Leon, former editor of New Outlook, has collected articles by Israel's most vociferous and venomous far-leftists to show that, despite the enormous discrediting of leftist ideas over the past fifteen years, "peace" is still possible if Israel adopts an uncompromising anti-Zionist, Marxist agenda. The happy result of that would be (depending on the writer) either a two-state solution or a one-state solution. (The latter means Israel is eradicated and replaced by a single Arab-majority state.) All the authors agree that Israel's electoral Left is too moderate, too cowardly, and insufficiently anti-Zionist.
Uri Avnery, the father of Israeli anti-Zionism, the man who obediently marketed every slogan coming out of the PLO, is, amazingly, in this volume among the less extremist writers; he actually proposes a solution that will leave Israel in existence alongside Palestine in a two-state solution. This is rejected by other writers, such as As'ad Ghanem, a political scientist at the University of Haifa, who wants a single "non-denominational" state, stripped of all Jewish symbols and identity with no ties at all to Jewish national ambitions. This is the "state for all its citizens," that has become the mantra of Israel's far Left.
Tamar Gozansky, an unreformed Stalinist, who sat until recently in Israel's parliament as representative of the predominantly Arab Hadash party, offers boilerplate Marxism with knee-jerk denunciations of "state capitalism," privatization, and "concentration of capital." Shulamit Aloni, who once ran Meretz and was Israel's minister of education for a while, complains that the schools do not spend enough time bashing religion and promoting the Left's notion of human rights.
Lev Grinberg, in the news recently for publishing an article denouncing Israel for conducting "symbolic genocide" against Palestinians when it assassinated Sheikh Yassin of Hamas, has an article that denounces what he calls the "Ashkenazi Left." Despite Israel's having pursued the Left's failed policies since the early 1990s, Grinberg is livid that most of the Left rejects his extremism. Menahem Klein, from Bar Ilan University, recently made a speech declaring Israel's very creation a catastrophic mistake; here he insists on the transfer of all of East Jerusalem to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Ilan Pappé, best known for his role in the infamous Tantura affair, is even more explicit than Grinberg in denouncing the non-fanatic Israeli Left for its failure to reject Zionism altogether. Pappé dedicated his last book to his sons, whom he wished would grow up in "Palestine"—or in a Middle East from which Israel has been eradicated. Pappé's proposal is that Israel allow unrestricted immigration for any Arab claiming to be a Palestinian.
Henriette Dahan-Kalev, a "gender sociologist" from Ben-Gurion University, denounces Israel for supposedly suppressing the Mizrahi (Oriental Jewish) "narrative." That most Oriental Jews vote against the Left might have something to do with her hostility. Amira Hass, arguably the most extremist anti-Israel columnist in the Israeli media, dismisses all Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy as a conspiracy to advance Israeli "colonialism." Arella Shadmi, a radical feminist, denounces the Ashkenazi militarist, bourgeois, patriarchal conspiracy. Alon Tal, an adjunct at several Israeli universities, declares Israel must foreswear economic growth to pursue fashionable environmentalism; no more immigrants—they'll crowd the lizards!
Despite all its nonsense, Who's Left in Israel? has value as a guide to the mindset of Israel's hard Left today and perhaps the harder Left tomorrow.