Israel on the Brink

Israeli elections are tomorrow and polling indicates that Benjamin Netanyahu will win a plurality, followed closely by his political enabler, Avigdor Lieberman. While Netanyahu and the Likud party refuse to acknowledge the right of Palestine to exist (double standard, anyone?) and envision a future for them worse than aparthied, they look tame compared to the outright racist Lieberman, who wants to institute loyalty tests as a tool to expel Israeli Arabs or strip them of their citizenship. 

At the same time, Hamas is negotiating with the current Israeli government to release Gilad Shalit, in exchange for border openings and a release of roughly 1,000 prisioners, possibly including the universally popular Marwan Barghouti. If this happens, the next election would likely spell the end of Fatah power, as well as the political reunification of the West Bank and Gaza. 

Hamas continues to moderate by negotiating with Israel and telegraphing acceptance of the two state solution, and as a result the occupied territories seem primed for political reunification. In Israel, the recent attacks on Gaza have resulted in a wave of ethno-national extremism. Considering that its only real accomplishment has been the wrecking of her electoral prospects, I think Tzipi Livni would agree that Operation Cast Lead has backfired horribly. 

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Filed under Politics, Rahim

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