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Meretz Has Nothing More to Offer the Israeli Public

Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher
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Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On.
Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On.Credit: Nir Keidar
Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher

It’s nice that Zehava Galon finally decided to run for the leadership of Meretz, but it ultimately doesn’t matter who heads the party, she or Yair Golan. It doesn’t matter to the future of the state, it doesn’t matter to the future of society, nor does it matter to the future of government policies who becomes prime minister.

The banner that Meretz flies, its vision, is as tattered and threadbare as an old rag, one that is, at most, able to salvage just a little of the conscience of the Zionist left. The two-state solution, which Meretz supports, is today the easiest political stand to take, because it requires nothing. U.S. President Joe Biden also supports this solution, which he qualifies, as is usual these days, with the excuse that it is not implementable at the moment. And God bless him, as his mother used to say, and as he bade farewell warmly and teary-eyed to everyone he came across in the land of the Holocaust.

The two-state solution has become kitsch. It’s like “I was born to peace,” and “when I grow up there will be peace,” and “our hand is outstretched in peace,” and all the rest of this bullshit that Israeli children were and are fed starting in kindergarten. Support for the two-state solution is the easiest to adopt simply because it doesn’t require those who espouse it to lift a finger. You don’t have to remove settlers, you don’t have to clash with them. This isn’t feasible in Israeli society. You can’t end the occupation and the apartheid, and no one has practical plans to do so. It’s like saying “God will love you,” when there is no God. It’s a hollow reflex. Lip service.

The “Jerusalem Declaration” that Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Biden signed states that Israel and the United States declare their two countries’ “unwavering commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and the calling of ‘Tikkun Olam,’ repairing the world.” There is no democracy and rule of law in a country that imposes a system of apartheid and occupation on a million Palestinians.

As for the call to Tikkun Olam: Biden naturally understood the refusal of the singer Yuval Dayan to shake his hand after she performed with Ran Danker a schmaltzy mash-up of Naomi Shemer’s “Lu Yahi” with the Beatles “Let it Be” (but what happened to Lennon’s treacly “Imagine”?). After all, a Jewish woman who performs all 613 commandments advances the repair of the world.

Everything is so idiotic. Really. Tikkun Olam? Israel? It’s empty, it’s as hollow as the slogan of two states for two peoples. There’s no difference. As far as Meretz is concerned, it’s as if time stood still when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Its political formula is stuck deep in the nineties, while the settlement project has grown and strengthened since then.

Lapid just declared allegiance to two states. His oath of allegiance is also meaningless. That’s why he is calling for the two-state solution – because it relieves him of the need to do anything. It is the ultimate exemption from taking diplomatic steps. The occupation determines facts on the ground. And those facts determine that a Palestinian state will not be established alongside Israel by negotiations and a peace agreement. It’s over. And as for separation by unilateral steps: That requires setting a border. Israeli society refuses to do so, and the Palestinians oppose it.

Meretz has nothing more to offer the public. What is left is to adopt a just, courageous and revolutionary solution of a state of all its citizens. To this end, a Jewish-Arab party must be established soon that will replace Meretz, the Labor Party and part of the Joint List.

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