Fair. Balanced. American.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Israeli democracy

If you ever doubted it was alive and well, this analysis of Bibi Netanyahu by Meretz MP Tzvia Greenfield will convince you. Emphasis added, not that it's needed. Those words jump off the screen.
Netanyahu's belief that occupation and messianism would serve Israel better than rational pragmatism is worrying, but not surprising.

Netanyahu's ideological preferences are known. It is still surprising, however, that once again he has emerged as a failing schlemiel of a politician. He cannot read the new global map and is incapable of evaluating his real chances of surviving as prime minister of a radical right-wing cabinet opposite the new administration in Washington.

In opting against a centrist-pragmatist coalition with Livni, Netanyahu kept moderate people out of his government who could speak in a language acceptable to Barack Obama. This would have saved Netanyahu's cabinet from moments of tension and disagreement with the Americans. [...]

But Netanyahu did not accept Livni's terms to join the government and instead got himself into an impossible situation.Now he has thrown Israel into a dangerous, insufferable collision course with the United States and will apparently have to pay for it with his post.

Netanyahu could have been expected to understand the meaning of Obama's election as U.S. president and to prepare accordingly. Obama was elected without really needing the Jewish vote. He came to power on the back of a clear, enthusiastic agenda to make a fundamental break with all the previous administration's principles.

The era of Jewish and evangelist pressure in America is over, and a renowned Americanologist like Netanyahu should have seen that his lunatic politics would raise strong objections in the United States and endanger Israel and its future.
Ms. Greenfield is a bit too optimistic about American politics, but she sure can write.   Israel, with its rich tradition of debate, remains one of the three or four richest, most vibrant democratic polities in the world.

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