There is no real opposition party in Israel. The nation is increasingly mirroring the Tea Party movement in the US – see here for a thorough explanation about how Israel believes it can simply ignore global opinion, a nice little delusion that won’t last when BDS starts to hit more – and sees blind defence of the state as the highest calling. Over to you, Gideon Levy:
Suddenly Tzipi Livni’s authoritative voice was heard in the Knesset. “Let MK Hanin Zuabi have her say. Democracy is tested by its tolerance and readiness to hear other voices, even subversive ones,” Livni said. Silence fell over the hall.
Zuabi ended her speech uninterrupted and the Kadima leader rose to the podium. Knesset members of all factions sat up straight, in anticipation of what she had to say. This always happens when Livni takes the podium. For an hour the opposition leader outlined her impressive credo, blasted the government and proposed a well-formulated alternative. Stop the blockade, it has only caused damage. I would have allowed the flotilla to reach Gaza; I’d call all the Palestinian people’s representatives to the negotiating table immediately, to reach peace based on the 1967 borders and a solution to the refugee problem. Israel’s international status and democratic character are immeasurably more important to its future than continuing the occupation.
Are you pinching yourselves? Of course you are. None of this actually happened, nor could it ever happen.
What did we get instead? While Zuabi was savagely attacked in the Knesset – Livni kept mum. While Livni’s faction members shouted the loudest against Zuabi, threatening to shatter the country’s fragile democracy – Livni kept mum. When the blockade continued – Livni kept mum. After Israel brutally abducted the flotilla ship – Livni skipped from one television studio to another, justifying the operation with frightening alacrity.