Left, Arabs and ‘Israeli Democracy’


By Gilad Atzmon

In the ‘Only Democracy in the Middle East’ the Government decided to get rid of marginal opposition. The Knesset passed yesterday a bill that seeks to raise election threshold to 4%.  The new law is set to block the Arab and Left parties in Israel from participation in the political game. This is clearly a non-democratic move, however, we have to remember that Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish State’ – it is primarily committed to Jewish interests. Democracy, for that matter, is far from being a crucial or significant for most Israelis. From a Judeo-centric perspectives, democracy is basically a Hasbara plot, there to differentiate Israel from their neighbours.
In the light of the new bill,  Israeli Left and Arab parties would have a simple choice – they either unite or face political eradication. The question is whether Israeli ‘Left’ and Arabs have enough in common. We will soon find out if the Israeli Left – a secularist, Judeo-centric, hedonist and righteous worldview have anything in common with the Arabs – a proletarian, mostly Muslim and patriarchal society.
The truth of the matter is that I don’t hold my breath, but I also hope to be wrong. And if I am wrong, we would have to congratulate Netanyahu for achieving the impossible – Bonding the Israeli elitist  Left with Israel’s working class i.e. the Arabs

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