As an Israeli citizen I closely follow politics at home and am used to witness the tough and bare-knuckle political fights. But the events of the last 48 hours exceed even the worst expectations of hardball politics.
Moshe Yaalon Israel’s defense minister and former Chief of Staff, announced his resignation on Friday, saying the governing party had been taken over by “extremist and dangerous elements” and that he no longer trusted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following reports that he was to be replaced by Avigdor Lieberman.
Yaalon told reporters that “Israel is a healthy society” with a “sane majority” that is tolerant of minorities and strives for a liberal and democratic society. But to my great dismay extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel, also over the Likud party, and are shaking the house and threatening to hurt its inhabitants,” he said. “I fought with all my might against manifestations of extremism, violence and racism in Israeli society that threatens its sturdiness and is seeping into the army and already damaging it.”
Reacting to Yaalon resignation former prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak said during a TV interview on Friday night, that Israel has been “infected by the seeds of fascism,” Barak said that it “should be a red light for all of us regarding what’s going on in the government. Life-sustaining Zionism and the seeds of fascism cannot live together,” Barak told a Channel 10 interviewer.
Yaalon’s resignation is “the end of a chain that began with the case of the soldier who shot [a wounded Palestinian assailant to death],” Barak said. “Such incidents give us an X-ray image that is opposed to the will of the people.
“What has happened is a hostile takeover of the Israeli government by dangerous elements. And it’s just the beginning.” To illustrate his point, Barak referred to legislation promoted by members of the coalition, including the law to lift the parliamentary immunity of Knesset members who allegedly support terrorism and a bill to impose Israeli law on Israelis living in the West Bank. “This government needs to be brought down before it brings all of us down,” Barak added. “There are no serious leaders left in the world who believe the Israeli government.”
I agree with Yaalon’s and Barak’s opinion that Israel.s democracy is in danger and that ultra-;national, right-wing politicians are dominating the current government coalition.
Its time that American Jews realize that the Zionist project is under attack from within and that the uncritical support of Israel has it limits.
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