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Israel's Fractured Knesset

Reader comment on item: [After Sharon:] Israeli Politics Will Revert to Its Past
in response to reader comment: Israel's Suicide

Submitted by Digger (United States), Jan 9, 2006 at 22:32

It is sometimes said that in Israel there is a political party for every shade of the poitical spectrum. This is, in effect, largely true and a fact that often makes governance of the nation a rather cumbersome affair. In the past there were constant debates and inter party bickerings which often confounded the best efforts to solve even the simplest of problems. Pragmatism was rarely the by word in Israeli politics.

All differences, however, disolved into vapor when it came to national defense and security. Such matters were largely left up to the military and to such personages as General Moshe Dyan whos responsibilities included oversight of the border patrol and internal security divisions as well as military intelligence.

This rather convenient arrangement started to change after the 1973 Yom Kippur war largely due to a growing distrust in the government after the seemingly suprise attack by Syria and Egypt. The fact of the Meir governments failure to put the country on alert after the warning delivered by Jordans King Hussein about an impending attack did little to inspire trust.

The problem became exacerbated with the invasion of Lebanon and the subsequent events that followed. During that time the Israeli left became much more vocally critical of the governments actions especially when it came to Israeli Palestinian relations. The left drove for a more Humane and sensitive approach to the Palestinians, one that sought to simultaneously ease the suffering of the Palestinians and limit the role of the military in intercommunal relations.

This approach was a failure from the beginning. Though well intended, it was never respected by the Palestionian leadership under Yasser Arafat who constantly made empty promises of peace while using the appearance of agreement to build up the pretext for the intifada.

The bubble finally burst with the withdrawal from Gaza and now we are left with rags and tatters made of the promises of the Palestinians. There can be no further room for discussion or compromise.
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