One of the EU’s close neighbours, Israel, is gearing up for its fourth legislative elections in less than two years. It is a long-standing economic and trade partner of the EU, but relations with it are always overshadowed by the still unsolved conflict with the Palestinians and the vanishing of any real prospects for the peace process, under the enduring dominance of the Israeli Right.
For the Progressive Post, the upcoming elections are an opportunity to look at Israeli internal political dynamics and its political spectrum, and to reflect on the state of progressive forces in the Mediterranean country. Roee Kibrik, Director of Research at Mitvim (the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies), describes how the Israeli Right – which has been in power since 1977, with only few and short interruptions – has changed over time, gradually abandoning liberal principles in the name of ideological and political considerations.
Nimrod Goren, head of Mitvim and lecturer for Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, focuses on the progressive camps’ attempts to recover its power and influence and considers the options to meet this goal, in particular the role played by partnerships with the progressive organisations outside of Israel, an aspect that has been neglected for years but that the common fight against the erosion of democracy in many countries has recently reinforced.
A critical assessment from a progressive perspective of the role of Israel in the region, the recent Abraham Accords (signed in September 2020) and relations with Israel’s allies, namely the US, is finally provided by Ksenia Svetlova, former member of the Knesset and Director of the Program on Israel-Middle East Relations at Mivim, who claims the need for the progressive camp in Israel to offer a real alternative agenda in foreign policy, one based on an inclusive dialogue.