like symptom. We've been celebrating national occasions and holding hollow consumerist cultural festivals for the past couple of months while statements regarding our very existence have been flying off the scale, what's weird though, is that Shimon Peres himself expressed what should've been a Jordanian response, made by the highest possible Jordanian official, in public, rather than the shallow textbook replies we've heard from the government, when we had the 9th president of Israel, say that: "The Palestinian problem is to be solved with the Palestinians on Palestinian land and not at the expense of any other party" source, and I suggest you read through the comments made on the Ha'aretz website in response to this statement, to get an idea of the average Israeli stance on the matter.

Furthermore, we've suddenly discovered that there are Arab citizens of Israel, who'd like to visit their relatives in Jordan, and 15 years after the peace treaty, we've decided to make it easier for them to do so by waiving the visa requirement from All Israeli passport holders, Arabs and Jews, those who don't mind an Independent Jordan, and those who want it to be part of Greater Israel. The recent "rumors" about the planned purchase of lands in Jordan by organizations and people active in the Jewish settlement movement, not to mention the barring of entry to an Israeli who planned to hold a Jewish prayer somewhere in Jordan add an interesting twist to the whole relations with Israel matter.

Israel's political map is constantly evolving, and is constantly taking a right turn with its political ideology while looking East for its next move; Right wing Israeli political parties are having a field day with the average Israeli electorate, despite the traditionally leftest domination of the Israeli political scene for decades, fiercely marketing among them the zionist patriotic package of the existential necessity for the realization of the dreams and plans of the founding fathers who brought the ancient dream of a Jewish homeland into reality, by telling them that if the Israel of the future is to survive, Jabotinsky has to be revived beyond his grave, and his "vision" has to find believers, and executors. This power hungry marketing is particularly successful amongst the community of former Soviet Union immigrants, who are seeking assertion of their Jewish identity through right wing zionist ideology. What's important for us though, is to be mindful of the fact that like any cancer cell in the body, it becomes more aggressive if it found little or no resistance from the body's immune system. Common sense tells us that if the immune system is weak and oblivious to the planned and immanent spread, while the body is feeding its narcissism in exterior by posing in a Hercules-like posture in front of a mirror, it will find itself fighting a losing battle within its corners; one which would end sooner than one could imagine, or indeed expects.

The statement made by the speaker of the Knesset, about Jabotinsky being more relevant today than any time before in Israel's history, is worthy of a collective Jordanian pause, ponder and parry, away from the Hercules-like posture we make, and enjoy looking at in the mirror.


  1. I don't think the rhetoric of Israeli internal politics is something to be taken seriously. Jordan of today isn't that of the 50's and 60's, when Jordan's existence was guaranteed merely because of its importance to Israel's security and not for fear of its army or government.
    it is, however, a starkly different picture of what Jordan's parliament has been able to do. if a single statement from a Knesset member, or the introduction of a bill has all of Jordan worrying, defending the unity of the country, and affirming their loyalty to the throne, then we have to be really embarrassed with the state of our own parliament, which has been preoccupied with fighting the press and getting as many benefits and tax and fee waivers from the government as possible.

  2. Well what you said is true to an extent, in terms of our so called parliament's opportunistic behaviour when it came to this matter, let alone every other matter as you've described.

    What's happening on the Israeli side, however, is totally different, there's a constant social and political movement that reflects the views of the majority of the people, this movement is dominated by right wing thought, marketed by and for former soviet immigrants like Lieberman, these are advocating the replacement by their "kind" of the Arabs inside 48' areas, to achieve the complete "Jewishness" of the state, hence the sudden fascination with the necessity to have Arab and Palestinian recognition of the Jewishness of Israel, or, in a more aggressive manner, "expanding" the land of Israel to its biblical size, it's in the literature of Lieberman's party, one of the most dominant and fast growing political parties in Israel.

    We have to understand that the old Israeli leadership types, like Rabin and Weizman, with whom we made peace, are gone, and they've been replaced with Jabotinsky-esque characters who are building their political careers on their will to realize his long lost dreams, one way or the other.