Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ranking the Right

An Israeli right-wing lobby group called Mattot Arim has published a list of Members of the Knesset most supportive and active on right-wing issues.

By visiting Mattot Arim's blog, one can send away for an e-mail copy of the full report, but this article and the blog itself indicate that the criteria for whether or not one is "...pro-Israel ("right")..." is if they are onside vis a vis "Palestinian state - danger for Israel, building Judea and Samaria, encouraging critical-location outposts, protecting civil rights for right-wing persons including settlers, checking hostile media, balances for the High Court of Justice, no release of terrorists, promoting the war on terror, and checking hostility of Israel's Arab population."

Mattot Arim's blog and the article linked above rank parliamentarians based on how much "action" (bills, motions, votes, etc.) they have taken on right wing issues.

Here's a bit more about some of the front runners.

MK Danon (36 actions). MK Danon was most recently in the news for suggesting that members of the Knesset should not attend the U.S. Embassy's July 4th celebrations because "The statements recently heard by representatives of the American government regarding Israel's commitment to stop building in Judea and Samaria, including natural growth, and the statements that accuse Israel of lying over the years to the White House, seriously damage Israel's honor. I call upon MKs to boycott the event at the ambassador's house, to deliver to the American administration a clear message - that the State of Israel is independent and not President Obama's pet."

MK Ben-Ary (35 actions). MK Ben-Ary, who has his own (apparently inactive) blog, was a member of the banned, racist Kach party in Israel.

MK Levin (33 actions). MK Levin is a former VP of the Israeli Bar Association and made headlines not too long ago when he was amongst several MKs to propose worsening the conditions of Palestinian prisoners so long as Gilad Shalit's condition remained unknown.

MK Professor Eldad (30 actions). Last year, MK Prof. Eldad suggested that anyone who gives up Israeli territory should face the death penalty (a remark made in connection to the Golan Heights.) He was also very upset about a popular German song played in Israel because of the associations of the German language and Jewish history.

MK Ariel (26 actions). When Israel was proposing its withdrawal from the Gaza strip, MK Ariel moved to a settlement in solidarity with the settlers who were going to be removed from their homes.

MK Hotovely (24 actions). Amongst the issues that MK Hotovely cites as important to her are re-infusing Israeli secular education with religious values and supporting the settlement movement in the West Bank. She is also the youngest MK in the Knesset.

MK Orbach (23 actions). MK Orbach was a journalist prior to becoming an MK. An example of his writing is here where he criticize Jews that aid the "Palestinian propaganda effort."

Minister Erdan (13 actions). MK Erdan suggested that to stop the rockets from Gaza, Palestinian prisoners should be interned within rocket range as human shields.

Minister Begin (12 actions). MK Begin, the son of the former Prime Minister of Israel who signed the peace treaty with Egypt has said: "...because the Oslo accord was scuttled by the Arabs' perpetration of terrorism, there is no alternative to having the IDF control security in the areas of the Palestinian Authority."

Minister Ya'alon (10 actions). A former military leader, MK Ya'alon is vocally opposed to the freezing of settlements and thinks Israel should not comply with what he terms US "dictates."

Minister Edelstein (10 actions). MK Edelstein is a supporter of the settlements and hopes that Netanyau will seek understanding with the US to allow such settlements to remain.

The fact is, not all the people on this list are so far out in right field that they can't compromise. Some of them have some very reasonable views on other issues and some of their right wing views are really, not that right wing. It is interesting to note, however, that the issues that make one right wing in Israel are all related to nationalism and security, not economic issues, as may traditionally define one on the Right or the left.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder what all these distinguished MKs would think of him: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8203989.stm

A friend.