March 19, 2005


Israeli Leftists Suddenly Leaning Into Sharon's Camp: Surprised by his Gaza pullout plan, liberals put aside their distrust to back the conservative prime minister against the extreme right. (Henry Chu, March 19, 2005, LA Times)

"I don't trust the guy, but I don't think this is the main issue here," said [Daniel] Savitch, 43, the executive director of a Jerusalem synagogue. "Suddenly he's doing the things that should have been done long ago…. It's too dangerous not to back him, too dangerous not to give him a chance."

Ever since the Israeli leader announced his intention last year to pull troops and settlers out of Gaza, the usual party lines and loyalties have been scrambled as politicians and voters struggle to grasp the implications of a move few had expected.

The prime minister's about-face on Gaza has been especially discomfiting for the Israeli left, which has been in disarray since the collapse of the 1993 Oslo peace accords.

Grudgingly, many left-leaning Israelis and officials say they are swallowing their personal distaste and pulling for Sharon to prevail against the extreme right and the religious nationalists who want to derail his Gaza pullout plan.

"I support Sharon in spite of Sharon," one veteran left-winger said with a groan.

Imposing a settlement on Palestine is not actually sudden nor was it unpredictable.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 19, 2005 9:41 AM

Some on the Israeli Left, like the Avnerys, will not be happy until all Jews are reinterned in concentration camps.

Sharon once again has demonstrated the sense behind treating the Arabs as a military problem, not as a diplomatic one, a religious one, and certainly not as a moral issue. The so-called 'Palestinians' are morally entitled to nothing more than a healthy dose of the perspiration off of our genitalia. Israelis don't want to be Spartans and the only way to avoid being Spartans is to pull back from much of the liberated areas. In this he has the support of about 80% of Jewish Israelis.

Posted by: bart at March 19, 2005 10:39 AM

And when - in a few short years - the Palestinians go back to a war state and Israel re-occupies the conquered territories, Greater Israel will become a reality, despite the howls of the Europeans and their ilk.

Fact is, Israel was the darling of the Left from 1948 until the election of Menachem Begin. As long as socialists like Ben Gurion governed, all was well. When a right-of-center government was elected, Israel became the bad boy. It's socialism first, righteousness last - in the eyes of the Left.

Posted by: Oswald Booth Czolgosz at March 19, 2005 12:24 PM


No, he's treating it as a moral issue, recognizing that it's poisonous to Israeli society to oppress a Muslim majority.

Posted by: oj at March 19, 2005 3:39 PM


The demonization of Israel by the Left began in 1967, with its roots in the Soviet support for Nasser in 1956. The 'Zionism is Racism' resolution was passed when Rabin, a Socialist, was PM.

Posted by: bart at March 20, 2005 6:52 AM