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Israel Will Not Have a Joe Biden

Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat
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A woman holds a Joe Biden mask as people march in Los Angeles, November 7, 2020.
A woman holds a Joe Biden mask as people march in Los Angeles, November 7, 2020.Credit: APU GOMES - AFP
Odeh Bisharat
Odeh Bisharat

I regret to inform you that there will be no Israeli Joe Biden. Due to the nationalist virus. The nationalist virus distorts reasoning, blinds vision and dulls emotions. Look at Yair Golan, who gave a cautionary speech in which he said he observed “the revolting processes that occurred in Europe, particularly in Germany, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and there is evidence of them here among us in 2016.” All is not so rosy today with the then-army deputy chief. He’s been rebuked for using the infamous “neighbor procedure” (illegally using civilians as human shields) during his service and today he’s pushing for the case of a soldier accused of killing an innocent Palestinian to be dealt with “in the family” – i.e., by the army.

Golan is just fine with this. He sees no contradiction between the “neighbor procedure” and the danger of fascism in Israel. But if the nationalist virus would leave Golan for a moment, he would probably look upon a Palestinian neighbor as upon a Jewish neighbor and upon a bereaved Palestinian mother as upon a bereaved Jewish mother. Because this guy is supposed to be the best of the left, not an irredeemable nationalist.

The ethnic virus leads to some absurd scenes. You have good people who raise their children on lofty values telling you that, despite everything, they want a Jewish and democratic state. Just try explaining to them how absurd this is – how inconceivable it would be, for example, for France to be a “Christian and democratic state” or for America to be a “white and democratic” country. If the nationalist virus, which wreaks so much distortion, were to disappear, these enlightened folks would surely think that it would be hard to live in a country that grants supremacy to another nationality, even if it were just a moral issue.

Meretz lawmaker Yair Golan at the Knesset.Credit: אורן בן חקון

Meanwhile, blindness vis-a-vis the exclusion of others instantly vanishes with the expression of the merest hint of racist sentiment toward Jews. American Jews, please, help yourself to a “white and democratic” country.

You may find yourself deep in discussion with a Jewish Democrat and when you explain to him about the Nakba – for the purpose of drawing conclusions about the future – he’ll tell you that, yes, what happened in 1948 was awful, but at best, he’ll be quick to qualify that by saying that’s how things go in war. Others might whip out the doomsday weapon and say they don’t want to think what would have happened if the Arabs had been victorious. If the nationalist virus were to disappear, there could be a genuine reckoning instead.

Now, to America. According to some calculations, Jews tilted the race in Joe Biden’s favor. Let’s leave the horrible Donald Trump aside for now, though he or one of his minions will surely soon be directing all kinds of vituperative name-calling at Jews who didn’t vote for him. Let’s think, instead, about the Israeli version of Biden. One might imagine that the Israeli Biden would go to great lengths to explain that he would use the Jews’ votes just once so the local “electoral board” would elect him. The real Biden doesn’t hesitate for a moment to empower his partners from all nationalities. The folks here, however, have already twice rejected the Arabs’ outstretched hand, because of their ethnicity.

And as for the metastasis of the nationalist virus – the “acre here, acre there” policy is the ultimate expression of the policy that aims to get as much as possible from the Arabs. This time the policy is wreaking vengeance on its creators. Ever since the major election upset of 1977, senior members of the Labor Party have been searching for an “acre here, an acre there” in the Likud’s corridors of power, even if it’s just to serve tea there.

America’s Democratic Party never looked for cushy jobs from the Republicans on the pretext of trying to wield influence from within, and so has remained a solid alternative. Here, because of the ongoing, all-out battle based on stealing from the neighboring people – there is no opposition that can replace the government.

And so our Trump, Netanyahu, can sleep well at night.

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