Monday, April 16, 2012

Netanyahu Is Vulnerable

Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu are both slyly involved in the other’s politics, and the US is not the only country headed to an election. Netanyahu’s Likud, and all the parties of Greater Israel, are now (as Andrew Sullivan put it) “fused” with the GOP.

The question is, can Obama contribute to defeating Netanyahu’s government without confronting Bibi over settlements once again, which would risk inflaming Israel’s automatic supporters among the Democrats? Can he undermine the Netanyahu coalition, a precondition for advancing negotiations, without undermining the chances for his own reelection?

The first thing to say is that Netanyahu is, in spite of his lead in the polls, vulnerable. The parties of Global Israel—Labor, Kadima, Yair Lapid’s new center list, Meretz, etc.—lack an obvious leader just now (except for the perennial figurehead, Shimon Peres). But they are held together by a mounting and widely shared fear that the two-state solution slipping away; fear of new and catastrophic political isolation owing to Netanyahu’s ideology and recklessness. Educated Israelis fear losing advantages in global commercial networks that depend so much on personal connections, including visits to Israel. They fear cultural boycott. This kind of thing can trickle down.

 Read the rest at The Daily Beast


Y. Ben-David said...

It is truly amazing how, in spite of the fact that Dr Avishai has been completely wrong about everything since the 1980's, he continues to make his failed predictions, proving how stubborn people can be about maintaining their illusions.
It is quite true that the political Left may come back to power, but this will not bring peace any closer. In fact, their election would bring war closer. Those of us following Dr Avishai's blog will remember how he encountered then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at a New Year's Party IIRC after the 2006 Lebanon War. Olmert was under pressure from the commission of inquiry made to investigate the major failures of that war. Olmert buttonholed Dr Avishai and, seeing how he could make inroads with the Left-wing "peace camp" intellectuals, told Avishai how he came to the realization that everything he ever believed in as a member of the political Right was incorrect and how it was HE, a former Likud member, would make peace with the Palestinians. Olmert was hoping that Avishai would spread the word and that the political Left would stick with him. Well, Olmert engaged in intensive negotations with Abbas, and sure enough, no agreement was reached. However, Olmert did manage to get Israel involved in yet another war in Gaza that brought the Goldstone problem on us.
Dr Avishai and others of the "peace camp" have been regaling us for years about how, really, deep down Arafat and the Palestinians want peace, all we have to do is find the right formula and they will make an agreement with Israel. All the bloodshed, suicide bombings, rocket attacks on Israel, the crumbling of the peace agreement with Egypt, the rise of extremist Islamic movements throughout the Arab world, including in the supposedly "moderate" Arab countries never shakes Dr Avishai and the others from their blind belief that ULTIMATELY, the Arabs supposed interest in lining their pockets will get them to drop their existential opposition to Israel which is really due to nationalist and religous impulses that apparently Dr Avishai is incapable of understanding.
Dr Avishai also fails to see that the Israeli Left which is his "entrepeneurial elites" who supposedly are the only people really capable of ruling Israel finally seem to understand that there isn't going to be a contractual peace with the Palestinians so they have gone on to building Israel economy without this nonsense of the endless 'peace process' and that no matter who is in power, this situation is going to continue. Sure Mofaz can trumpet his new/old 'peace plan' which the Palestinians have already rejected, but Israelis finally have, unlike Dr Avishai, learned the lesson that the current situation is going to continue indefintely into the future since the Arabs can not and will not agree to peace with Israel and Israel will make do without such an agreement, just as it has since its birth while managing to continue to grow and prosper.

Potter said...

BA, Thank you for this update on politics in Israel. I had tuned out frankly. I take a peek every now and then and the larger pictures seems the same. But maybe there is some hope.

Here there are some polls that have the Romney Obama race very close. Other polls, not so. It's too early for polls. A big question, supposing Obama wins, is how bold he will be in a second term vis a vis many issues including this one.

What nerve Oren has, yet again, to say that Israeli leaders do not “interfere in internal political affairs of the United States,” His nose must have grown a little longer from that one to match Romney's, also a liar.

But it's all about what the public/s here and there isn't it?

Potter said...

Ben-David, and people who think this way, make a good case for the BoycottDivestmentSanctions movement and increased international isolation and condemnation for not abiding international law.

Israel, with no peace agreement, will need to keep increasing fortifications and will endure increasingly unfriendly neighbors. It means for Israeli's being at war and dealing with nuclear counter-threats.

Israel will leave this problem ( which some such as Ben-David fail to see as a problem) to it's next generation, that is, those who have not left already for peaceful places elsewhere.

Surely Iran's leaders have and will have more support in it's threats against Israel without a peace agreement.

Ben-David as usual lumps all Arabs in one category- they are all existential threats,they all want to destroy Israel. He should pray that this is not so- he should be thankful that this is not so. He fails to see that this is NOT so. Netanyahu needs supporters like Ben-David to survive. How can one fail to see that?