Very near to the point of no return

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Der Spiegel’s online English edition has an interview with former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin, which is unsurprisingly written from the perspective of one who supports Israel, but nevertheless sees the danger in the current situation and Israeli choices for the “classical” Zionist goal of a secular state in the hands of a Jewish nation. Quite logically, he sees particular danger in the settlement enterprise, which is reaching the point where the West Bank would more or less be annexed to Israel, and the one-state solution, the bane of old-school secular Zionists, would then be inevitable.

The interview is remarkable and very much worth a read. One thing that struck me is the barely-spoken subtext of how connected the bombardment of Gaza is to the wider regional politics, a reality which some supporters of Israel are often at pains to deny. Hamas faces a very hostile Egyptian regime that views it as an arm of the (remember, elected) Muslim Brotherhood government it overthrew — a regime that wants Israel to destroy Hamas or to weaken it as much as possible. (The cease-fire gambit, as Dawg previously mentioned, was designed to humiliate Hamas.) From the perspective of the more rational Israeli policymaker, this is actually a problem, because Egypt is actually supposed to serve as a safety valve that allows for a Gazan kinda-sorta-quasi-normality to be reached without Israel appearing to relent on the internally politically popular blockade of Hamas. In other words, an Egypt that is almost openly (!!!) aligned with Israel in this makes it harder to preserve the status quo.

Diskin also mentions the rather hysterical reaction of Netanyahu when the PA attempted to form a unity government with Hamas, which Diskin would have seized as an opportunity to push forward the two-state agenda, but instead provoked Israeli official rage. It is only rationally explainable if the current Israeli government is actively against a two-state settlement; otherwise, there is no reason not to welcome a single unified negotiating partner.

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This page contains a single entry by Mandos published on July 24, 2014 1:18 PM.

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