Monday, August 28, 2006

Akiva Eldar in Haaretz argues that the replacement of Israel's present government by a right-wing coalition -- the apparent demand of the growing protest movement -- would not answer Israel's security problems. A right-coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu would surely please the American neo-conservatives around Bush. But, as Eldar observes, that is the problem. The neo-conservatives are the folks that gave the US the debacle in Iraq. As argued here, they are ideologues, for whom the pronouncement "democracy," whether ersatz or genuine, chosen or imposed, is the magical solution to everything. In Eldar's opinion, to meet the challenge of Iranian-led, pan-Islamic radicallism, Israel will need to have a pragmatically based alliance with moderate Arab states. His article cites a revelatory piece by former NSC Mideast expert Flynt Leverett in the The American Prospect. It nicely illustrates the interminable folly of Bush and his neo-conservative advisors. One vignette:
In White House meetings, I heard President Bush say confidently that democratization would even facilitate a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by shaping a Palestinian leadership more focused on internal governance (i.e., providing services such as collecting garbage) and less “hung up” on final-status issues like territory, settlements, and Jerusalem.


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