Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cup Still Half Full. But For How Long?
At Least 25% of Israeli Jews Can Objectively be Considered Fascist

A shocking new poll published by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Achronot shows how far and how fast the mood among Israeli Jews has shifted towards outright fascism.

According to the poll:
36% of Israeli Jews wish to revoke the voting rights of non-Jews;
55% support abrogating the right to free speech during times of "political difficulties;" [And when in recent memory has Israel not been in "political difficulties"?]
57% support banning all demonstration during times of "military operations;"
25% would support transferring all power to a dictator during times of war. [And let's remember that Israel has been in legal state of war since its creation in 1948, and in an active shooting war, with one party or another, for much of the past decade.]
I could argue that any of these opinions is fascistic. But let's be conservative and say that only the last opinion, supporting dictatorship, marks one as a fascist. That's still 25% of the Israeli Jewish population that holds objectively fascist views. Not surprisingly only 3% self identify as fascists, but more tellingly, and giving some reason for hope, 66% of Israeli Jews are worried about the rise of fascism in Israel. (Still, I wonder how many of those people worried about fascism also approve of the opinions cited above. Mathematically there has to be an overlap!)

Now some may argue that 25% (or 36%) is not so bad. It's a minority. So the glass is more than half full. But what's most worrisome is the trend. Support for these opinions is growing. As the conflict with the Palestinians drags on and on, and as Israel gets more isolated, many Israeli Jews are circling the wagons, becoming even more inward looking and ethnocentric, more and more rejecting liberal Western values, and more and more adopting hard right positions.

This is another reason to pray for a peace agreement as soon possible. If the trend continues, in another few years most Israelis Jews will not be interested in peace or democracy or coexistence.


Blogger gadi said...


I wanted to let you know that I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and that it's one of the most objective, honest and interesting collection of ideas and comments from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As an Israeli high-school student, I'm so gracious to people like you who help me understand what makes my home country tick, and to live an aware, responsible life.
I think you'd be interested in featuring an article about my struggle to reconcile patriotism with politics. This struggle faces all liberal Israelis--and I think it'd be so incredible for you to show the world that we do exist, regardless of Israelis like Avigdor Lieberman. You should check out

I hope you take me up on this offer.

8:06 pm  

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