May 18, 2023

Washington And Global Liberalism Collide With An Inevitably Right-Wing Israel

Israel’s liberal elites attempt to transform the country into America’s vassal in a bid for power.
Washington And Global Liberalism Collide With An Inevitably Right-Wing Israel

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Last week, the European Union canceled a high-profile event because Israel’s right-wing national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, was planning to attend. The presence of the democratically elected representative was too much for a German Ambassador, who said “I wish this hadn’t been necessary — but it was.”

This pushback isn’t new. Late last year, the Biden Administration held a sensitive meeting on how to deal with Israel’s new far-right coalition and were concerned that Ben Gvir’s values were too alien for America’s liberal order. This year, Washington used its influence through diplomats, funding, and its executive powers to foment chaos in Israel and spark an uprising against Netanyahu’s right-wing administration. The Obama administration also attempted to oust the Netanyahu administration years ago by funding political opposition.

Israel is changing

The liberal and secular faction of Israel is losing the demographic game to a fast-growing population of religious people. Despite a few hiccups due to backlash against recent reform efforts, their rise to political power is inevitable. However, they not only have to overcome resistance from Israel’s liberals — including powerful protests — but also the pressure from the global liberal order led by America.

Demographic change and national security issues have made hardline policies and politicians like Ben-Gvir more popularin Israel. The moderate right wing doesn’t cut it for a growing percentage of Israel’s population; many have become disillusioned with anti-terrorism efforts from the likes of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ben-Gvir and the new right have been castigated by the global press as racist and extreme, but their efforts revolve around curbing terrorism and criminality. He wants the death penalty for terrorists, a loss of citizenship for Israeli Arabs who commit terror attacks, and a national guard to increase security. As Upward News recently covered, the left has labeled similar law-and-order efforts in El Salvador as “authoritarian.” Preference for real solutions to the dangers that a nation faces rather than liberal idealism is enough to be reprimanded on a global level.

The left seizes an opportunity

To slow the influence of demographic change, the liberal elites of Israel have prostrated themselves to become an American vassal, adopting American framing of societal issues, American ruling ideology, and encouraging ramping up direct influence from Washington.

Liberal leaders are now openly calling Israel “a protectorate of the United States” and traveling to America to win favorfrom Washington, ultimately sacrificing their independence to secure temporary ruling power. Protestors, crafting their signs in English and calling on Biden for help, see their efforts as a parallel fight against 'authoritarianism' and for 'democracy.’ The left sees an opportunity with the Israeli right’s fall from Washington’s grace.

It has also been noted, by Tony Badran in Tablet Mag, that the last time the ruling class of an independent Israel decided to rely on a world power for political stability—The Roman Empire—it wasn’t long before Israel was destroyed and lost independence for nearly 2000 years. It’s a fate common to many smaller nation-states caught between major powers; the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom relied on Rome to maintain its ruling power over Israel. When political instability ensued, Rome stepped in and stopped the turmoil by seizing independence.

Between Washington and Beijing

There is no turning away from the reality that Israel needs America and has benefited from the alliance, but it’s the degree of autonomy in that relationship that is now in question. This will decide how the Jewish state can weather the storm of a coming global conflict.

Israel is becoming more nationalist, religious, and right-wing. The West, led by America, is becoming the opposite— or, at least, those who call the shots are. Israel’s right will never conform to America’s vision of ‘democracy’ nor sacrifice national sovereignty. Instead, they’ll set boundaries and defy the greatest empire in the world. Israel’s left, clawing for power, will seize on this weakness by becoming America’s “pick-me,” attempting to morph Israel into an American pawn.

The latter could be a dangerous misstep for Israel. It would adopt America’s enemies as its own, no matter how far Washington goes, and in this case, become surrounded by the enemy as China sweeps the middle east under its influence. The problem already exists to a great degree; Israel resisted helping Ukraine to maintain an important national security relationship with Russia but ultimately had to give in.

Even worse, Israel could find itself in a situation similar to Ukraine, being pawned off to powers greater than itself by liberal leaders who desire more power than the people are willing to grant them.

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