Palestinian Resistance Launch Major Attack on Israel: What Happened? – LIVE BLOG

Stucky

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Haaretz. Full Article,

At This Rate, Israel Won't Make It to Its 100th Birthday
The Israeli elite will flee the country once they see that the various 'tribes' can't agree on a social contract, government-administration experts Eugene Kandel and Ron Tzur warn in a new paper



May 19, 2024

Israel's 76th Independence Day last week was the saddest and bleakest Independence Day since the establishment of the state. Instead of celebrating, people were asking themselves: What next? Will Israel emerge from the crisis and live to celebrate its centennial?

The answer is no – not the way Israel is going. This is the conclusion of an extraordinary document that draws up a new vision for Israel by Prof. Eugene Kandel and another expert in government administration, Ron Tzur.


For six years, Kandel headed the National Economic Council at the Prime Minister's Office and remains very close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Tzur was a senior official at both the Atomic Energy Commission and the Civil Service Commission.

'After the government's attempt to weaken the judiciary last year, followed by Hamas' massacre in the south, a picture of total failure in the systems, management and operations of the administration has emerged.'
As Tzur puts it, "The two of us share rare knowledge of the architects of the system."

They write: "In the business-as-usual scenario in the political configuration today, there is a considerable likelihood that Israel will not be able to exist as a sovereign Jewish state in the coming decades."

They argue that "after the government's attempt to weaken the judiciary last year, followed by Hamas' massacre in the south, a picture of total failure in the systems, management and operations of the administration has emerged. ... This is not a localized debacle or one that afflicts only a single level ... but rather a collapse."



So Kandel and Tzur are trying to rouse the public to action to make clear that drastic change is necessary. "In the Israeli political regime today, there is no possibility of ending the internal war," they write. "After the terrible disaster and the functional breakdown it reflected, it is no longer possible to act within the same framework and expect better results."

Kandel and Tzur note the division of Israel into camps that battle to impose their worldview on the entire state. Many people hope this war of identities will stop, but the gaps are too wide. So the authors expect that once the Gaza war ends, the internecine struggle will resume in full force.



For example, once one of the camps wins a Knesset majority, it tries to impose its worldview on everyone else, as happened with the attempted judicial overhaul. There's no room for compromise. All this stokes the disintegration of society and will inevitably lead to a mass abandonment of the state.

Three challenges

The document presents Israel's three existential challenges. The first is economic: the existence of three groups that are funded at the expense of others. These are the ultra-Orthodox – the Haredim – the Arab community and the settlers. None of the three are able or willing to fund their way of life.



According to Kandel and Tzur, in 2018 the total subsidy for the Haredim from the national budget was 20 billion shekels ($5.4 billion) and for the Arab community 25 billion shekels. (The settlers are not characterized as a group in the national budget.) Actually, because of the differences in the sizes of the populations, the outlays for the ultra-Orthodox are nearly double: Every Haredi family receives 120,000 shekels per year in funding or subsidies, and every Arab family 65,000 shekels.



This money is paid by non-Haredi Jewish families, 20,000 shekels a year, but this figure is forecast to rise because the ultra-Orthodox community is expected to triple in size by 2065. So the 20,000 will increase to 60,000 shekels, in today's terms. Add to this the expected increase in the defense budget, and an unreasonable burden is put on Israel's main productive and tax-paying population.


The second challenge is the clash of values. Former President Reuven Rivlin created the concept of "the four tribes" and called for a new social contract that all four agree on. But Kandel and Tzur disagree with Rivlin; they say there are only three tribes, and there's no chance of them agreeing on a social contract.

They point to three main tribes: the first is made up of the people of the Jewish-democratic-liberal state who want to live as a Western democracy. The authors estimate that the great majority of Israelis, including Arab Israelis and many religious Jews, identify with this tribe.

The members of the second tribe advocate a Torah state. The ultra-Orthodox, the right-wing faction of the religious Zionist community (the Hardalim), and the right-wing faction of non-Haredi religious Jews would probably choose to live according to the laws of this tribe. They would prefer the rulings of the rabbis over democratic values and laws.



The members of the third tribe oppose the existence of a Jewish state and prefer a state for all its citizens. Kandel and Tzur estimate that much of the Arab community, despite Arab nationalism, prefers the values of the democratic-liberal tribe.


Either way, Kandel and Tzur believe that the gaps can no longer be bridged. They write that, once the battle over the judicial overhaul heated up, it became clear to many that "the conceptions of identity and the visions of the two main Jewish groups clash and are even irreconcilable." An "us or them" mentality reigned.


This clash is total, with each camp feeling that the other group is imposing its values on it by force.


"A war over the home, over everyone's identity and values against everyone else, creates an existential threat to the country, because such a war cannot be stopped without a dramatic change in the feelings of all parties," the authors write. There must be "a return of a sense that there is no danger to the values of any of the identity groups."

Kandel and Tzur add that they would be happy to reach a compromise "based on a dialogue on a shared vision, especially after the terrible loss we experienced on October 7." But they say that even before that disaster, "our analysis did not give much chance for a compromise of opposing values, and, in our estimation, even less so after the end of the fighting."


They argue that the ultra-Orthodox community's demographics will determine the direction of a Torah-nationalist state. Productive Israelis, who believe in liberal values both ethically and economically, are expected to lose.


Kandel and Tzur predict a mass emigration of Israel's productive elite, as in a bank run. In a decade or two there will be a run on Israel. The elite will simply flee.


"This type of process can bubble for years, but if it happens, it is likely to be acute and fast, similar to a bank run. When the decision to leave comes, there is an advantage to do so before the big wave," the authors write.


"It will be easier for the first ones to leave without financial damage, while those who try to immigrate late will bear losses when the economy shrinks, the value of their assets decreases, and restrictions are placed on transferring money abroad. ... These are the people who drive high-tech, medicine, academia and significant parts of the defense establishment. Most of them have attractive employment opportunities abroad, and some have already considered immigration options."

Without this elite, Israel will decline socioeconomically and security-wise. The departure of 20,000 critical minds would be enough for Israel to be left without high-tech, academia and security.


"Many politicians have said on the Knesset podium that the country could manage without the pilots, the high-tech people and the members of other 'elite' groups," the authors write. "Today, more than ever, the arrogance of these statements is clear, because Israel's existential backbone depends on a relatively small group of people. Without it, it's simply not possible to sustain a country here over time."


The departure of this elite will mean an end to economic growth, eroding the standard of living. And worse. "October 7 showed the terrible cost of the enemy's perception that Israel is weak," Kandel and Tzur write. "A further weakening could invite much more extreme and severe security challenges," even "the collapse of Israel and the end of the Zionist dream."


The public's apathy
Yes, the end of the Zionist dream. This is Kandel and Tzur's forecast, and the shocking thing is the third challenge: Few people notice this existential danger, so no politicians are lifting a finger to prevent it.


This is a bigger existential threat than Iran, the authors write. Similar to Jerusalem's fate – abandoned by the secular-liberal community, left as a poor city that needs state money to survive – Israel is susceptible to an abandonment. But in Israel's case, there won't be a higher entity to allot budgets.


So Kandel and Tzur now aim to awaken Israeli voters so that they realize that it's up to them alone. Instead of worrying about the left-right, secular-religious dichotomies, the Israeli voter should focus on the core issue: how to prevent the State of Israel from imploding because of the wide internal rifts.

The authors list three goals that Israeli voters should strive for. The first is a profound change in political priorities, a change that won't happen unless voters enforce it on their elected officials. "We will never vote again for those who tear us apart," Tzur says.


"We are not anyone's base, neither on the right nor on the left, and we're done with being suckers. We will only vote for someone who explains to us what he intends to do, how he intends to establish a broad government, restore the people's trust, consolidate society, rehabilitate the public service, and strengthen the economy as well as defense."


There also needs to be a profound change in the way Israel is governed. "The current governmental and political structure encourages and perpetuates the destructive patterns that Israel finds itself in," the authors write.


"The existing system channels elected officials to act in a divisive, conflict-driven manner, and raises the banner of 'victory' of one side over the other. ... The solution must ensure that no group has the ability to impose its values on any other." Also required is deep economic change so that all segments of society can finance themselves.


Kandel and Tzur's radical solution will be published soon along with other proposals in a project of the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research. The project was managed by Ehud Prawer, a former head of the Society and Populations Team at the Prime Minister's Office. He's another of Israel's most experienced people in government administration.


As Tzur puts it, "We're not ready to give up. We both became grandfathers in the past year, and we're both completely committed to continuing the chain of generations here not only of our own families but of the entire people. Not anywhere else."


But no solution will be possible if Israeli voters don't change their perceptions and realize that the existential threats to Israel come from within. The politicians must demand brave plans to deal with them.
 

DavidSon

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In contrast to the despicable Israeli crimes in Gaza it's interesting to view an area in the West Bank with shops open and brand new cars slowly cruising about. I agree despite the deep pain of Israel's butchery there is a hopeful spirit that more of the world is now involved in supporting a free state of Palestine.
 

Karlysymon

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Haich and i were talking about this here. The IDF already pays lone soldiers handsomely so does this bill hint at double compensation? Given TPTB's level of greed, i highly doubt it would be double compensation. Only one entity will pick up the tab in this case....perhaps it is meant to incentivize more lone soldiers to sign up for the IDF or just boost the US military's dismal recruiting efforts....who knows?
 

Stucky

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Israel fears ICJ will take a ‘tough stance’ on its Gaza war: Report

Earlier, we reported that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said it will rule on South Africa’s request to order a halt to Israel’s offensive on Rafah tomorrow afternoon.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting that several “senior Israeli officials” voiced concerns today that the court will take a tougher stance against Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in tomorrow’s ruling.
“The main concern in Israel is that the court – which a few months ago compelled Israel to increase humanitarian aid entering Gaza but did not issue an order to stop the war in the Strip – may take a more hardline position this time against Israel, potentially exposing it to international sanctions,” Haaretz reports.
An Israeli government spokesperson said earlier that “No power on Earth will stop Israel from protecting its citizens and going after Hamas in Gaza”, ahead of tomorrow’s ruling.
 
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Stucky

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2 mins


I get the feeling the police only turned up for the benefit of the American film crew 'documenting' the goings on.
 
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Stucky

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