Israel's Rightward Shift Sparks Worries

Americans Fear Peace Will Be Casualty of Election Results

The fast-shifting Israeli political scene has U.S. policymakers fearing the worst for the peace process after the January 22 elections.
getty images
The fast-shifting Israeli political scene has U.S. policymakers fearing the worst for the peace process after the January 22 elections.

By Nathan Guttman

Published December 19, 2012, issue of December 21, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Speaking at the Saban Forum on November 30, Lieberman made clear that he does not envision any chance for renewing peace talks with the Palestinians in the near future, and he argued that expanding settlement activity in the West Bank is Israel’s right.

New Yorker Editor David Remnick, who attended the forum, later wrote about a “great deal of despairing hallway talk about the state of Israeli politics” among Americans with ties to Democratic administrations, pointing not only to Lieberman, but also to the lack of any centrist alternative in Israeli politics.

Some of the leading moderate voices within the Likud, including Cabinet ministers Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan, lost their primary bid and will not be part of the joint list, now called Likud-Beiteinu, in the upcoming elections. On the other hand, representatives of the settler movement and opponents of a two-state solution dominate the list.

Among them is Knesset member Danny Danon, who made it into the top 10 on the joint list and is likely to land a Cabinet post after the elections. Danon toured the United States in September, promoting his latest book and arguing, weeks before the presidential elections, that “Barack Obama is no friend of Israel.”

This could cause problems for Danon and his party in Washington down the road, but it did not seem to affect the young Knesset member’s fundraising efforts in the United States. Danon raised more than $90,000 from American donors during the recent primary election cycle, a higher amount than any other Israeli politician.

And while most Israeli candidates turn to members of the American Jewish community to fund their primary bids (non-Israeli citizens can donate only to primary races, not to parties running in the general elections), Danon succeeded in carving his own niche, tapping into a previously unknown reservoir of support. According to Israeli State Comptroller records, Danon raised $26,280 from Arkansas residents, most of them living in Fayetteville, and some involved with Christian organizations supportive of Israel.

“I am thankful to my supporters from Israel and abroad who support my policies and the clear and unapologetic way in which I state my positions on behalf of the State of Israel,” Danon said in a statement provided by a spokesman.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.