Will Israel Keep Moving Even Further Right?


Goldblog thinks so:

The dysfunctional relationship between Netanyahu and Obama is poised to enter a new phase. Next week, Israeli voters will probably return Netanyahu to power, this time at the head of a coalition even more intractably right-wing than the one he currently leads.

Relatedly, David Remnick reports on the settler movement. A highlight:

Israeli politics continues its seemingly endless trek to the right. Every day, the Web carries the voice of another leader of the settler movement who insists that the settlers are the vanguard now, that the old verities are to be challenged, if not eliminated. Early last year, Benny Katzover, a leader in the settlement of Elon Moreh, told a Chabad paper, Beit Mashiach, “I would say that today Israeli democracy has one central mission, and that is to disappear. Israeli democracy has finished its historical role, and it must be dismantled and bow before Judaism.”

Despite the air of defeat that clings to the left, the center-left vote will still account for around fifty of a hundred and twenty seats. A political shift in its favor is always possible. Assaf Sharon, a leader of Molad, a think tank for the “renewal of Israeli democracy,” told me he believes that the national-religious position that the settlements are “irreversible” is “bullshit.”

(Caption: A man holds up a voting bill for the ultra-Orthodox Shas party during the annual pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Baba Sali in the southern Israeli town of Netivot on January 14, 2013. By David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images)