In a recent piece for The Huffington Post, Rabbi Michael Lerner recounts the results of Tuesday’s elections, in which Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party won six more seats in the Knesset than did its opposition, the Zionist Union. This means that Netanyahu will now be charged with creating a coalition, one that will surely benefit the right wing, making the Likud Party, its leader and its right-wing base the winners of election. However, Lerner argues, while the Zionist Union was certainly among the losers on Tuesday, the loss was not limited to Israeli political parties.

“The biggest losers [in Israel’s decision to re-elect the Likud Party],” writes the former Truthdigger of the Week, “will be all those on the planet who yearn for a world based on social and economic justice, environmental sanity, peace and non-violence, and genuine caring for the peoples of the world.”

Read more of Lerner’s response to the disappointing outcome in Israel, below.

The Huffington Post:

How can the right wing grow to so much power in an Israel filled with mostly decent human beings, some of whom have even been influenced by Judaism’s teachings of love for neighbor and love for “the other,” though of course most Israelis are secular?

The first culprit here is Hamas. Hamas’ decision to bomb Israeli cities last summer was not only an ethically hateful violation of human rights, targeting Israeli civilians, pushing millions to run into air raid shelters day after day for much of the summer, but it was also massive victory for right-wingers in Israel who were thereby able to justify Israel’s massive assault on Gaza but also to recredit in the minds of many Israelis the most fearful vision of Jews being in danger of annihilation even though Israel is by far the strongest military force in the middle east and the only one with massive nuclear weapons. Hamas is playing a dirty game here, believing that Israel’s extremists will ultimately cause Israel to lose the support of most of the countries of the world, and weaken Israel in the long run. Moreover, Netanyahu’s explicit rejection of a Palestinian state gives Hamas the upper hand in its political battle with the Palestinian Authority which had agreed to the Obama/Kerry strategy of negotiations with Israel to create a Palestinian state. With that no longer an option, Hamas’ commitment to replace Israel with a “one state solution” will seem the only remaining option to many Palestinians and hence increase Hamas’ political power in any future Palestinian election…Republicans will have their stature elevated, having given Netanyahu a platform on which he could communicate the image of being “tough” and at the same time loved by the US Congress. Doing so almost certainly helped his status with a section of Israeli voters who two weeks before were not so sure about Netanyahu and who continue to deny to pollsters, but not to each other, that they were swayed by the Congress’ support of Likud — it’s beneath their Zionist dignity to allow non-Jews to impact on their voting, but it did.

Conversely, being a militarist and racist state will not help win Israel any friends around the world, and in the not-too-long-run it will weaken Israel’s support in the US both among Americans in general and in particular among young Jews. So count the real anti-Semites who want to see Israel undermined as a way of getting at all Jews as having been among the beneficiaries of the Netanyahu victory.

The biggest losers will be all those on the planet who yearn for a world based on social and economic justice, environmental sanity, peace and non-violence, and genuine caring for the peoples of the world. Those of us who talk about building a world based on love and caring will face the next five years with an Israel that scoffs at those ideas and spreads its cynicism to the rest of the world. Instead, Israel will be spouting a message of fear and championing the “Right Hand of God,” i.e. the notion that force and violence are the only way to achieve safety and security. And while few Israelis want to be involved in another war, many want to get the US to do a proxy war on Iran for Israel, and that will be bad not only for the people of the Middle East but also for the many Americans who will lose their lives in such a war.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.