Special Guest Post (Roseanne Barr): In Praise Of Israeli Democracy
Roseanne Barr is an American comedian, writer, actor, director and producer, peace & freedom candidate and the subject of a tribeca documentary, by Eric Weinrib, roseanne for president. She tweets at https://twitter.com/therealroseanne
I supported Bibi Netanyahu because I support democracies – those pluralistic societies that have representative governments, which can coalesce to solve actual problems of their citizens. Israel right now, in my opinion has the most vibrant democracy in the world, and feel free to correct me (minus hate speech) if you feel I am wrong. Let me make my case first. Before, I do, I want to say, that my words in no way are meant to insult US President Obama. But, as we older people say, “If the shoe doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the elected leader of thirty seven percent of the world’s Jewish people, who are Israelis. As we all know, Israel was made a state by the UN in 1948, with the partition of Palestine into a Jewish State and a Jordanian-Palestinian State, in an agreement/peace treaty which guaranteed that only a small portion of The British Empire’s Confiscated and Occupied Jewish Ancestral Homeland would be returned to the Jewish People, based on the writ, “The Balfour Declaration.”
Many opine that without the grotesque and savage fascist state sanctioned murder of another third of The Jewish People, none of the lands might have ever been returned at all.
My case: Still, there is a point when things become so ridiculously unjust, that they cannot continue, and this point has been reached, and tipped. It is always democracy itself that tips that point. The combined voices of the marginalized people, who have fought to be included in a system which has excluded them is the ultimate triumph of democracy, and it has just occurred in Israel! I salute you for this! I am proud of you!
All of you – you have shown the world why Israel is a great state, an inclusive state, a state where divergent opinions are shared in the process of creating just law, and correcting unjust ones.
This is what I hoped for when I supported Bibi. Israeli democracy proves that it is more inclusive than any other democracy on earth. It has communists, socialists, capitalists, labor activists, Arabs, Druze Christians Muslims, Africans, Asians, Kurds, even Bahai and atheists gays, lesbians, trans, visionaries and artists, many of whom are women who are allowed to excel and profit. It has right wing anti Zionist Jews and Zionist Jews and atheist Zionist Jews and Jews who hate Jews who don’t hate the right Jews.
Bibi listens to the people he represents, though he is often crude and overbearing, like all Jewish fathers can be – you know who you are! It’s proven that only his words, and the words of no other Israeli, can move people and bring them to the polls to vote for him, or against him. That is why people win elections, or lose them, after all.
He says what people in his base want to hear, like President Obama does, so they know that he has listened to them. He assures right wing Jews that he will never compromise their safety, because he has to say that. When President Obama promised his base that he would immediately closed Guantanamo Prison, upon his election, he had to say that or his base would not have voted for him either.
Unlike most US Presidents, Netanyahu speaks the words of one who has been a soldier, who has fought a war with his own hands, mind and body.
Even if those words are wrong, backward, and will be rescinded the next day, or campaign promises broken, he accepts that people want their viewpoints known spoken and heard – that is how democracy, the mother of diversity, functions.
I also favored him because he was not aligned with J street, JVP SJP or the USPC which I think are fronts for the Nazi BDS movements on US campuses. He assures we US Jews that Israel is there for us, if indeed BDS’ program of harassment, blacklisting and profiling and swastika-laden violence grow more powerful against us here.
As a socialist, I applaud that he does not listen to Medea Benjamin or to Valerie Jarrett, which is very much a ‘pro’ in his favor, for me. I thought we needed a respite from their total ideological capitulation to Stalinism, rather than the more progressively correct Trotskyism.
The best part of democracy is diversity, and shared responsibility, accountability and power. Arab voters, and the indigenous Mizrachi and Sephardic Jewish voters, forced out of the Judenrein Arab countries, and more women than ever, being included in Israeli government is of great and historic significance which would not have happened if not for Netanyahu.
He wanted the job more than his opponents did, and so he got the job, by activating democracy! It’s telling that he not only received 70% of the Bedouin vote, but that Israel encourages Arabs to vote at all, something that doesn’t happen in Gaza.
Palestinians in WB and Gaza no longer have elections, so they don’t have to ‘pander’ to, or appease their own people’s desire for peace or war. Also, while people are saying Bibi is against peace negotiations, the truth is that Abbas, by unilaterally seeking UN interference, has stepped away and gone against every signed agreement since Camp David.
This election, however dirty, and I consider the constant demonization of Israel and its Prime Minister to be dirty campaigning, also proved that Mr. Netanyahu can unite rather than divide. He can heal rather than wound, he can lead rather than follow, so surely, he can extend his listening skills and craft a workable peace agreement with his neighbors. It’s not as if he has to beat the President of The United States in order to do that, or anything!
The hope I had, after LISTENING to – rather than censoring – his words, and watching him interviewed, was that if he had a more firm authority in the Knesset, he would no longer need to pander to the far right, (his base)’s worst fears. I thought he could be able to begin to honestly negotiate for peace, without fear that his coalition would collapse, calling for new elections and all the other ways of avoiding the movement toward a workable solution to the problems between Israeli and Palestinian people. Some say that while he is forming a government, the Palestinian National Authority is re-forming one of its own, one that will work to solve problems for its people, instead of dividing them against one another, too. I hope and pray that is true!
Bibi is smart enough to have made a great trade deal with China and another great trade deal with India, for not only Israel, but the entire region, which are very progressive deals, which look to the future, independent of the West, which is good, at this point. Israel needs to be freed of bondage to any system or matrix which holds Jewish Sovereignty hostage.
I’m hoping praying, and holding my breath, that Bibi will prove himself the man for these challenging changing times.
Democracy is The Revolution! Jewess, we can! – roseanne barr – 4 Nissan 5775