Saturday, February 21, 2009

Last Rites or Darkest Moment?

Apparently, the phrase "the darkest hour is just before dawn" is a myth. But the point it tries to raise -- that in a bad situation, definitionally you have to hit the worst point (whatever that is) before things improve, is true. Time put out an ... article? Opinion piece? I hope the latter, given how clearly the author's biases shine through, but whatever. Time put out a piece entitled "Preparing for a Hard-Right Israel" -- namely, one run by the right-wing Bibi Netanyahu, with support from even further-right parties like Yisrael Beiteinu and the ultra-orthodox right.

Netanyahu ran on promises that essentially "would bring the peace process to a halt." This is true, though I hold a glimmer (and only a glimmer) of hope that Netanyahu will pull a "Nixon goes to China" and spark some pragmatic progress with the Palestinians. The author also says, though, that "A Netanyahu government may end up merely giving last rites to a peace process that is already almost dead." This, I'm not sure of. Even if Netanyahu does not forge towards peace, the pressures and realities that will eventually force Israel to negotiate are not going away. If it is possible that Netanyahu spells the end of the peace process, it is at least as possible that Netanyahu's election represents the last roar of the dying vision of the Israeli right -- that the Palestinians will concede to permanent dispossession in a one-state solution, that Israel can be protected by force of will and arms alone, that the settlements can expand indefinitely and unchecked without undermining the structure of Israeli democracy itself.

Netanyahu's policies won't work. The Israeli populace is going to find that out in the next few years. I hope it does not come in the form of anything too dramatic, but the right will fall. Dawn will come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude -- you're talking about 1) a Time mag article on the Middle East -- they are guaranteed to be idiotic and Arabist, and 2) one written by Andrew Lee Butters, one of the dumbest men in journalism. Captain Banal, I call him. Usually, he is an apologist for the Syrian regime. Always, he is a smug conveyor of conventional wisdom, written as boringly as possible.