Opinion |

Israel's Far-right Zionist Left

The Labor Party's Eitan Cabel proposes not peace but annexation. His Palestinians have no status and no rights, and they of course are to blame for this

Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
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File photo: Lawmaker Eitan Cabel at a Labor Party conference in Tel Aviv, 2016.
File photo: Lawmaker Eitan Cabel at a Labor Party conference in Tel Aviv, 2016.Credit: Moti Milrod
Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy

It’s a shame Eitan Cabel isn’t Labor Party chairman. If he were, Labor could officially state that the party has come to the end of its path. But even so, his op-ed piece in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition Friday aptly portrayed his party’s positions, and those of the wider Zionist Union. In fact, Labor has no positions except for those that Cabel detailed. So we should be grateful to the daring MK: He exposed the truth about his party and the entire Zionist left.

On the most critical issue the Zionist left does nothing but imitate the right’s positions. Cabel’s innovation is that these are the extreme right’s positions. Cabel and Naftali Bennett are brothers, Habayit Hayehudi and the Zionist Union are twins, there’s no longer any difference between them. The Zionist left’s empty hypocritical “cart” – a metaphor for values and spiritual heritage – has reached the end of its path. At least one courageous member even boasts about it.

Cabel proposes a sobering-up initiative. Not peace but annexation. Not annexation like we’ve had so far but a huge annexation. Cabel’s Palestinians have no status and no rights past, present or future; it’s doubtful they even exist. They of course are to blame for this and the Jews shall have the entire land.

Only one thing terrifies the social democrat from Rosh Ha’ayin – that, heaven forbid, there will be 30 Arab MKs in the Knesset. Not for that did his parents immigrate from Yemen. Shoshana and Avshalom didn’t come here to live with Arabs. That they already had in Yemen. They and their son want a racially pure state. If a quarter of the MKs were Arab it would shatter their dream. Bennett’s party comrade Bezalel Smotrich couldn’t have put it in more racist terms.

Cabel wants initiative. He knows there’s no Palestinian partner and never will be. So come on, let’s have an initiative. We could think about transfer, undoubtedly an initiative, as atrocious as annexation but more so, but at least it ensures a final solution. Still, Cabel isn’t there yet. Maybe soon it will be brought up in the party branches. In the meantime, Cabel has had enough of shrinking the settlement blocs, the Zionist left’s biggest deception, over which there’s an alleged global consensus.

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A brief history of the blocs, just like a brief history of the settlements: First it was about annexing East Jerusalem. That couldn’t be done without a “security border,” so the Jordan Valley was added to the untouchable areas. Then came the endlessly spreading Gush Etzion bloc, without which Israel can’t be imagined, and how can we leave out Ma’aleh Adumim, which was set up to sever the West Bank? And what, Jewish brothers, will become of the university city Ariel?

These were all added to the list not by the right but by the Zionist left, which supported establishing a Palestinian state, certainly a Palestinian state between Jenin and the Jenin refugee camp. Now Cabel is annexing Karnei Shomron too, and what about Shavei Shomron, Yitzhar and Itamar? Rehelim, Havat Gilad and Baladim? Why not? The fate of the settlers, who are living under “military law,” is breaking Cabel’s heart, so why not annex them as well? Aren’t they human beings? Aren’t they Jews? Cabel is a man of conscience, his heart is always with the downtrodden.

Cabel is one of the peace camp’s leaders, and like his camp’s name, he offers the Palestinians negotiations one day, when they behave nicely. In 1948 they lost 78 percent of their country, and now Cabel is dissecting the remains of the remains and robbing the blocs for himself, a prize for the robber and the settler.

But Palestine is not lost. The leftist Cabel is willing to discuss what’s left. There’s a possibility he’ll give up the Al-Fawwar refugee camp. If a worthy Palestinian leadership arises, whose people eat with a knife and fork, Cabel and his party will even offer them the Al-Arroub refugee camp on an especially good day. Since Mahatma Gandhi there hasn’t been a man of peace like Cabel, since Nelson Mandela there hasn’t been such a fighter for justice.

Cabel’s call to sober up is an important contribution to the political debate. Sober up, Cabel’s friends, you have nothing to offer. You’re right wing, even extreme right, and now you’re without the disguise you’ve worn for 50 years. Cancel the elections in Israel. After all, everyone (almost) is for the occupation.

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