RENOWNED PHYSICIST, DR. HAIM HARARI IS FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE WEIZMANN INSTITUTE IN ISRAEL. THIS COLUMN WAS PRESENTED AT A FOREIGN POLICY FORUM….RSK
The dominant country, in one of the most important regions of the world, experienced several years of tumultuous unrest, mass demonstrations, brutality, murders and chaos. This was followed by a parliamentary election, won by an extremist right wing party, whose demagoguery appealed to the lowest common denominator of the voters.
The party received the largest popular vote and the largest number of seats in the parliament, but not an absolute majority. Its leader, formerly jailed by a previous regime, was installed as head of the government. The program of action of the new ruling party was sometimes openly declared, and often whispered in code language, but it was unambiguously stated in published books and documents prior to the election. It aimed at suppressing all competing political forces, by brutal means, if necessary. It also advocated the creation of a large “living space” for the people led by it, creating an empire, and controlling various territories in Europe that were formerly occupied by its allies. It advocated and practiced a strong policy of discrimination against minority groups, ethnic, religious and others, and it explicitly intended to murder the entire world Jewish population.
The naïve democratic western powers largely ignored the clearly stated plans of the new ruling party. They talked themselves into believing that these were just an exaggerated form of political rhetoric, not meant as a real concrete strategy. They welcomed the democratically elected government, believing that the winning party had some components, which were not as evil as it might appear, and they remained passive as the new regime gradually proceeded with its agenda, step by step. This misguided western attitude was shared by conservatives, liberals and socialists, from the moderate right and moderate left in Western Europe and the United States.