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Israel's right turn? « Previous | |Next »
February 6, 2009

As Gaza slowly emerges from the rubble Israel's election process indicates that it has swung to the right. It looks as if Benjamin Netanyahu may well be Israel's next prime minister with a coalition of Likud-Lieberman-Shas-National Union and Habayit Hayehudi. That means Israel will stand for occupation, more settlements, the destruction of Hamas, opposition to the peace process, no two state solution and confrontation with a fanatical Iran. No compromise.

stavro gaza.jpg Stavro

That would place a rightwing Israel on a collision course with the Obama administration, which has said that it wants to make progress on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and he also wants to pursue a diplomatic engagement with Iran. Will the Obama administration get tough with Israel's colonial expansion that has made the two-state solution increasingly impossible.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:47 AM | | Comments (11)
Comments

Comments

Either the Obama administration keeps a lid on Israel, or Netanyahu becomes for Israel what Bush Jr was for the US.

Until Lateline last night I didn't know Bush Snr threatened to withdraw support for Israel unless they calmed down.

A lot of progress has been made under the radar in the past couple of weeks, but probably not enough to get anything lasting in place before Israel's elections. It's not looking too good for anyone.

After all the fighting in Lebanon and Gaza Israel is still without peace. Israel's reputation is near an all-time low internationally after the destruction of Gaza despite the US acting as Israel's lawyer, cheerleader and backer.

Lyn,
the reality is that the Israeli government appears to have only tactics to fight the next battle. It's strategy is a combination of expanding the occupation of the West Bank, using the rhetoric of a two-state solution to appease the Americans and getting on with trying to crush Palestinian resistance.

There’s no “peace process” at work in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nor as there been for the past eight years. Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel is not, in any meaningful sense, a “partner” for a credible two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Anon, there is a circular logic to the peace process idea. One side is a nation state with all that that entails, the other is a people with the occasional spokesperson.

Israel could not do what it does to a Palestinian state without serious repercussions, so it's logical for Israel to prevent the logical solution.

As Peter points out, and as we saw happen to Bush's US, Israel is undermining this circular logic and its own capacity to keep it going. So I'd argue that Netanyahu's Israel isn't the only version of Israel that isn't a partner in any meaningful sense. He'll just hasten the demise of the charade.

John Lyons in The Australian says that the political parties in Israel are competing for 120 seats in the Knesset. To form government one of the major parties needs to form a coalition of at least 61 seats. Based on latest polling, Netanyahu's Likud looks set to win 30, Kadima 25, Yisrael Beiteinu 17, Labor 16, the religious Shas party nine and the rest among the smaller parties.This would make Lieberman a very powerful man. His projected 17 seats could help deliver government to either Likud or Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima.

But what peace process is possible between Hamas and Likud?

Washington will have to give up trying to destroy Hamas and accept Hamas as the legitimate democratic government of the Palestinian people.

Was it just last week Tony Blair was saying any realistic deal will have to include Hamas? That you couldn't afford to just ignore them?

Only liberals can back folks who send suicide bombers into Israeli school buses, shopping malls, and restaurants

James
the two state solution The two-state solution is on its deathbed largely due to Israel's unrelenting occupation and settlement project in the West Bank.

It is one sided to imply that the the two-state option has been caused by the rain of Hamas rockets from Gaza, and Israel's outsized response.

James, it's a political problem needing a political solution. You can't get a political solution while only one side has a recognised political structure.

I read something somewhere that suggested Hamas has distinct militant and political wings. Does anyone know if that's right?

Lyn

The suggestion of giving Hamastan "nation state" status is insane. The Hamastanians are nowhere near reaching the level of robust polity, let alone economic viability.

For 80 years, they have totally ignored any attempt at responsible nation building. Instead all they have cared about is medieval jihading. Compare what this has delivered them compared to the nation-building focus of the Jews.

In fact, the Hamastanians should be arrested. How the "world community" can give any recognition to such a bunch of pigs who would be governed by that rancid Charter of theirs is just disgusting and shows how much credibility we should accord the "international community".

Precisely zip!