Monday, January 09, 2012

Notice a Trend?

The closest thing Israel has to a major fascist party is Yisrael Beiteinu.* Using "fascist" to describe YB isn't just my schtick -- it was applied by none other than Martin Peretz, who certainly is not unsympathetic to right-wing Israeli outlooks generally. YB is strong amongst Russian immigrants, and essentially wants to bring Putin-style "democracy" to the Jewish state -- that is to say, it wants to wreck Israeli democracy. And while Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is perhaps YB's most prominent member, nobody exemplifies its "values" better than MK Anastassia Michaeli.

A former "Miss St. Petersburg", Michaeli converted to Judaism upon marrying her husband and made aliyah to Israel in 1997. While she was listed on the Kadima slate in 2006, she did not earn a seat in the Knesset; however, after jumping ship to Yisrael Beiteinu in 2009, she was given their 9th slot and entered the Israeli parliament.

Since then, she has "distinguished" herself by informing the entire Israeli populace that they needed a lesson in "patriotism" that only she and her Russian colleagues could provide, by virtue of the infamous "NGO probe" bill. And just the other day, she tossed a cup of water at an Israeli-Arab MK during an argument about an Arab principal who had taken her students to a human rights rally in Tel Aviv (like any good Putin acolyte, Michaeli declared this "marching against the state"). This isn't even the first time that Michaeli has physically assaulted an Israeli-Arab MK -- last June she was reprimanded for trying to physically remove a colleague from the Knesset floor as the latter attempt to speak about the Gaza flotilla raid.

I mean, violent fascist racism -- it's the Yisrael Beiteinu trifecta. What could be more "patriotic" than that?

* A few minor parties -- most notably National Union -- manage to stray even further into extremism, and effectively are the official representatives of anti-Israel "price tag" terrorists.

UPDATE: Michaeli has been suspended from the Knesset for one month -- an extremely harsh sanction (normally, suspensions last only a day or two).

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