A Government of Rich, White Men

The leaders of the three parties that will form Israel's next government are four rich, white guys.

Look at who are the leaders of the three parties, Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu, Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi, that will form the next government and lead the country: Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett. In other words, four rich, white guys.

Now look at the leaders of the parties that lost the election and won’t be a part of the government ? or may serve as no more than a coalition spare tire: Labor, Shas, United Torah Judaism, Hatnuah, Meretz, United Arab List -Ta’al, Hadash, Balad and Kadima. These parties are led by women, Jews of Middle Eastern descent, Haredim and, of course, Arabs, not exactly Israel’s wealthy class.

This is the real and most significant result of the 2013 elections. Israel’s citizenry, most of whom are either women, Jews of Middle Eastern origin, Haredim or Arabs barely getting by, voted for the absolute rule of rich white guys (in marked contrast to American voters, a decisive majority of whom are white and voted twice in a row for a black president).

True, the new government will likely include three (apparently deserving) women and four Jews of Middle Eastern descent and/or Haredim who are not exactly wealthy. But these politicians will just serve as decorative tokens of democracy, with the real power resting in the hands of rich, white men.

The political guidelines being formulated by the “government of the whites” are clear and sharply drawn. The incoming government wants to share the societal burden equally, which means increasing the economic burden (by cutting child allowances for those who didn’t serve in the IDF) on Haredim and Arabs. The new government wants to reduce the burden on the middle class, which means cutting taxes on the well-to-do and increasing the burden shouldered by the poor, who are Jews of Middle Eastern descent, women, Haredim and Arabs. Of course, the incoming government also wants to implement changes in the method of governance, which means ensuring the continued rule of rich, white guys for eternity.

Thus, the rejoicing over the good news and the salvation that has arrived aren’t just premature and exaggerated, but in fact completely misplaced. In these past elections, Israel didn’t vote for a new path away from a despicable and depressing regime of exclusion and racial discrimination against minorities - who together actually form the majority of Israelis. Israel voted in free, democratic elections to push the racist regime to its most archaic extreme possible: a rich, white, colonial regime under siege in the heart of the hostile, impoverished Middle Eastern Jewish-Arab darkness that surrounds it. We are a “villa in the jungle” and this is our jungle.

Indeed, the first, and most pressing and important, political move of Yair Lapid the victor, “who doesn’t rule out anyone,” was the sweeping disqualification of any possible political partnership with Arabs. It’s also necessary to say a word about the disparaging way in which Lapid did this. Think to yourselves what we would say if in another country the leader of a large party would rule out any partnership with any Jewish party. Let’s assume such a leader did so with a line like, “I won’t join with Zelda Schwartz to prevent my opponent from forming a government.” What would we say then? Anti-Semite, we would scream. Fascist! But here, in the land of our forefathers, anti-Semitic fascism is called progressive liberalism.

Those next in line to be ruled out of hand, in public or in secret, directly or indirectly, are of course the Jews of Middle Eastern descent, in the form of the reviled Shas Party. But in this case, Lapid won’t say, heaven forbid, “I won’t sit in a government together with schvartze [a derogatory Yiddish term for dark-skinned people].” Instead he will toss out something about “whoever doesn’t bear the societal burden cannot handle the responsibility [of government].” The result, in any event, has already been determined and with great acclaim Israel chose for itself a government matching that of a regime that practices white colonialism. Full stop.