Whither a Leftist?

Perverting the meaning of "Left" and "Right".

David Silon

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Arutz 7

Barely 24 hours after the Six Day War, someone, somewhere in Israel gave a new definition to the terms "left-wing" and "right-wing". This individual stated that anyone who leaned to the Left supported the Arabs and desired
There is nothing wrong with a Jew wishing to live anywhere he chooses.
that Israel give up its Biblical and ancestral heartland, now reunited with the rest of Israel, or should keep that land until Israel's security is assured. Jews should not settle on their native ancestral lands and should even question whether these lands were indeed ancestral. Anyone on the Right believed the complete opposite.

The result was two ideologies that pervert the meaning of "Left" and "Right", with the general public following one perverted ideology or another. In normal countries, whether in a state of peace or conflict, "Left" and "Right" are defined by people's opinions on social and economic issues, not territory. Only in Israel is there a definition like this. This is something for all Israelis to be ashamed of, regardless of their personal opinions.

Israel is the ancestral homeland of the Jews, where they have lived for close to 4,000 years, and there is nothing wrong with a Jew wishing to live anywhere he chooses in that homeland. This should be obvious to anyone, regardless of his or her politics.

The writer of this article happens to be a left-wing secularist whose political opinions tend to lean to the Left and who is proudly voting for Barack Obama. Minus the issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict, there are many issues that, it is certain, both I and Arutz Sheva's readers disagree on, like abortion rights and gay rights. (Even though I'm not gay, I find the anti-gay advertisements that appear on the Arutz Sheva website to be highly offensive.)

When I go to Israel, I don't go around harassing Jews and I don't hinder Jewish rebuilding in Judea and Samaria (and hopefully soon in Gush Katif). But there is a word for those who do so: "anti-Semite". Those who cut down olive trees and blame the Jews for it, those who march in the streets of Hebron for the sole purpose of harassing Jews, those who take Jews to court in order to "legally" rob Jewish-owned land and property, or who actively advocate the expulsion of Jews from their homeland - they are not leftists. No, they aren't "true leftists," nor are they only "left-wing wannabes" or "distorters of the true face of the Left". They aren't leftists. Period. And as much as they might describe themselves as such, let's call a duck, a duck - they are anti-Semites, pure and simple. And they belong to anti-Semitic organizations. Not unlike the American Nazi Party or the Austrian Freedom Party or Pamyat in Russia. They act anti-Semitic and their actions are anti-Semitic.

They actively aid both the right-wing Hamas and the left-wing Fatah in their attempts to destroy Israel. So please don't put me in the same category as Peace Now, Gush Shalom, ISM, or any other like-minded organization. I have nothing to do with these people.

And lest anyone think that most of those organizations are, in fact, left-wing, consider the following: Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Silvan Shalom, Sha'ul Mofaz were all right-wingers who either expelled, or who actively advocate the expulsion of, Jews from their homeland, or who harassed Jews in all ways imaginable. Even though the above-mentioned were accused of going leftwards, in fact, they are just as much on the Right today as they were yesterday and even ten years ago (with the exception of Begin, who's dead).

In the last election for prime minister, the right-wing Binyamin Netanyahu used the epithet "Smolmert" to describe his opponent. It's a play on words – smolah ("leftward") and Olmert. Assuming, for the moment that Netanyahu is right (pardon the pun) that Ehud Olmert has gone to the Left, and also Tzipi Livni, can anyone honestly say that Netanyahu will be better than the other two? And lest anyone believe that the religious are today's vanguard in the
How many religious Jews supported the anti-Semitic expulsions from Gush Katif and northern Samaria?
Jewish up-building in the Land of Israel, do the names Meimad or Neturei Karta or Meir Porush mean anything to anyone? How many religious Jews supported the anti-Semitic expulsions from Gush Katif and northern Samaria?

And even in the United States, it wasn't Bill Clinton who came up with the Road Map (although I'm sure that if he had thought of it, he wouldn't have hesitated to propose it). Many words, by the way, were subsequently thrown around by critics of the Road Map to describe this plan - "a mistake", "folly", "suicidal". But no one used the word that most correctly described it: "anti-Semitic". When Sarah Palin was asked point-blank whether she supports the anti-Semitic notion of a "two-state solution," she unhesitatingly said, "Yes." Consider other American right-wingers who also support this policy - Pat Buchanan, James Baker, George Bush I, John McLaughlin, Henry Kissinger and Bob Dole - who aren't exactly known to be friendly to Israel.

The fact is, the terms "Left" and "Right" as defined by Israelis pervert the true and only meanings of "Left" and "Right" as they have been defined by the rest of the world since time immemorial. The real issue in Israel today (and there are many), is "anti-Semitism". Anybody can be susceptible to it, whether on the Left or the Right.

So let's call a duck, a duck and define the acts of Peace Now, Gush Shalom, ISM, etc. as anti-Semitic (not leftist) acts performed by anti-Semitic (not leftist) organizations.

And please don't put me in the same category as them.