Thursday, November 24, 2005

Optimism in Israeli politics

Ghassan Khatib has an optimistic view of Israeli politics. I don't get it. Israel now has a coalition government consisting of a bunch of right-wing crazies led by Sharon supported by a corrupted Labour Party, which claims to have no 'negotiating partner' and so has to impose its will on the Palestinians unilaterally. After the next elections, Israel will have a coalition government consisting of a bunch of right-wing crazies led by Sharon supported by a corrupted Labour Party, which will claim to have no 'negotiating partner' and so will have to impose its will on the Palestinians unilaterally. What's the diff? Sharon will have managed to squeeze out the most insane of the Likudniks, not because he doesn't agree with their ultimate goal of ethnically cleaning the Palestinians, but because he doesn't agree with their tactics. He's wanted to get rid of the albatross of Natanyahu - whose only real use is to go on speaking tours to raise money from North American and British Jews who want to quietly pay for the killing of Palestinians without having to take any moral responsibility - for years. Sharon, the master military planner, has correctly determined that the only politically possible way to eliminate the Palestinians is to slowly make life intolerable for them, with the construction of the Wall, service roads, checkpoints, and the unilateral seizing of land and water sources. The plan is that the Palestinians will eventually leave 'voluntarily', thus fitting into the Israeli creation myth that the original Palestinian inhabitants of what is now Israel left 'voluntarily'. It seems to me that the 'seismic shock' of the last few days is just a PR move to make the ethnic cleansing more tolerable to the rest of the world.

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