I fear the Israeli public is going to elect that maniac Binyamin Netanyahu on Feb. 10, and that will be the complete end of any 2-state solution, and we just have to live with a horrific Apartheid for decades, which will cause more conflict and further poison much of the world against the United States. Juan ColeDavid Seaton's News Links
So, just to recap: It’s five to midnight and before the clock strikes 12 all we need to do is rebuild Fatah, merge it with Hamas, elect an Israeli government that can freeze settlements, court Syria and engage Iran — while preventing it from going nuclear — just so we can get the parties to start talking. Whoever lines up all the pieces of this diplomatic Rubik’s Cube deserves two Nobel Prizes. Thomas Friedman - New York Times
The election of Barack Obama is bound to have a powerful effect on the Middle East and especially on Israel, perhaps for what he does, but certainly for the message the voters are sending in his person or more precisely in what his person symbolizes.
We cannot yet know what America's voters have actually voted for, but we know what they think they have voted for and although they may not realize it, what they think they have voted for sends a powerful message to Israel. A message which conflicts with Israel's very foundations.
Americans have voted for a person who belongs to no particular "tribe" or ethnic group, an amalgam of races and cultures: a person who is a symbol of some sort of "new man", freed from any historical or ethnic preconditioning. This "Adam" quality, perhaps more than any other, excited and continues to excite Americans and many others around the globe.
However this quality is in direct conflict with Israel's whole reason to exist.
If any people in the world have a long view of things, it is the Jewish people, and no people in the world have such a short memory as the Americans.
Israel is all about purity of pedigree and lineage, of maintaining the group intact. There are literally endless discussions in Israel on the subject, "who is a Jew ". I am not criticizing this, it has proven marvelously effective in preserving the Jewish identity over thousands of years (you don't hear much from the Hittites any more, do you?) and I am sure that thousands of years from now, when the United States is merely a subject for archeologists, there will be human beings whose customs and heritage will be recognizably Jewish. The time proven Jewish way may be far superior: America may only be a flicker on the screen of world history, but it must be true to its own light.
In his inaugural speech President Obama observed that 60 years ago his father would not have been served in a Washington restaurant. Americans, in electing Obama, have symbolized the repudiation of their own tribal history and traditions and have chosen to reinvent themselves. Israelis have chosen to reinvent themselves by embracing their own tribal history and traditions. What each country stands for is diametrically opposed to what the other stands for and their national trajectories are traveling in opposite directions.
To avoid being tiresome, only one example that could sum it all up: Israel is a country where a racial-religious qualification is needed to buy land. This simply cannot be squared with what the Americans voted for when they voted for Barack Obama.
I agree with Juan Cole, quoted above: the Israelis are probably going to elect the ultra right-wing thug Binyamin Netanyahu as their new prime minister and the two state solution which now shows clear signs of rigor mortis will begin to stink.
From that point on we are looking at a clear alternative of official apartheid or opportunistic ethnic cleansing as alternatives to the liquidation of the present "Jewish state", not necessarily the end of a state where Jews live comfortably, but the end of a so defined democratic "Jewish state".
I think that Netanyahu would be comfortable with either apartheid or ethnic cleansing although I think he would prefer the latter to the former. The question is: how are those who voted for what Barack Obama symbolizes supposed to have a "special relationship" with that? DS