Opinion | The Israel We Knew Is Gone

“What we’re seeing is a shift within the hawkish proper from a political identification constructed on specializing in the ‘enemy outdoors’ — the Palestinians — to the ‘enemy inside’ — Israeli Arabs,” Halbertal stated.

Netanyahu’s coalition has additionally attacked the important unbiased establishments that underpin Israel’s democracy and are chargeable for, amongst different issues, defending minority rights. That’s, the decrease courtroom system, the media and, most of all, the Supreme Courtroom, which Netanyahu and his allies need introduced below the political management of the suitable, “exactly so they won’t shield minority rights” with the vigor and scope that they’ve, Halbertal stated.

On the identical time, not solely is that this election a wrestle about the way forward for Israel, he stated, but additionally “about the way forward for Judaism in Israel. The Torah stands for the equality of all individuals and the notion that we’re all created in God’s picture. Israelis of all individuals must respect minority rights as a result of we, as Jews, know what it’s to be a minority” — with and with out rights. “This can be a deep Jewish ethos,” Halbertal added, “and it’s now being challenged from inside Israel itself. However, when you’ve got these visceral safety threats on the street day by day, it turns into a lot simpler for these ugly ideologies to anchor themselves.”

That is going to have a profound impact on U.S.-Israel relations. However don’t take my phrase for it. On Oct. 1, Axios published a narrative quoting what sources stated Senator Bob Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who leads the International Relations Committee, advised Netanyahu throughout a visit to Israel in September. Within the phrases of 1 supply, the senator warned that if Netanyahu fashioned a authorities after the Nov. 1 elections that included right-wing extremists, it may “significantly erode bipartisan assist in Washington.”

That’s now about to occur.

I’ve reported from Israel for this newspaper for practically 40 years, usually touring round with my expensive buddy Nahum Barnea, probably the most revered, sober, balanced, cautious journalists within the nation. To listen to him say to me minutes in the past on the cellphone that “we’ve got a distinct type of Israel now” tells me we’re actually getting into a darkish tunnel.

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