There are two visions for Israel now. One is the old vision, the one that the left and the right once agreed upon. A nation with agriculture and industry, its capital in Jerusalem, its army and a new generation of settlers standing watch on the frontier.
Then there's the vision of a "New Israel". Like Tony Blair's "New Britain", this technocratic plan has nothing in common with a workable country. The left's version of Israel concentrates on the Gush Dan metropolitan region as the overcrowded heart of a secular state, with a high tech economy and hardly any religion.
Tel Aviv and its dingy satellite cities would become a new Singapore. All Dot Coms and cheap labor. Judea and Samaria would go the way of Gaza. And Jerusalem would be internationalized. The Golan Heights would be given back, the Galilee would become an autonomous territory like Cyprus, so likely would the Negev. Deals might be reached to keep major cities operating under Israeli law. There would be no borders in the binational state, but international forces under UN supervision would provide security between Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Israel.
Call this vision, the Warsaw Ghetto with an Internet Cafe. The most enthusiastic proponent of it is Shimon Peres, whose insensibility has brought the country to the brink of destruction in its name.
The Socialist Left lost interest in agriculture decades ago. The Kibbutzim are still around, but they work more like commercial farms, while the experimental social system around them is fading away. The grandsons and granddaughters of the old left are much less interested in driving a tractor and would rather be executives and models. And the left's vision of Israel has shifted from the agricultural and industrial to a busy metropolis with a stock market and lots of nightclubs... and not much else.
The new paradigm is Blair by way of Lennon, "Imagine there are no borders, nothing to kill or die for, Imagine there's no heaven and no religion, Imagine there's no Arab or Jew, just fellow post-doctoral students at Hebrew U." The only thing standing in the way of that vision is some 70 percent of the country. Which has to go.
This New Israel would have no room for its growing religious majority, for the Russian Jewish immigrants who tend to be smarter and more conservative than the left's pretentious elites, for the Middle Eastern Jews who have become a political force, and for the small towns and villages on the frontier packed with all three. Cheap labor would be provided by African migrants. Some agriculture would remain packed into Gush Dan, the rest would be supplemented by imports.
The secular left would be able to secede from an Israel which has less and less use for them. But it would be a reverse secession. Rather than the left leaving Israel, it would destroy the rest of the country and then declare that their Singapore on the Mediterranean is Dudu Topaz's real Israel. Topaz helped the Labor Party commit suicide by telegraphing the left wing's contempt for Middle Eastern Jews. Recently he committed suicide himself. And the left keeps trying to force the entire country to commit suicide.
The one tricky word standing in the way of the destruction of Israel is "Security". The left could get gullible crowds to sing about peace, but they couldn't get their terrorist allies to deliver it, except briefly around election time. No government of the left has been able to deliver the type of conditions that would convince any sensible person that peace is at hand. Instead their policy has degenerated into an endless hate campaign blaming the "right", the settlers, the ethnic slurs and anyone else at hand for sabotaging "peace".
Like Noam Shalit blaming Netanyahu for keeping his son captive, the left blames the right for keeping peace captive. As if it were actually a dove in a cage, waiting for someone to spring the lock. As if the metaphors with which they have crowded their Alei Yarok minds were actually the reality. And reality was an illusion manufactured by Avigdor Lieberman.
And then the left's dream of the Warsaw Ghetto with an Internet Cafe would finally be realized. The Palestinian Authority's industrial zones would host their factories. And if the owners would sometimes get killed visiting those factories, there would be a complaint to the UN.
The smart set would be jet setters. Passports always on hand. Paris, London, New York and LA. After their great-grandparents escaped the bundle on the back, their children enthusiastically embrace the life of the postmodern peddler. The man without a country, who lives everywhere and nowhere. Who speaks six languages, collects the art of four different nations, and has an affinity for every culture, but his own.
This is the glittering Galut they have reinvented, Exile 2.0. A ghetto with a Hong Kong cityscape and the beat cop of international law keeping them safe from the Jihadist pogrom. Israel shrunk to a handful of overcrowded urban centers in the new Pale of Settlement with a hot nightlife under the protection of a blue helmeted Czar. So the Sabra stoops down to become his aged grandfather once more. The Galut Yiddele with a million miles and no future.
This was never about peace with the Palestinian Muslim terrorist gangs. The Left has been left behind by an international socialism that no longer cares about its old values of communal agriculture and nationalized industry. The New Left is post-colonial and anti-national. Its only ideology is the wrecking ball and a passionate love for terrorism. It cannot be reconciled with any state for long.
And Israel has left the Left behind as well. This is a country that is more religious and more conservative than ever. It is filled with immigrants from the USSR with an inborn suspicion of the left and immigrants from the Middle-East with an inborn suspicion of appeasing Muslims. Against all these, the left has nothing to offer but second-hand ideology from the European left.
The Israeli left has no place in a modern Israel, where privatization has created a booming economy and peace is a desert mirage. Its militant atheism is faring poorly in the midst of a growing religious awakening. Even its own areas are under siege by synagogues and emissaries of religious groups looking to bring the lost sheep back to the fold.
And the Israeli leftist has changed as well. He has become a creature of universities, not farms. His ancestors escaped from Europe, he escapes to Europe to get away from a stifling country that he no longer identifies with. The vision of a national destiny here is gone. He is mobile, plugged in, digital and virtual. Here is just where he happens to be. And mostly he would rather be somewhere else. The trek back to the Galut has begun for the left.
The European left has successfully colonized the Israeli left. It has turned it into an outpost of its own venomous hate for the Jewish state. Its activists have become enemy agents, hurling rocks at Israeli soldiers, spying on Israeli villages in Judea and Samaria and taking money under the table from foreign interests. There are no shortage of these enemy agents penning columns for the Guardian or opening their own NGO's to aid Muslim terrorists. And the recruitment is moving up the ladder to more senior Israeli officials and politicians.
There is a showdown coming. A crack between the technocratic vision of an Israeli Singapore and the majority that wants a working country with Jerusalem and safe frontiers.
The left has already politically imploded. The Labor Party that once ruled the country is a faint dream of a memory. The left's own radical parties hardly make a showing at the polls. All that remains is Kadima, a party with no identity, whose idiot figurehead expects Obama to overthrow Netanyahu and bring her to power.
The left knows what it wants. The Warsaw Ghetto with an Internet Cafe. The conservatives are much less clear. Slogans like "Peace and Security" are a contradiction in terms, when the peace negotiations are also the chief cause of terror. The right has lost touch with the national vision. If it does not reconnect with it, then it will be stuck trying to make the left's Warsaw Ghetto with an Internet Cafe into a workable proposition.