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Thursday, December 10, 2009

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but...

... I agree with Peace Now.  There, I said it.

Peace Now, for all their delusional nuttiness, occasionally says something sensible. 

Today, the Labor Party and Peace Now both came out strongly against Netanyahu's new 'Priorities Map', a plan which indicates where special government funding for education, infrastructure, employment and direct tax breaks will be allocated. 

The reason given for their dissatisfaction (to say the least) with the plan is that it includes many settlements in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) where the average income is considerably higher - and where unemployment is slightly lower - than in many develoment towns inside the Green Line.

Personally, I was a little embarrassed to see my town listed among the communities that will benefit from this reallocation of government funds.  Sure it would be nice to see my kid's school get new computers, have the street signs and lamps updated, and to feel a little less of a tax bite on my paycheck.  But compared with many development towns on Israel's periphery (specifically in the south and north), my town is really doing quite well. 

So yeah... kol hakavod to Labor and Peace Now for calling Bibi out on a very poor prioritization of funds. 

However, what is missing from Labor's and Peace Now's outrage is the necessary acknowledgment that the sorry state of communities on Israel's periphery can be directly attributed to several generations of left wing Mappai / Labor governments' policies of systematically sending new immigrants from North Africa, Yemen, South America, 'Edot HaMizarach' and other less developed (meaning less refined) parts of the world, to the noisome, under-funded corners of the country, while more cosmopolitan immigrants from western Europe and North America were magically welcomed to Jerusalem and Gush Dan (Tel Aviv and its environs).

My point is that, yes, it is laudable that the Labor Party and Peace Now are suddenly interested in making sure that the state's limited 'priority' funds are directed towards those who most need them.  But it comes off as just a tad suspect when those very communities are in such dire straights specifically because of the callous (racist, even) immigration and social welfare polices of the left.

I suspect that this hand-wringing we're seeing from the political left has more to do with the fact that evil settlers stand to see a windfall from Bibi's new priority map, than about suddenly deciding to champion Israel's poorer sectors.

Just my 2 cents.

Posted by David Bogner on December 10, 2009 | Permalink

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I wanted to contemplate your post but my navel was occupying all of my attention.

Posted by: Kae Gregory | Dec 10, 2009 5:05:40 PM

Yeah, I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day. :)

But your point about Peace Now's arrant hypocrisy is well-taken. Kinda reminds me of all the anti-Afghan war activists here who were all "Boo-yah Afghanistan!" when they were using it as a billy-club to beat GWB over the head with during the election.

I've never been a big fan of selective indignation. Kudos for calling the Achshavniks on it.

Posted by: psachya | Dec 10, 2009 9:17:07 PM

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