|Ariel Uri Yehuda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The latest mantra in
is equality in military
service. This means that Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) will be enlisted to do army
service like everybody else in Israel .
Their National Insurance stipends will be cut and they will no longer reap the
benefits of money from the state while they study Torah. Sounds just, if not
altruistic, or in colloquial terms it is really "Israbluff". Israel
Let us not fool ourselves into believing this. Money that has been channeled into Haredi institutions is now channeled into right-wing religious Zionist causes at their expense. The guru of these causes is the Minister of Economic Affairs and Religious Affairs, Naphtali Bennett. He is also the leader of the Bayit Hayehudi Party, an extreme right wing Zionist religious party that is not interested in a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He also seems to have considerable support and is an important person in the coalition that pressurizes Netanyahu.
PM Netanyahu is pandering to his right wing cronies and is giving them more attention than they deserve. The Bennett, Moshe Feiglin, Danon, Akunis and Elkin factions are steering the government into a dangerous, extremist, right wing direction. The illegal settlers have never had it so good. The present Minister of Housing, Uri Ariel, who is astrong supporter of the illegal settlements enterprise, shows very little concern for housing within the green line. His main concern is accelerated building in the occupied territories and killing the two state solution.
What is worse for
- money for the illegal settler enterprise and its right wing religious Zionist supporters, or the
ultra-Orthodox institutions, which are non-Zionist? Both are bad for Israel . However
the former is worse, while the latter has no problems with a solution to the
conflict as long as their partisan requirements are met. Israel
The right wing are against a two-state solution and are in favor of prolonging the occupation indefinitely. They are against a settlement freeze and wish to continue usurping
destined to be part of a Palestinian state alongside in the future. Israel
We have witnessed a massive demonstration of ultra-Orthodox communities in
The purpose is voicing their opposition to conscription into the IDF or even
doing civilian national service. The amount of demonstrators who participated
were estimated to be about 600 000. Jerusalem
The benefits given to settlers living in the occupied territories are good. They get taxation concessions, subsidized housing. Rates and municipal taxes are also less than in
the green line. Israel
On 4th March 2014, PM Netanyahu addressed AIPAC in the US. His speech to all intents and purposes was impressive. He said all the right things that members of AIPAC want to hear. He emphasized the danger of
Iran in the Middle
East and its hate of Israel
and the .
It also happened that a day later, the Israeli Navy intercepted a ship with
Iranian missiles destined for US .
This gave Netanyahu a much needed boost. Naturally Gaza denied responsibility for the
After all who are the AIPAC members? Most of them are wealthy, diamond studded, armchair Zionists with good connections in the US Administration and are unaware of the omissions that Netanyahu purposefully made in his speech. They are also ignorant of many unpleasant realities in
These realities are not pleasing to the ear or conscience of those concerned
with basic human rights. Of course it is paradise compared to the bludgeon
going in Israel Syria, Iran, Lebanon
and Hamas-ruled .
He never spoke about the occupation or civil rights for the Palestinians in the
occupied territories not being equal to those of the illegal settlers. Gaza
He also kept on harping ad nauseam about recognition of
Israel as the Jewish State and making it a
condition for recognition by the Palestinian leadership in order that
negotiations proceed as if 's
Jewish majority is not de facto. No other country recognizing Israel Israel has that condition attached, not even Egypt and , so why the Palestinians? Is
that so important? It is enough that they recognize Jordan as a state without the
verbose description of its Jewishness. Israel is listed as the State of
Israel on its official letterheads and not the Jewish State of Israel. The fact
that the UN recognizes Israel
as the State of Israel has not created a problem. Israel Israel's
leaders have not requested the UN to recognize as the Jewish State of
Israel. It is obvious that Netanyahu is pressurized by the extreme right in his
party. They call the tone. Israel
There are other omissions in Netanyahu's speech. The treatment of refugees from
Young married couples have problems getting housing at reasonable prices. If they move to the occupied territories the benefits as mentioned earlier are there for the taking.
Netanyahu's speech had so many omissions that for those, who know the seamy side of
, felt these omissions
conspicuous by their absence. Israel
The occupation remains a serious obstacle in reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians as well as improving relations with the Arab world. No matter how much
public relations campaign for Israel
being the only democracy in the Middle East,
and justifying the measures it takes for ensuring its security, will lack
democracy falls short in the territories when it comes to the Palestinians.
Destruction of Palestinian property by Price Tag hooligans goes unpunished. No
arrests have been made. The settlers take the law into their own hands.
|Price Tag Vandalism against non-Jewish Holy Places|
|Demonstrations in Jerusalem against the ballot|
|Example of Price Tag Vandalism|
|PM Netanyahu addressing AIPAC|
While the occupation and encouragement of settling in areas designated for the future Palestinian state continues,
colonial image will remain and the Palestinians will be viewed as victims of
that colonialism. White-washing this situation as well as digression by
rhetoric on the Iranian threat to peace will not improve Israel 's image.
It adds grist to the mill of BDS supporters. Israel