The Dream Has Vanished, With the Left's Help

The nationalistic and messianic settlement ideology has spread like an oil spill, the dream of a liberal and open society has vanished and the rug is fast being pulled from under the feet of sane Zionism.

The cloak that the right wing has donned in anticipation of the upcoming election bears the proud label with the brilliant and innovative "ruling" by Justice Edmond Levy. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without a doubt knows that Levy's learned conclusions will be treated in the rest of the world just like those rulings once handed down by village courts concerning evolution and the origin of man. He is also aware of the fact that if the government formally adopts the practical conclusions that stem from Levy's "ruling," Israel will be perceived as a country struck by fanaticism that deserves condemnation on every possible public stage.

However, according to the concepts of the right wing, annexation is legitimate not only because it is legal and in accordance with the wish of the creator, but also because it rests on the desire of the people. That is the modern side of nationalist fanaticism that grants ultimate justification to the occupation. On the one hand, in the present Knesset, which represents the sovereignty of the people, there is a clear majority in favor of annexation. On the other hand, the survey published on the front page of Haaretz earlier this week confirms what is already clear from our daily experience - that a majority of Israelis are not deterred by apartheid.

In the wake of a continuous ideological effort of an entire generation, the right wing has ultimately succeeded in endowing society with its values: If it were to annex the territories, it would not annex the human beings living there. The Arabs would remain with the status of a population that is no longer occupied because the territories - according to what Levy stated - are not occupied territories, and they will merely be the dust of humanity, without identity or rights.

Levy and those who appointed him have apparently never heard of human rights, because after all these are the rights that people invented and they are universal and applicable to all people in all parts of the world. The only rights the various segments of the right wing have heard of are historical rights that are relative and dependent on time, place and culture. The historic rights of the Jews, who own the Promised Land, erase the Palestinians' right to be masters of their own lives.

It is reasonable to assume that the upcoming election will give final approval to the will of the Israeli citizen. The Jew - who himself was an oppressed refugee, or whose parents were, an object of hostility, hatred and extermination - has become a tyrant who is permitted to do whatever he wants.

This has happened because the left wing was not ideologically equipped to withstand the violent demands for sole ownership of the land. In the left, as well, too many people followed in the footsteps of those founding fathers of the Labor movement who shared that concept. Therefore, in all the years that have elapsed since 1967, the right also had sympathetic listeners among those on the left.

Many of those who noticed the dimensions of the disaster that was taking place kept quiet or were silenced, lest they be branded "enemies of the people." The right wing stuck to its principles and sharpened its positions while the left wing, out of fear of being "cut off from the nation," helped them, the people, to bang their heads against a brick wall. And now, faithful to this path, Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich too is snuggling up to Likud and, if the latest reports are correct, she is becoming a collaborator with Likud in all that is connected with the territories.

As a result of that conduct - which the second government under Yitzhak Rabin interrupted, but only for a short while - the positions of the right have become accepted among wide swaths of the center-left. Today they are considered as being identical to the national interest, or in common parlance, the "state." In this manner, the nationalistic and messianic settlement ideology has spread like an oil spill, until it reached the point that we are currently at: The dream of a liberal and open society has vanished and the rug is fast being pulled from under the feet of sane Zionism.

The only question now is whether we have already reached the point of no return, or whether there still remains one minute before midnight.