The Zionist Conspiracy
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Democracy and the Left
In a column in Thursday's Jerusalem Post, Larry Derfner, a left-wing columnist for the paper, writes that "it should be clear now that the settlers and their allies are much too strong for the Israeli majority. They can bring down governments, run circles around the IDF, and now, as the Likud referendum proved, take a voting public that started out solidly against them and browbeat it into submission."
Derfner has every right to his opinion that Israel should unilaterally dismantle the Gaza communities, and to lament the defeat of the Sharon plan in the Likud referendum. Indeed, if the polls are accurate, his view is in the majority. But his attack on "the settlers and their allies" is a disgrace. How exactly did they "take a voting public that started out solidly against them and browbeat it into submission"? Did they threaten the Likud members with any sort of harm? Did they riot and attack Arabs, or their political opponents in Israel? No, they simply had the gall to run an effective campaign against the plan. The Likud members who voted for or against - and those who chose not to vote at all - did so entirely of their own free will.
According to Derfner's logic, opponents of the Sharon plan had no right to express any criticism, especially since initial polls were against them. I guess his view of a democracy is one in which only those with political opinions similar to his can express, and struggle for approval of, their views. One wonders whether he objects to right-wing Post columnists such as Sarah Honig and Caroline Glick having written that, in their respective opinions, the plan is a disaster.