Monday, April 9, 2012

Patriot games

Letting Israeli expats vote is a political manipulation:

The Israeli legal system desperately needs an important new law, and this electoral law must include a very 'patriotic' clause - that any Israeli who has a foreign passport will not have the right to vote here.

Salman Masalha || Patriot games

The Knesset elections are drawing near and associated issues are in the air. It is not only primaries, opinion polls and new parties that have sprung up like mushrooms after the summer social protests. Legislation is also being promoted about who has the right to vote.

A controversial old initiative has recently been resurrected. Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser is taking steps to promote a law that would extend the right to vote to Israelis living abroad. The number of such citizens is estimated at approximately 700,000. Or, in electoral terms, two more seats for Knesset members of the ilk of Zeev Elkin and Yariv Levin (both Likud MKs).

As was to be expected, the initiative has aroused opposition because it raises suspicions that the initiators wish to garner votes from abroad so as to prevent any possibility of government change.

A group of intellectuals have gotten together and called to end efforts to promote it. They point out that the proposed legislation would help parties get votes from abroad on the basis of the Law of Return, which grants immediate citizenship to Jews. "The [right to vote] from abroad will encourage taking on citizenship in order to vote," they write, adding, "Organized groups of Jews from abroad will decide about the lives of Israelis."

The political manipulation in this proposal is very obvious, and that is why it is being opposed by what is known here as "the left." As a general rule, any talk in Israel about "left" and "right" is a delusion, since there is neither a Jewish, nor an Arab, left-wing here. On the Jewish side, it is difficult to discern any difference between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud ), Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) or Shelly Yachimovich (Labor ) with regard to anything relating to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the Arab side, too, it is difficult to spot any difference between Knesset members Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash), Jamal Zahalka (Balad) and Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al).

It is possible that, among the Zionist parties, there are people who oppose granting citizenship in order to vote, but all of them continue to support citizenship in order to expropriate - especially to expropriate lands belonging to those who are known in the Zionist lexicon as "non-Jews." Any disparity between the many Zionist parties is therefore reduced to the distinction between the handful of people on the right who are somewhat liberal with regard to trifling civic matters, and the vast majority of nationalist and fundamentalist right-wingers. It must be admitted that a true leftist - from the political, social and cultural points of view - exists only in theory. No real left-wing can exist against the backdrop of the prolonged nationalist conflict in this land.

One needs an especially fertile imagination in order to fight against the delusions of the rightists. But if patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, the scoundrels should be supplied with pure patriotism and their spiritual world undermined.

The Israeli legal system desperately needs an important new law, and this electoral law must include a very 'patriotic' clause - that any Israeli who has a foreign passport will not have the right to vote here. Moreover, anyone with a foreign passport will not be allowed to vote, or be elected, in municipal elections, and will not be allowed to serve in any position in the civil service.

By promoting a law of this kind, it will be possible to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, people will be elected whose sole loyalty is to the citizens who live here. And on the other, all those dubious and contemptible "patriots" will be exposed for all to see.
*
Published: Opinions-Haaretz, 9 April 2012


***
For Hebrew, press here


Share:


Facebook comments:
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Middle East
  • The Arab world's quagmire

    Only a society that can engage in introspection and self-examination can emerge from its dark past and march confidently to a different future. Otherwise, it will continue to sink into the same marshy swamp.

    Read more

    A Feeble Middle East

    The West learned on its own flesh that this region conducts itself by other codes. Iran has continued to entrench its standing by means of its religious ideology. The toppling of Saddam Hussein shattered the illusion of the existence of a unifying “Iraqi identity” and gave an encouraging shot in the arm to Iran, which is forging ahead.

    Read more

  • The decay in the Arab world

    With great sadness, it can be said that in the absence of a sane civil alternative, the Arab world will continue along this path.

    Read more


    Neither Arab nor Spring

    The vicissitudes that have, for some reason, been collectively dubbed the "Arab Spring" are neither Arab nor Spring. One can say that they are actually living proof of the identity crisis and reverberating bankruptcy of Arab nationalism.

    Read more

  • another title

Israel - Palestine
  • Our troubles come from us

    And so we have reached a situation in which every Arab is concerned with his own problems and everyone talks about what preoccupies him personally – that is, his own troubles.

    Read more


  • Never-ending tragedy

    The Israeli right, in all its forms, wants exclusively Jewish control over all of the Land of Israel. To the Palestinians who live in this space, it promises residency – temporary, of course, on condition that they keep their heads down, accept their designated status and behave accordingly.

    Read more
  • Solomon’s Mosque

    Religion, every religion, is the No. 1 enemy of nationalism. But under conditions of tension, such as tribal warfare, these polar opposites combine into a toxic soup that consumes all common sense.

    Read more


Racism
  • They see not, nor know

    The term "neutralize" is very popular with people who have served in the security and expulsion forces. The question to be asked is, What did the poet who spoke of "neutralization" mean in this plan?

    Read more

    For Jews only

    From the moment the pundits followed in the footsteps of the politicians, both large and small, they carried this noxious melody everywhere. They were part of legitimizing the illegitimate in Israeli politics.

    Read more

  • With yearning soul

    The Zionism that aspired to establish a "Jewish home" in the Jews' "ancient homeland" did not take into consideration the fact that the land was not empty. It thus adopted the principle of population transfer, based on the same ancient biblical tradition.

    Read more

    Rabbis of the Dry Bones

    Racism surfaces when a society loses its self-confidence and turns to seeking ways to defend itself against what is different and perceived as increasingly threatening.

    Read more

  • الحلم

    حلمتُ:
    أنّي في سجن جدران بيضاء
    حيث لا يعرفني أحدٌ، وأصواتٌ
    تختفي في الرّدهات، وأضواء تستنشقُ
    جمجمتي اللّاهثة.
    ...
    تتمة الكلام


Press photo to Email

Classic

***
Jazz




Site Archive

SELECTED TOPICS

 
Essays
  • The pit and the pendulum

    In those days, we did not drink four goblets of wine, because everything that gladdens the human heart is not a part of our custom.

    Read more

  • Welcome Back to History

    Islam, like other imperialist ideologies, still needs enemies to flourish. Enemies have served Islam in the past as fuel for its wagons. Without enemies Islam declines and stagnates...

    Read more

  • another title

Poetry
  • Balkrishna Sama

    Man Is God


    He who loves flowers, has a tender heart.
    he who cannot pluck their blooms,
    has a heart that's noble.

    Read more

  • Martin Niemöller

    First They Came

    First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the Socialist
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist.


    Read More

  • Salman Masalha

    The Song About the Child

    Boston Gospel Choir

    Text: Salman Masalha
    Composer: Stephen Feigenbaum


    listen

TOPICS