My new article on the implosion of the Israeli left at the very moment when American Jewish doves are finally speaking out is up at The American Prospect:
Danny Ben-Simon has quit. If anyone needed more evidence of the disarray of the Israeli left, this is it — but then, no one actually needs any more evidence.
Ben-Simon became the whip of the Labor Party’s Knesset delegation just five months ago. That sounds like a prominent position for a first-time Knesset member, until you remember that the once-powerful party now has just 13 representatives in the 120-seat parliament and that at least four of them have had nothing to do with Labor since its leader, Ehud Barak, insisted on joining Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government in order to become defense minister.
Before running for office this year, Ben-Simon was one of the country’s most incisive political reporters. He literally wrote the book on Labor’s inability to connect to lower-class voters. At a press conference on Monday, he announced his decision to quit his position as whip with a furious attack on Barak for his failure to pursue peace. The riddle is why he thought he could work with Barak in the first place.
In 1993, when Labor’s Yitzhak Rabin led Israel into the peace process with the Palestinians, the party had 44 Knesset seats. The smaller Meretz Party, to Labor’s left, then had 12 seats; now it has three. The political parties aren’t alone in imploding. Peace Now, a protest movement that in its heyday sometimes drew hundreds of thousands of people to demonstrations, still runs a monitoring effort that provides crucial information on West Bank settlement and has filed important lawsuits against settlers. But it only manages to draw major crowds to the annual memorial for Rabin — perhaps now a memorial for the peace movement itself. …
Read the rest here, and come back to SoJo to comment.