Israel Palestine Infos
March 5, 2011
OF ALL the memorable phrases uttered by Barack Obama in the last two years, the
one that stuck in my mind more than any other appeared in his historic speech in
It seems that the Arab nations took heed of this advice more than he might have anticipated. In the last few weeks they jumped from the wrong to the right side of history. And what a jump it was!
Our government, however, is moving in the opposite direction. It is determined, so it seems, to get as far away from the right side as possible.
We are in a cul-de-sac. And it lies in the nature of culs-de-sac that the deeper in you get, the further you have to go back when the time comes.
THIS WEEK, a fascinating telephone conversation took place. On the one end was Binyamin Netanyahu, on the other the German Chancellor.
In time gone by, the world’s leaders did not generally talk to each other
Netanyahu called to rebuke Angela Merkel for
He was shocked by the answer. Instead of a contrite Frau Merkel apologizing abjectly, his ear was filled by a schoolmistress scolding him in no uncertain terms. She told him that he had broken all his promises, that no one of the world’s leaders believes a single word of his any more. She demanded that he make peace with the Palestinians.
If a person like Netanyahu could be rendered “speechless”, it would have happened at that moment. Fortunately for Netanyahu, it just cannot happen to him.
THIS CONVERSATION is a symptom of an ongoing process – the slow but steady
Our leaders know how to obstruct this plot – by enacting laws. Anyone who
supplies the enemies of
But it appears that our leaders do not rely on these measures alone. Therefore, our deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon (remember? the genius who sought to humiliate the Turkish ambassador by sitting him on a low stool?) decided to reach for even more radical remedies: all Israeli ambassadors will now be sent to the Machpela Cave in Hebron for a historic meeting with our forefather Abraham, who, according to Jewish belief, is buried there (archeologists think that it is a Muslim Sheikh who lies there in troubled rest.)
Seriously, our leaders now look like the boy in the legend who thrust his finger in the dyke to stop the water, though in our case the whole of the dyke is crumbling.
We are sinking, because we are on the wrong side of history.
The 21st century will see the sight of nations coming together. It will see the beginning of a world order, and I have no doubt that this idea will be realized.
This is not a vision of starry-eyed idealists. It is an essential necessity for the human race and all its peoples and nations. The world is faced with problems that no single state or group of states can solve by itself. Global warming, which is threatening the very existence of the human species, is by its very nature a world problem. The recent economic crisis has shown that the collapse of one country’s economy can spread like wildfire to the entire world. The Internet has established a world-wide community, in which ideas spread easily from country to country, as we can see now in the Arab world.
International institutions, which once aroused only derision, are slowly
acquiring real jurisdiction. The
Concepts like democracy, liberty, justice and human rights are not only moral values – in today’s world they have become essential needs, a basis for a new world order.
All these processes are advancing at a maddeningly slow, almost geological pace. But the direction is unmistakable and cannot be reversed. Whatever Barack Obama’s deeds – or lack of them – his intuition about the direction can be trusted.
That is the “right side of history”. But our country is closing its eyes to this. True, it excels in the most international of industries, high tech, and is working successfully to extend its economic ties to the far corners of the world. But it scorns international public opinion, the United Nations and international law. It sticks to a form of nationalism that was “modern” at the time of the French revolution, when the “nation-state” was the highest ideal. Of course, nationalism has not died, and it occupies even now an important place in the consciousness of the peoples. But this is a completely new form of nationalism, the nationalism of the 21st century, which does not stand in contradiction to internationalism but, on the contrary, constitutes a brick in the edifice of the international structure.
THE ARAB nations have suddenly awoken from a centuries-long slumber, and are now fighting to catch up with the other nations. The anachronistic tyrannies that kept them down, wasted their capabilities and imposed on them patterns of bygone ages, are no more.
It is difficult to know where these uprisings, which are engulfing the region
2011 may be for the Arab world what 1848 was for
The revolutions of 1848 left behind a legacy of disappointment and despair. But
they were not in vain. The noble ideas born in those heady months did not die,
future generations strove to realize them in all the countries of the continent.
The current flag of
The Arab revolutions, too, may end in failure and disappointment. They may give
birth to new dictatorships. Here and there anachronistic religious regimes may
spring up. Each Arab country is different from the others, and in each the
developments will be subject to local conditions. But what happened yesterday in
ISRAEL IS dominated by the settlers, who resemble in spirit the Crusaders of the 12th century. Fundamentalist religious parties, not much different from their Iranian counterparts, play a major role in our state. The political and economic elite is steeped in corruption. Our democracy, in which we took so much pride, is in mortal danger.
Some people argue that all this is happening because “Netanyahu has no policy”. Nonsense. He has a clear policy: to maintain Israel as a garrison state, to enlarge the settlements, to prevent the foundation of a real Palestinian state, and to go on without peace, in a state of eternal conflict.
Just now it was been leaked that Netanyahu is going to give a historic speech -
another one – very soon. Not in the Knesset, whose importance is approaching
nil, but in the really important forum: AIPAC, the Jewish lobby in
There he will unfold his Peace Plan, whose details have also been leaked. A wonderful plan, with only one minor defect: it has nothing to do with peace.
It proposes setting up a Palestinian state with “provisional borders”. (With us,
nothing is more permanent than the “provisional”). It will consist of about half
If the Palestinians accept such a plan, they need (in the words of the
Ehud Barak, too, had something to say this week. In a long TV interview, almost
entirely consisting of political gibberish, he made one important remark: the
Arab uprisings provide
And indeed, the one factor that makes this policy still possible is the
unequalled relationship between
That is how history is moving. Anyone who places himself on the wrong side of it will pay the price.