Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Juan Cole in his Informed Comment has a good take of the Israeli vote. Cole says the big winner is Avigdor Lieberman head of the racist Israel Beteinyu party, and this means that any solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dead, meaning forget about any two-state solution.

Writes Cole:

"With Lieberman emerging as kingmaker in the new government, logically speaking, there are only three other plausible future relationships of Israel and the Palestinians:

"1. Apartheid, with Israeli citizens dominating stateless Palestinians and controlling their borders, land, water and air. Apartheid would be accelerated under Lieberman's baleful influence. Over time, this outcome would break down, since it will be unacceptable to the rest of the world over the coming decades).

"2. Expulsion. The Israelis could try to violently expel the Palestinians (and possibly Israeli-Palestinians as well), creating a massive new wave of refugees in Jordan or Egypt's Sinai. (This option would almost certainly end the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and might well push the Arab states into the arms of Iran, creating a powerful anti-Israel military coalition and a huge set of threats to the United States.)

"3. One State. The Israelis could be forced over time, by economic and technological boycotts, to grant citizenship to the Palestinians of the occupied territories."

I cannot see that Israel will ever take in Palestinians as full-fledged citizens. Most Israelis have a loathing and hatred for Palestinians and classify them not only as terrorists but as belonging to a lower social caste, as if they recently arrived from nomadic existence in the desert.

I suspect that many Israelis would prefer expulsion, but this would likely cause a pan-Arab quest to attack and eliminate the state of Israel.

And Israelis, out of their sense of revulsion at the word, could never accept a de jure state of apartheid on the Palestinians, even though that's exactly what Israel has now de facto imposed.

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