Peacenik is widely used as a insult in Israel. Here four campaigners explain their demise and why they hold on
It’s a sad-looking protest. A few dozen members of Israel’s beleaguered agreement change mill around on a street in east Jerusalem, bracing signs in Arabic, English and Hebrew declaring:” Stop the occupation .” Older, well-dressed intellectual leftwingers with grey-headed whisker and round spectacles mingle with a scruffier younger crowd.
One man with a cigarette hanging in his opening resounds a cowbell. A few Israeli police look on with bored looks. Traffic moves by as ordinary. Everyone seems to know each other. Another person sitting on the side of the road gestures to a reporter.” Do I have shit on my leader ?” he questions, appearing up for fowls on power lines overhead.
This is part of what remains of the Israeli peace camp, crippled by a political system that has lurched wildly to the right. “Leftist” and “peacenik” are widely used as scornful insults against an ever-embattled section of culture who are increasingly on the periphery and slammed as traitors.
In an upcoming election, the issue of the Palestinians- formerly the central focus of Israeli politics- is often avoided. A December poll ascertained while more than half of Jewish Israelis want peace negotiations, almost 75% believed they would fail. The radical that loped the survey, the Israel Democracy Institute, said the peace issue has ” disappeared almost completely from the Israeli public discourse “.
Four members of Israel’s beleaguered leftwing explain how this happened and why they are accommodating on 😛 TAGEND