Bennett government would make Israel easier to sell in ‘progressive circles,’ leading Israel advocate says

Israel’s advocates in U.S. politics are excited by the possible replacement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by Naftali Bennett, in a “change” coalition. Even though Bennett is to the right of Netanyahu, his coalition would include a few leftleaning Israelis, and that will make Israel easier to sell.

“You can’t deny that America is better off with Trump out of the Oval Office. And so it will be for Israel if the Netanyahus have to vacate Balfour Street,” writes Martin Indyk. “Step-by-step.” And he cheers the exit: “Going going, but not yet gone.”

Aaron David Miller, a longtime advocate for Israel, also sees the silver lining in terms of Israel’s profile in U.S. politics. A Bennett government, Miller says, “could be a real break for Biden on JCPOA [the Iran deal], toning down of provocative acts in Jerusalem and on West Bank ironically w/ Prime Minister more right-wing than Netanyahu.” But it’s a mixed bag, Miller says:

It’s hard to overestimate estimate degree to which Netanyahu’s leaving will help ameliorate US-Israeli tensions and hard to underestimate the degree to which underlying dynamic — Israel moves right while Democrats move left — will maintain those tensions.

The leadership of one of the most powerful pro-Israel groups, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, has been in Israel meeting with one Jewish politician after another –no Palestinians, to judge from their twitter feed — and after “honor”-ing Netanyahu yesterday– here’s the picture —

Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, June 1, 2021, and state that it is “an honor” to meet with the Israeli PM “to express solidarity with Israel on behalf of American Jewry.” From Conference twitter feed. Jewish leaders are, l to r, Malcolm Hoenlein, Dianne Lob, Netanyahu, and William Daroff.

William Daroff, the CEO, threw Netanyahu under the bus, saying on i24 News that a change government would be good for his business– selling Israel to Democrats.

Progressives here in Israel I believe that they are the best ambassadors for moving that message forward. With the new government that may be coming in the fore some of those progressive voices will be out a little bit louder than they were previously, and I think that will have an ipact on public opinion in progressive circles around the world.

Bennett is a secular rightwinger who has extremist views about Palestinian rights. He’s said, “I have killed many Arabs in my life and there’s no problem with that.”

Today on i24 a rightwing Israeli said that Bennett’s “Change” coalition is a necessity to Israel in its relations with the United States and the Democratic Party. Ben Dror-Yemini assured that a Bennett government would not be “leftleaning,” and a Palestinian state is off the table. But it would be more amenable to American push for a deal with Iran, and this is now in Israel’s interest because the Democratic Party is fracturing over support for Israel.

Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chair of the Conference of the Presidents, told i24 that the recent reported spike in antisemitism in the United States will cause progressive Jews to abandon politicians who are critical of Israel.

“I do think that the antisemitism is bringing a lot of these people to reassess and realize that the positions they were taking were not consistent not only with their own interests but the interests of America,” he says.

This is now a theme of pro-Israel propaganda: Zionism IS Judaism. “Zionism is a core component of who we are as a people and how we identify as a people — as a consequence, when people deny the Jewish people the right to self-determination, it is in fact an antisemitic act,” Daroff says.

So where are the Palestinian voices in mainstream media?

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