Barak: The Undeclared Extremist
Upon the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Mapam, ‘father’ of the Labour party which, aligned with other Israeli leftist groups, won election after election had become for long the ruling party of the new state. From 1949 to 1969, the Labour coalition seats never dropped below 59 out of 120 in the Knesset, while the Israeli right under the leadership of Menahem Begin maintained 14-19 seats.
Over the years, and despite the so-called division between the Israeli right and the Israeli left, the dividing line in ideology between the two has vanished with the Israeli public unable to identify where they stand apart. The current coalition between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (the right wing Likud Party) and Ehud Barak (Labour Party) with the powerful presence of Avigdor Lieberman (the ultra-right wing Yisrael Beiteinu Party) is testament to the vanished lines. A quick look at the evolution of the Zionist movement is essential to clarify the picture of the present mentality ruling Israel and provide an outlook for the future
The Zionist left was born of the womb of Marxism with the intention of building a state in which Jews may live in communal groups where farms and factories belong to all. They thought such a way of life would protect the Jews from the persecution of non-Jews whose greed conspired to rob their ‘stashed money and jewels’ which were kept for ‘the dark day’ of being divested from their properties. Nothing to be stolen meant an end to pogroms in Eastern Europe and especially in Russia. The Zionist left built the communal farm, Kibbutz, and formed the Labour Party. High ethical values, and the divestment of personal interests while governing, were the supposed standards to be maintained by political leaders such as Ben Gurion and Golda Meir. This high morality code was only applied to Jews, and the non-Jews, i.e. the Palestinians were excluded; consequently not covered by any moral boundary, whatsoever, because they were never intended to be included in the Jewish state.
On the other hand, the Zionist right never adhered to any principle except “the superiority of Jews” in a separate entity, prevailing in Palestine and only in Palestine! To realize such an egotistical aim, they appeared to abide by the saying: “the end justifies the means” which always leads to utter moral corruption as revealed by acts of the Zionist right during the Nazi era in Germany, cited in official German archives, now made available to the public. The Zionist right at the time went into an unholy alliance with the third Reich to only transfer “the young Jews” to Palestine, completely opposing any immigration of Jews to other countries which at the end condemned them to annihilation in the Nazi ovens. Such egotistical designs were to recur with the emergence of the Likud as a governing power during the Begin era in the late seventies. But, what caused the erosion of the Israeli Left?
The swift victory of Israel in the 1967 war asserted the so-called ‘superiority of the Jews’ versus ‘the inferiority of the Arabs’, where ten years later Menachim Begin of the Likud won election and premiership. Egotistical superiority always leads to moral corruption with which the Israeli leadership has been consumed for the past thirty years. It kills the conscience as has been witnessed during Israel’s wars on Lebanon and Gaza Strip. The Israeli left has died and was buried by Barak when he recently split from Labour party to form a new one described as being “between Likud and Kadima”, leading many Israelis to believe that Israel is now in “a moral vacuum”.
Columnist Gideon Levy says: “A virus that made its way into Israel was left for 15 years to annihilate from inside and yesterday it completed its task”. The use of virus in this case refers to Barak, according to Levy who continues to say that “Israel is the only country in the West, with the exception of the United States, that is with a socialist democratic party which has made us a third world country”. He further says: “Barak started the destruction since Camp David till it reached its apex now where we are left with a very corrupt and corrupting personality that is in charge of the Ministry of Defense in Israel and who brought down Israeli politics which lacks honor and is now at its lowest level”.
When Labour joined the Likud government after losing the 2001 elections, the party lost its distinction. Labour ministers accepted the Likud agenda and opportunism became a way of life with them. Barak’s latest stances which reflected that he sometimes stands on the right of the Netanyahu’s government led the American Administration to lose faith in him; especially after misleading “the American President and the Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, about his ability to steer the Israeli government towards the path of peace”.
In an article entitled “Let Us Not Make Barak the Means to Untie the Knot”, Nadaf Haatsni says: “first and foremost, we have to acknowledge the fact that Barak is a typical opportunist who has no moral principle whatsoever, nor any cohesive character like most of the Knesset members”. Yet, to Haatsni, “what is the most disturbing of all is the fate and the destiny of the Israeli society.” He concedes that Israel is faced with the challenge posed by the “balance of democratic principles” versus “unbalanced dictatorial views and thoughts” to which Israelis, he says, are being subjected and thus creating a state leaning towards one sided political view.