Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Right Turn

From "Young Israelis: A Turn to the Right?" by Eyal Press in TNYRB which discusses, rather promotes a critique of "Israel’s alarming recent shift to the right":-

...One reason is apathy. Increasingly cynical about politics and the prospects of peace, not a few young Israelis I’ve met in recent years have told me they’ve stopped following the news...“For the last two or three years, we’ve been seeing a very consistent trend of younger Israelis becoming increasingly right-wing,” Dahlia Scheindlin, a public opinion analyst who also contributes to +972, told me...

...Young Israelis also tend to take a hard line on the Palestinian conflict. Having watched their country grow increasingly isolated for prolonging an occupation now in its forty-fourth year, one might expect the younger generation to be pressing for a resolution. But while a small number of young activists have been taking part in regular Friday protests against the expansion of settlements in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and joining groups like Anarchists Against the Wall, which supports unarmed Palestinian resistance to the occupation, many of their peers oppose making concessions to end the conflict. In October, a poll conducted by New Wave Research asked, “If Palestinians and Israelis reach an agreement… and the Israeli government brings the agreement to a referendum, would you vote for or against?” Among voters over 55, 61 percent—nearly two out of three—said they would support a deal. Among those younger than 35, it was the opposite: only one in three (37 percent) would vote in favor of an agreement.

...The fact that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip chose in 2006 to elect Hamas, whose Charter cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and foresees Israel’s eventual destruction, hasn’t helped matters. Neither has the collapse of the peace process. Israelis in their late teens and twenties barely remember the hope that greeted the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords. They do have strong memories of the Second Intifada (2000-2005), when a wave of suicide bombings “managed to obliterate any trust the Israelis had in a political settlement,” as the public opinion analysts Jacob Shamir and Khalil Shikaki observe..
but there's this:
“Maybe it’s not a surprise that the minority in any country is very supportive of democratic rights,” says Dahlia Scheindlin. “But it does seem ironic that in the Jewish State, which insists on defining itself as the Jewish democratic state and the only democracy in the Middle East, the Arabs are our most democratic citizens.”


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