The myth of “Good Israel” vs. “Bad Israel”

Liberal Zionists like Jeffrey Goldberg want to believe Israel is being corrupted by a number of course trends whose combined influence now threatens the secular democratic Israel that supposedly once represented a more authentic expression of the Jewish state.

Goldberg says:

I’m speaking here of four groups, each ascendant to varying degrees: The haredim, the ultra-Orthodox Jews, whose community continues to grow at a rapid clip; the working-class religious Sephardim — Jews from Arab countries, mainly — whose interests are represented in the Knesset by the obscurantist rabbis of the Shas Party; the settler movement, which still seems to get whatever it needs in order to grow; and the million or so recent immigrants from Russia, who support, in distressing numbers, the Putin-like Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister and leader of the “Israel is Our Home” party.

Noam Sheizaf writes:

This is a return to the old “good Israel” vs. “Bad Israel” theory. According to this idea, there are the peace-loving, democratic and liberal Israeli Jews, who represent the “real” values on which the country was born, and there are the “bad”, Sephardic Jews, Ultra-orthodox and Russian immigrants, who are to blame for all the current hiccups what was a model democracy until not that long ago. Goldberg is actually angry with them for taking away “his” Israel. I think he represents many in saying that

the Israel that I see today is not the Israel I was introduced to more than twenty years ago. The rise to power of the four groups I mentioned above has changed, in some very serious ways (which I will write about later) the nature and character of the Jewish state.

Let’s not deal with what some see as latent racism in these assumptions (I don’t think this is the case with Goldberg), and talk politics instead. First, Shas, is actually weaker than at any point since the mid nineties. The party is going through an internal crisis (some say it will split once its spiritual leader, Ovadia Yosef, passes away). The other Orthodox party, United Torah Judaism, has five seats – roughly the same number it always had. As for Avigdor Lieberman, the conventional wisdom is that only 60-something percent of his votes were from Russian immigrants and the rest came from ordinary middle class Jews. Pollsters claim that those middle class voters are the reason for Lieberman’s rise in the last elections (and probably, in the next ones).
We are left with Goldberg’s favorite target, the settlers. Contrary to the common belief, the settlers are also weaker than ever: the National Religious Party, which used to represent their interests, split into two, and the only real hard-core, rightwing party (The National Unity) has only four Knesset seats and was left out of the government by Netanyahu.

So, If the settlers and the orthodox might be so weak– or at least, not stronger than ever – how come we end up with the most racist, rightwing Knesset in the country’s history?

The answer is as simple as it is unpleasant: it’s Israel’s “good guys” that turned bad – and maybe they weren’t that good in the first place. The Israeli middle class, the good ole’ boys, are the ones supporting the racist bills in the Knesset and the anti-democratic initiatives. In other words, we always had Rabbis like Shmuel Eliyahu and members of Knesset like Kahane’s student Michael Ben-Ari. The difference is that now, we have Kadima and Likud backing them.

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5 thoughts on “The myth of “Good Israel” vs. “Bad Israel”

  1. Bert Goldman

    Interesting comments. Let’s get into basis, and there is only one: Israel is fightling for its existance. It’s as simple as that. I wish different factions in Israel try to understand. The only objective is, warding off assaults from all sides by sticking together, not by dividing the country into multiple fields of interests. Let me repeat, Israel is fighting for it life, it is as simple as that. So stick together, don’t play internal politics, they strenghten your enemies and weaken your resolve. Israel can not depend on other countries, it must defend itself. Petro dollars can and will buy anything, therefore know your enemies and to hell with them. You have the technological adavantage. Do not be concerned with world opinion. The world does not give on flying damn what happens to Israel and seems to prefer its destruction. A good example is Nazi Germany. Before Hitler, German Jews proundly proclaimed they were Germans. They were in for a rude awakening. Just don’t falll asleep, please. Eternal vigilance is yuour prime objective. The good will of the world and the Vatican is of no importance, it just does not exist. Shalom and put your trust in God and not on men.

  2. Renfro

    There were no ‘good guys” in the old Israel, the ” first guys’ into Israel were bad guys….the Irgun gang was the first “government”, if you can call it that, in Israel.

    I really want to slap around the Goldbergs who keep repeating myths when the real facts are easily available. Are they stupid? Do they not know where to find the real facts? What exactly is their problem?…Never mind…I know their problem. Ziocaine addiction.

    For the non afflicted here are the daily, official, recorded, verified, real time accounts of
    the zios and the founding of Israel and it’s bad actors by the British who were there, on the ground, at the time . Courtesy of the British National Archives. Order it. You’ll never wonder again about the true nature of Israel from it’s beginning to now.
    Near & Middle East Titles:
    Zionist Movement And The Foundation Of Israel 1839–1972, The

  3. BUTSeriously

    To expose a Liberal, ask for their resumes showing their views of Islamic and European vile, sub-human anti-semitism, and why they call a 3-state as a 2-state. Then watch them scat.

  4. Norman

    Bert, seems that Israel is always fighting for its life, since the beginning. I wonder why? I assume that you directing your comments towards the Israeli’s as to sticking together? Perhaps if they hadn’t played the “H” card these past 60 + years, all the while driving out those who have the wherewithal to live in other western countries, instead of living in a slice of somebody else country, then maybe there would be some basis for your argument. The fact that Jews used to live in the area now called Israel, doesn’t mean that they are entitled to throw out the Palestinians or require them to take oaths of support of Israel today. Russia got rid of a problem when they let the Jews go to Israel, now, those same Russian Jews are stirring up problems in Israel, but have other Jews defending them & their apartheid, hatred attitudes towards the Arabs that surround them. In my mind, only fools would think to settle in the middle of another ethnic group then start screwing over them. What ever is the outcome, they will deserve it. After all, there is no good reason for genocide, no matter who one might consider they be.

  5. dickerson3870

    RE: “To expose a Liberal, ask for their resumes showing their views of Islamic and European vile, sub-human anti-semitism, and why they call a 3-state as a 2-state” – BUTSeriously


    JIDF 4chan operations for Feb 2011
    Jewish Internet Defense Force (offsite) –
    This upcoming February we will be launching our largest operation on 4chan and other popular image boards, our objective is to create an image of Palestinians and Lebanese being virulently anti-American and anti-Western.
    Create threads against Israel and fill them with posts from violent Jihadist Palestinians, claim to want to immigrate into the West to do Jihad, later on in the threads post links to propaganda films like Pallywood.
    • Exploit massive Lebanese immigration into Australia as a reason why the Australian people should support Israel.
    • Claim that Israel helps stop Muslim immigration into the West.
    Post propaganda threads linking to Palestinian and Lebanese suicide bombers and other Muslim extremism, in these threads also reply as a Jew who has been affected by Jihadist violence, explain to the readers that Muslims are a threat to the West.
    Start threads claiming to be Lebanese-Americans or Palestinian-Englanders, portray yourselves as extremely anti-Israel, later on in these threads claim to be a Jew disgusted by the behavior of the Lebanese/Palestinian man.
    MD5: 98bc2f5ba195396e3958bcec640a4292-7-6-6-2-5-8-2-1-8-9-3-6-7-8-4-5-6 SOURCE –

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