Among the dominant issues this week, December 8-15, 2014 were: the speculation over whether Likud could be defeated at the next coalition if there were coalitions of all the parties with Arab members (and, last week all centre/ left of centre parties): Demand for united Arab list for election, Likud leads but Bibi loses out to Kahlon;
the growing gulf between the pro-Israel stance of all western governments and the popular, impatient rejection of Israel’s policy of occupation and settlements which comes up in many forms: the rising expectation that the EU should and could do more to put a barrier between itself, its trade and its shelter from Israel : EU should raise costs of occupation, French senate, Irish parliament vote for recognition of Palestine. Omar Barghouti tells a wildly appreciative American audience that for all its costly hasbara, the world no longer believes that Israel’s war crimes are a price worth paying for some nice musicians and hi-tech gadgets, Israel wastes $billions on buying a good image. Many will read the report by +972 and Gisha on the maze of petty regulations that ensnare Palestinians, Jim Crow laws that govern Palestinian life.
In this turn away from Israel as the core of their identity European and American Jews are increasingly recovering their own pre-Israel, diaspora history of standing for progress, emancipation and enlightenment (which has not survived inside Israel): Ending the Zionist interlude in US Judaism, Recover the tradition of Jews as bearers of the Enlightenment.
Meanwhile, loyalty to Israel is shrinking to a (fat) fringe of right-wing Jews and evangelical Christians finding common cause in support for Israel’s policies and hostility to all things Islamic: Zionist Federation funds anti-Islamic tour, Islamic charity returns to Gaza after audit, Evangelical Christians care more about Israel’s Jewishness than democracy.