Wednesday, September 09, 2015
The Israeli Media find a US prez candidate they Like
There has been an interesting twist in the Israeli media in recent days. The Israeli media, which in any case understand very little about the United States politics, have discovered a candidate with whom they wish to identify and over whom they can enthuse.
That candidate is Bernie Sanders. A typical "news story" this week had Channel One news talking head spouting out his excitement. Will the next US president be a Jewish socialist, he asks? Most of the rest of the media share his excitement.
Huh? Why should these media chatterers in Israeli be so focused on a character like Sanders? It is not, let us emphasize, because Sanders is Jewish. That does not interest the Israeli media much and in any case Bernie is not particularly Jewish nor particularly pro-Israel.
Instead, it is because Bernie is a socialist.
To understand this, one needs to understand that the word "socialist" in Israel, unlike in all the primary states in the US other than New Hampshire and Vermont, is considered to be a compliment. Americans may think that socialists are immature people choosing feel-good political positions about equality in the hope that this will result in their having a lot of friends, but Israelis really like the term. In the Israeli media, there is no term more damning than "capitalist" and the media rarely use the word capitalist by itself, usually replacing it with "piggish capitalism." The Israeli media are dominated by the Left, meaning those who vote Labor or further Left, and they just love the feel-good ideas of socialism and equality. Nothing excites them more than redistributing those things it has no idea of how to get produced in the first place.
In America, such "socialism" might get you some New Hampshire votes against an imploding Hillary campaign, but little else. Bernie will be a forgotten old chatterer in a year. But in Israel, much of the public still lives in the fantasy world of "good socialism," including Likud voters. Never mind that the Israeli economy is one of the more successful capitalist economies on the planet.