Short-Lived Unity in Israel

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


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From that point, though, Benn—a left-of-center columnist whose earlier criticism of Obama seemed notable for reflecting Israeli unity on the Egyptian crisis—does manage to mount a curious challenge to Netanyahu. For if the latter’s “predictions come true,” he writes, “and Egypt becomes a new Iran…should [Israel] go back to the strategic situation that prevailed before the peace agreement? Should it prepare for confrontation on all fronts…? Or should it make peace in the east and the north and concentrate its force against a new enemy in the south?”

By “the east and the north” Benn means, of course, the West Bank Palestinians and Syria respectively. In other words, for him, the right response to the crumbling of one “peace” would be—to “make” two more. Despite the facts that: decades of attempts at forging Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Syrian peace have led nowhere at best and to severe terrorism in Israel at worst; and the present situation in Egypt reveals the fragility of any such “peace” in a fundamentally unstable Middle East.

Benn insists, though, that

peace treaties are not an expression of leftist messianism, as argued by the right wing. Diplomacy is an alternative to force…. If an Islamic republic takes hold in Egypt, Netanyahu will face a reverse situation and will be forced to decide whether to withdraw from the West Bank and the Golan Heights in an effort to stabilize the eastern front and concentrate a deterrent force on the southern front.

It makes perfect arithmetical sense, at least: if you find yourself facing three enemies, why not “stabilize” two of them and have only one? Except that Benn thereby ignores all the painful lessons Israelis have learned about the depth and intransigence of Arab-Muslim rejection and hatred—not to mention the radical strategic precariousness of giving up the West Bank and the Golan; and puts the onus on Netanyahu—that is, on Israel—to make friends, as if the Palestinians and Syria exist only to be courted by Israel and will wilt as soon as it makes a move.

And so the Israeli “right-left” divide endures.

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  • WildJew

    Many on the right have argued, giving up the Sinai at Camp David was a terrible mistake. In the coming months, I believe it will increasingly become apparent. Israel needs the Sinai for security reasons. Hamas, emboldened by U.S. President Hussein courting Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, fired Grad rockets on western Negev cities Monday. Ultimately Israel should re-occupy the Sinai and Gaza for her own security. Otherwise she will find herself in an untenable situation with enemies poised to attack from the east, the north and the south.

  • Gerard Ekofo

    Americans, Americans.. Wake up!!! Crying out loud! Your country has becomed the most corrupt country in the world, That babylon the great…. Your government are tying Isael hands while encouraging the radical muslims in taking over the world.. Your encouraging one the most criminal exercising president Kagamé and his puppet Jospeph kabila to spoile, rappe and kill the people who are naturally friendly to americans… You are rewarding your natural ennemis and punishing your natural friends all aver the world. Worse of all, You have elected your worst nightmare in the white house to bring an end to your great country turned evil… an african who weep for your sake..

  • Gerard Ekofo

    Congolese people have been weeping( 6 millions Dead in RDcongo) over 14 years because of a war…started by Kagamé with the blessing and backing of Bill Clinton to overthrwon the old regime and Hijacked the democratic process.. Now, With Obama help, You want the muslims brotherwood to take over Egypt so Israel can be encircled and destroy.. I have a bad news for you, Unless all the people really repent and get rid of all your Corrupt politicians, You will be destroy by the same people you are trying to appease but Israel will survive and overcome all his ennemis.. It's evident that there is curse over your land.. as you are calling evil good and good evil..