Netanyahu's Victory - Editorial
While the election results may dismay Netanyahu's detractors abroad, they surely reflect Israel's security consensus.
Israelis have seen Gaza become a launching pad for missile attacks on innocent civilians after Israel left. They have seen the Palestinian Authority reject reasonable land-for-peace offers and the terror group Hamas join the PA's governing coalition. Israelis have shown they will take risks for peace - recall Oslo in 1993 and Ehud Barak's sweeping concessions in 2000 that Yasser Arafat rejected - but they are not suicidal.
Israelis surrounded by hostile nations sworn to their destruction are most likely to take risks for peace when they feel secure in America's support. But Obama's looming concessions to Iran's nuclear program have united Israelis and Arabs in opposition.
(Wall Street Journal)
The Role of Palestinians in Israel's Election - Alan M. Dershowitz
|A liberal Democrat's view|
- Those who are upset with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's electoral victory should put much of the responsibility on the Palestinian Authority (PA).
- At least twice over the last 15 years, Israel has offered the Palestinians extraordinarily generous two-state solutions. The first time was in 2000-2001 when Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton offered the Palestinians more than 90% of the West Bank and all of Gaza, with a capital in Jerusalem. Yassir Arafat turned down the offer and started an intifada, in which 4,000 people were killed.
- In 2007, Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians an even more generous resolution, to which Mahmoud Abbas failed to respond positively. The hopes of Israelis for a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian conflict were dashed by Arafat's rejection and Abbas' refusal to accept generous peace offers.
- The Obama administration also contributed to the election results in Israel by refusing to listen to Israeli concerns - shared by Israelis of every political stripe - about the impending deal with Iran. The current deal contains a sunset provision which all but guarantees that Iran will have nuclear weapons within a decade.
- While the international community, academics and the media tend to have short memories, many Israeli voters have long memories. They remember the lethal responses to earlier peace offers. So let's look at a videotape of the last 15 years in order to understand how Israel's democracy produced the current election results.
- Already, the spokespersons for the PA have predicted that the reelection of Netanyahu marks the end of any realistic peace process, without reminding their listeners of how Palestinian intransigence marked the end of earlier peace processes.
Israeli Elections Overseen by Israeli Arab
The Chairman of Israel's Central Election Committee overseeing the recent Israeli election is Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran - an Israeli Arab.
Imagine a Baha'i overseeing Iranian elections, a Yazidi overseeing Iraqi elections, or a Christian overseeing Saudi elections.
No Peace in Our Time - Charles Krauthammer
- Of all the idiocies uttered in reaction to Benjamin Netanyahu's stunning election victory, none is more ubiquitous than the idea that peace prospects are now dead because Netanyahu has declared that there will be no Palestinian state while he is Israel's prime minister.
- I have news for the lowing herds: There would be no peace and no Palestinian state if Isaac Herzog were prime minister either. Or Ehud Barak or Ehud Olmert for that matter. The latter two were (non-Likud) prime ministers who offered the Palestinians their own state - with its capital in Jerusalem and every Israeli settlement in the new Palestine uprooted - only to be rudely rejected. This is not ancient history. This is 2000, 2001 and 2008.
- The fundamental reality remains: This generation of Palestinian leadership - from Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas - has never and will never sign its name to a final peace settlement dividing the land with a Jewish state.
- Today, however, there is a second reason a peace agreement is impossible: the supreme instability of the entire Middle East. Syria has al-Qaeda allies, Hizbullah fighters, government troops and even the occasional Iranian general prowling the Israeli border. In the last four years, Egypt has had two revolutions and three radically different regimes.
- The West Bank could fall to Hamas overnight. At which point fire rains down on Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion Airport and the entire Israeli urban heartland.
- Peace awaits three things. Eventual Palestinian acceptance of a Jewish state. A Palestinian leader willing to sign a deal based on that premise. A modicum of regional stability that allows Israel to risk the potentially fatal withdrawals such a deal would entail. I believe such a day will come. But there is zero chance it comes now or even soon. That's essentially what Netanyahu said.
In Bedouin Village, a Landslide for Netanyahu - Noa Shpigel
On March 17, 76% of the votes in the Bedouin village of Arab-al-Naim in the Galilee went to Likud.
Behind the improvised tin shacks are modern homes under construction, designated for the village's residents. "In a few years people will come here from abroad to learn how to build a community," says Nimr Naim, who heads the village council. He then lists the development projects that are underway in the village: kindergartens, sewers, a road, electricity, a soccer field. "I used to sleep in a cave with my goats. Now I ask my daughter what wallpaper she wants in her room," he says with a smile.