Alarm Bells on the Ascendancy of the Israeli Far Right

The N.Y. Times-owned International Herald Tribune has a very disturbing, must-read op-ed piece today by Yossi Alpher, “Who Rules Israel?”. If you’ve been feeling out of sorts lately about what feels like a mounting assault on beleaguered Israeli peace and human rights advocates by an ever-more influential far right, Alpher makes the case, in a pretty authoritative way, that it’s probably worse than you think.

Coincidentally or not, Alpher’s Thursday IHT piece comes one day after a parallel op-ed piece written by Tel Aviv University political scientist Martin Sherman and published on Ynet, the hugely trafficked Web site of Israel’s largest-circulation daily Yediot Ahronot, titled “Who Really Runs Israel?” (the link is to the English translation at He argues that Israeli leaders repeatedly make disastrous decisions, like Oslo and the Gaza disengagement, because the country’s real rulers are a permanent, semi-invisible elite of lawyers, journalists and academics whose true goal is to ingratiate themselves with the politically correct Western intelligentsia at the expense of Israel’s security and survival.

Sherman is a member of the editorial board of Nativ, a pro-settler academic bimonthly published by the Ariel Center for Policy Research. He’s also a visiting professor of Israel Studies this year at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, courtesy of a grant from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, according to the HUC Web site.

For more information and illumination, check in with his hosts at HUC.

Written by

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).

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Alarm Bells on the Ascendancy of the Israeli Far Right

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