Understanding Lieberman’s Voters

Haim Watzman

Why do I really dislike Avigdor Lieberman? Because he’s forcing me to write about politics. When Gershom and I started this blog, I thought he’d take the political beat and leave me free to write about my country’s diverse and exciting culture and literature. But who can concentrate on books when the wolves are howling at the door?

A couple days before the election I had a long conversation with a young Palestinian-Israeli woman I often see at my favorite South Jerusalem café, The Coffee Mill. Like me, she was in despair over the likely results of the impending election, although unlike me, she wasn’t planning to vote.

I told her something that I’m afraid may shock some of SoJo’s readers, those who seem to measure us by the extent to which we conform to left-wing clichés. I told her that the Israelis who voted for Lieberman and his party aren’t evil people.

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Feiglin and Fascism

Gershom Gorenberg After the Likud primary, I wrote briefly here on the unprecedented power that Moshe Feiglin has gained in that party. My new piece in The American Prospect provides more information on Feiglin, his beliefs, and the danger he poses: Until recently, Feiglin hasn’t hidden his goals. On the Jewish Leadership website, a Hebrew … Read more

Thanks to Our Readers

Readers’ notes in the last few days include these tidbits:

  • Moshe Feiglin, head of the Manhigut Yehudit (“Jewish Leadership”) faction in the Likud, has been touring the U.S., speaking at synagogues such as Congregation B’nai Yeshurun in Teaneck. Manhigut Yehudit’s website includes a draft constitution in Hebrew with such features as a rabbinical council that could overturn all laws. In an interview with the fawning Jewish Press, Feiglin said that “There is no such thing as innocent civilians” and said that as prime minister he would have responded to the Merkaz Harav terror attack last month by acting against the attacker’s entire village. Feiglin’s support in the Likud comes entirely from the far-right activists he has signed up as party members, to the embarrassment of the rest of the party. But what are American congregations doing hosting someone who can be called, with understatement, a fascist?
  • Thank God for the farm lobby:

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