Labor's Shelly Yachimovich represents the fake left
Shelly Yachimovich reveales her worldview in weekend Haaretz interview: social democracy without ethics, chauvinism just like that of the right.
The fake left came out of the closet once again this week, and this time it's called Shelly Yachimovich. In an interview with Gidi Weitz in Haaretz magazine, the candidate for the leadership of Labor revealed her worldview: social democracy without ethics, chauvinism just like that of the right - a distorted, disguised and laundered left.
Bad old Labor has come in from the cold: social justice for Israelis only. There is no such thing, except in a country where ostensible social democrats established the disinheritance enterprise. And now an ostensible social democrat is their successor.
Drink the olive oil produced in the settlement of Har Bracha (Mount of Blessing ), Shelly, whose curse you don't even begin to understand. You will find it tasty. But olive oil that is produced from stolen trees on exploited land cannot touch the lips of a person of conscience. You say that you are against boycotts? Any moral person will have to boycott you from now on. Anyone but Yachimovich in the primaries.
We already thought we had been weaned from that, that Labor had expressed remorse for the settlements, for which it bears more responsibility than any other party; Labor is their founding father. But even in the summer of 2011, Yachimovich sees no sin in them. The land was stolen, its owners are oppressed, their nation is battered, living under a tyrannical regime - one reason being the existence of the settlements. And the pretender to the throne of the left sees nothing wrong in that. She has a particularly original explanation. They were in the consensus. From now on, be aware: All the injustices and crimes of history will be justified after the fact, if they were in the consensus.
Nor does the princess of Israeli social democracy see any ethical problem in the disgraceful exploitation of Palestinian workers. She has never taken an interest in their tribulations, their checkpoints, their inhuman daily routine, nor in the tens of thousands of unemployed produced by the occupation, who are denied work because of their national affiliation.
She hasn't heard about the regime of separation in the territories, she is concerned only about the Jewish poor. But every night, half an hour's drive from her home, thousands of workers crowd at the checkpoints like domestic animals. Thousands of others sleep and are hunted like wild animals. That doesn't interest the priestess of social justice. Just as there is no social democrat in the world who isn't concerned about the rights of the immigrants in his country, there is no genuine Israeli leftist who won't fight against this injustice.
Nor does Yachimovich see any connection between the huge sums that stream into the settlements on the one hand, and social hardship on the other. The philosopher of the left says "that is unrelated to the situation." Why? Because a school that is built in the settlements would have been built in Israel. For her too, money is everything, as it is for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and businessman Nochi Dankner. But even if we set aside the huge expenditures allocated for protecting the students of this school and the inflated budgets of the settlers' networks, what about the immorality of building it, for heaven's sake? It doesn't interest her.
With a left like that we no longer need a right. Just when an impressive social protest has awakened here, one of its spiritual leaders is taking us back to Labor's dark days, when with one hand it presumed to take care of the workers and with the other it was involved in disinheritance. Just when it seemed that Israelis were beginning to ask the right questions, this idea came and hit us between the eyes. Yachimovich's justice remains chauvinist justice.
The interview with her is important: it exposed a truth. About 10 months ago, I published an article about her in this newspaper, entitled: "Sweden's welfare minister." I thought at the time she was suited to be a Scandinavian welfare minister, but (still ) not an Israeli leader. At the end I wrote - excuse me for the lack of modesty - "Run, Shelly, run, but finally get up your courage and wave all the flags."
I naively believed at the time that Yachimovich's problem stemmed from opportunism and a lack of courage to risk getting burned, and that was why popular struggles - such as those against the tycoons and in favor of the workers - sufficed for her. I thought that deep in her heart she understood that social justice does not go hand in hand with occupation, and that only fear was silencing her. I was wrong.
It was neither opportunism nor cowardice, but something far worse. A provincial and benighted worldview, with a double standard, which maintains that social justice stops at the Green Line. Now all those who favor social justice must rid themselves of this enemy of justice. A star was born in Labor, and she is the star of the chauvinists and the settlers.