Israel’s new government: Very male, very white, very capitalist

Oh, and the settlements are in very, very good hands.

Binyamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid (Photo: IsraeliinUSA/CC BY 2.0, Activestills.org)
Binyamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid (Photo: IsraeliinUSA/CC BY 2.0, Activestills.org)

One of Israel’s leading sociologists, the late Baruch Kimmerling, is responsible for coining the term “Ahusalim (אחוס”לים),” to describe those who ruled Israel for decades. It is an acronym in Hebrew for “Ashkenazi, secular, old guard, socialists, and nationalists.” ASOSNs, for us English speakers. I guess Kimmerling was trying to find something similar to WASP, and although he came up with a term that became widely used, let’s face it – phonetically it’s a flop.

As I write these lines, the coalition agreements between the Likud, Jewish Home and Yesh Atid are being signed, and it appears we need a new acronym. I am suggesting the Hebrew term “Achdakglalim (אחדקגל”לים),” (or NARSYCWhiGs for us English speakers) for two reasons:

1) It’s much more relevant and inclusive. Now, it means “Nationalist, Ashkenazi, Religious, Secular, Young, Capitalist, White, Guys.

2) It also has the word “glalim” in it, which means “animal droppings,” and I find this funny.

I plan on giving this new government a chance before critiquing it too much, but it must be said that its current delegation of portfolios does not bode well.

With Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and new Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, backed by other staunch right-wing settlers in ministerial and key committee positions, this is another extremely nationalist government. Tzipi Livni, in charge of negotiations with Palestinians, and Yesh Atid, who claim to want a renewal of negotiations, will most probably be fig leaves for a process that has died long ago.

Settlements will continue to have massive funding, with Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) as Minister of Housing, and another representative of his party heading the all important finance committee.

On the financial front, neither Yesh Atid nor Jewish Home represent anything that the social protests stood for. Quite the opposite, in fact. Yair Lapid especially, who beat Likud in the posh towns of Savyon and Herzliya Pituach (the Beverly Hills of Israel), is most likely not going to fight the 1 percent too valiantly in his new position as finance minister.

And finally, we have the groups who will continue to be under-represented once again. The Mizrahim and women will have only 3-4 portfolios each, the ultra-Orthodox and Arabs – none at all.

So goodbye ASOSNs, hello NARSYCWhiGs.