Likud versus the Neocons

I’ve pointed out several times before that contrary to mythology created by leftists (e.g., Juan Cole) and paleoconservatives who dislike both right-of-center Israelis and American neoconservatives, the latter are not “Likudniks” and the former are not “neocons.” [“Short and sweet, the Likud is not neoconservative, and neoconservative foreign policy, while pro-Israel and hawkish, is otherwise not much like Likud’s.”]

At the heart of neoconservative ideology is the use of American hard and soft power to promote democracy around the world. With the prominent but lone exception of Natan Scharansky, meanwhile, Israeli right-wingers not only have shown little interest in democracy in the Arab world, they positively fear and oppose it, believing that the Arab “street” is (and is inherently) far more hostile to Israel than is the governing elite, particularly in Egypt and Jordan.

And, indeed, the op-ed pages are currently filled with neoconservatives calling for the U.S. to take the side of pro-democracy demonstrators in Egypt (e.g.), while the Likud-led Israeli government is calling for stability and preserving Mubarak’s power.

The great neocon-Likud conspiracy was always a product of fevered imaginations, helped along, too often, by a large dollop of anti-Jewish prejudice, or at least a willingness to play to such prejudice.