Netanyahu puts Israel’s future in a harsh, cruel spotlight

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With votes still being cast, and with last-minute polling illegal under Israeli law, no one has any real idea how the Israeli election will turn out; even after all the votes have been cast and counted — the polls close at 4 p.m. EDT — we’ll still be a long way from knowing because only then does the work begin to try to cobble together a governing majority from Israel’s many parties.

However, we do know this much: If Benjamin Netanyahu manages to hang onto power as prime minister, Israel’s growing and dangerous isolation from the rest of the world will accelerate. His announcement over the weekend that there will never be a Palestinian state as long as he is prime minister, combined with the increasingly desperate and anti-Arab tone of his campaign rhetoric in the last few days, plays right into the hands of Israel’s international enemies and will give unfortunate pause even to many of Israel’s friends.

Six years ago, Netanyahu claimed to believe in a much different future. “In this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side by side, in amity and mutual respect,” he said back then. “Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.” With Netanyahu now pledging to never surrender any conquered territory, in effect pledging to permanently annex the West Bank to Israel, that vision is now gone, although to be honest it was probably never real in the first place.

It’s a tragedy. An Israel that rejects a two-state solution to its Palestinian problem is an Israel that has abandoned the democratic values of its founding. It is an Israel that dooms itself to becoming an apartheid state in which its Jewish citizens survive only through the perpetual suppression of its Arab underclass. And over the long haul, that is not an Israel that will find many friends. We hear often about how the U.S.-Israeli relationship is based upon shared values, and that has been true; apartheid and ethnic-based repression of half your nation’s population are not among those shared values.

If there is a third option — a solution that allows Israel to keep all of its conquered territories, as Netanyahu now insists, without sacrificing its soul and its standing with the Western world — I cannot envision it and no one else has given voice to it.

We have been coming to this choosing time for decades now. For decades, Israelis have been putting it off and putting it off while continuing to expand settlements at a pace that indicated that the choice had really been made already. But inevitably, there had to come a moment when the choice was made explicit, when one course was publicly embraced and the other course publicly rejected.

Netanyahu has now proposed that choice to Israel, and over the next few months we shall see how his proposal plays out, both within Israel and among the larger global community. It makes me heartsick to watch.

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729 comments
MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Evidently, Bibi won handily, thanks to fear tactics at the last minute.  Results will, no doubt, affect U. S. presidential run in 2016, unfortunately.

SimpleTruths
SimpleTruths

@MaryElizabethSings "Evidently, Bibi won handily, thanks to fear tactics at the last minute."

No, he won because more people voted for him and/or his party.

lvg
lvg

So how is the Bush Doctrine working? Democracy has had a run in Iraq, Iran, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Gaza and Lebanon with free elections. Pretty good for the Mideast? So what if we end up with total chaos, warfare and dictators who are hell bent on suppressing the opposition. Isn't that s what Democracy is all about. After all the US is no longer is bowing down to the OIl Sheikh and Mullahs.

Five million plus Palestinians claim to be dependents and permanent refugees under protection of UNWRA whose main benefactor is the US. I guess Natanyahu and the GOP can now magically make them disappear since Israel is a democracy and Israel is a model of what a democracy should be. A little religious fervor just spices up the process.

juvenal
juvenal

@lvg let them all move here, plenty of room.......

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

There is a third player, Moshe Kahlon, who gathered many votes today - in 3rd place for votes, I believe.  He had a falling out with Netanyahu several years back but may support Bibi now.  If, however, Kahlon's  support goes to Herzog, Netanyahu would not be able to form his own government, and Herzog more than likely would be able to form one.  Odds, however, are still on Netanyahu's pulling it out.  I'm saying a prayer Bibi is out, nevertheless.


That info came from television this evening, but here is a link which some may be interested in from NBC News, which describes well the various candidates and how the government is put together.


http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/israel-election-key-candidates-how-it-works-n324796


(Saw a fine English film today, "Mr. Turner."  The actor who played Turner (a painter of more than a century ago) was outstanding - impacting, nuanced, forceful characterization, full of paradoxes.  The film was very moving but also wickedly funny.  I recommend highly.  Still trying to digest the visual images and the classical music.  Not pedantic, a little gem.)

Sasboy
Sasboy

Netanyahu is a repressive tyrant presiding over a modern era apartheid regime and expansionist occupier with a human rights record which would make South African during the dark days blush.


No country receives more aid than Israel, no country less deserving of US largesse than them. Israel ought to be defunded and expelled from the United Nations until it learns to respect Palestinian human rights. 

lvg
lvg

Putin is probably congratulating his boy Natanyahu about now.

lvg
lvg

"""Natanyahu's Likud party admitted to forging a recording of Kulanu leaders Moshe Kahlon promising to support Netanyahu, according to a Kulanu spokesman.

The party distributed the recording to potential voterson Monday evening, but Central Elections Committee Judge Salim Joubran ordered the group to halt using the recording at Kulanu's request.

Kahlon called the recording "criminal" and asked Joubran to open a criminal investigation into it.

"We are pleased that Judge Joubran stopped the Likud from continuing to distribute this untruthful recording," the party said. "It is sad that the LIkud party, in a moment of desperation, chooses to deceive the public."

Joubran fined the Likud NIS 20,000 over the forged recording.""



Breaking news in Jerusalem Post today. Karl Rove must be working for Likud.

gotalife
gotalife

You are taking up the people's time for standing in long lines to vote so pay them a grand. Deal?

gotalife
gotalife

Vote get one grand. Deal?

gotalife
gotalife

1000 tax credit to vote. Bribe the voters.


gotalife
gotalife

Lets cut the crap.


Half the voters will vote gop no matter what.


The only way to beat them is get the rest of the American people to show up and vote.


Remember the long lines for voting in 2008. If you see those you will win. I say bribe the voters to vote like our pols.

gotalife
gotalife

@barkingfrog @gotalife If it is good enough for congress it is good enough for the people. Take those unlimited bribes and give it to the people if they vote.

barkingfrog
barkingfrog

Iran and Israel will be the least of our worries unless the climate disruption seas rise

high enough to dampen the Yellowstone volcano....

LeninTime
LeninTime

So between @Tuna Meowt and the other liberals here Putin has been blamed for stoking the violence in Ukraine for political gain, for bringing down the MH17 airliner, and for hiring the snipers that unleashed the deadly violence last year at Maidan. 

But I ask you all - where's the evidence? 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@LeninTime @Tuna Meowt Aren't you accusing the US of being behind the "coup?"


And haven't you maintained that position for several weeks, at least?


LeninTime
LeninTime

@Tuna Meowt

Well, there is no problem establishing a motive, as strategy paper after paper going back to Wolfowitz's and Brzezinski's laid out the great desirability from the West/Washington's standpoint of wresting Ukraine out the Russian influence and bringing it under NATO's umbrella. 

Then there was the $5 bi

As for the actual actions leading up to the coup and accompanying them, the infamous leaked phone conversation of the highly positioned at State Victoria Nuland and Geoff Pyatt is hard to beat: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26079957

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Tuna Meowt

I'll grant you that of the three things the first is more broadly strategic and difficult to prove/disprove, but the other two are charges that must be backed up with evidence. 

As for the Maidan snipers, you really ought to have a look at this. 

Even BBC  - yeah EVEN pro-Western BBC - had to concede that the circumstances of the sniper fire at the Maidan was highly murky at best.  

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31359021

lvg
lvg

@LeninTime @Tuna Meowt Just follow Russian TV. He is ramping up the military and fanatical nationalism after annexing territory just like Hitler did while   getting more confrontational with the West. I suggest you join his little parade.

gotalife
gotalife

The gop does not get embarrassed.


Look at the cons voting for them. .


The gop could start executing them and they would still vote gop..

Blame their voters.






gotalife
gotalife

All gop traitors must resign. Now.

TBS
TBS

Bibi is probably going to hang on when it is all said and done but he is a desperate man right now.

Netanyahu: Herzog has made a deal with the Arabs; Herzog: Netanyahu's panic is embarrassing

 Netanyahu had tried to get out the right-wing vote earlier on Tuesday by warning that Arab voters were going en masse to the polls. He later warned against voting for the Zionist Union, who he said was supported by the Joint Arab List.
Herzog said in response that "those who want a prime minister that cares about his citizens and doesn't incite or divide must stand up, go out and vote."

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-Elections/After-Netanyahu-warns-that-Arabs-voting-en-masse-Herzog-says-PMs-panic-is-embarrassing-394202

josef
josef

@TBS 


By agreeing to include the Arab bloc and the Arab bloc agreeing (sort of) a coalition, there is now a feeling that they have a stake in the system and are responding accordingly...


I'm like the Romany Lady...I'm laying no odds on what's going to happen...this is Israeli politics we're talking about here.  LOL

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@josef @TBS


Doesn't matter.  It will be at least one generation maybe two before any real trust can exist. They've been killing each others children in this generation.  


As long as Israel keeps Palestinians in poverty same BS killing since inception will continue.

TBS
TBS

@josef @TBS 

Bibi seemed perturbed that the Arabs were coming out to vote.

Zionist party and the Arab parties probably leased some buses and are going around making Arabs get on the bus and telling them who they are going to vote for at each different polling place. Spread the love amongst the potential coalition.

Joking aside: I think it is great that the Arabs are coming out to vote and to express their opinion via that vote.  Even in this heated election it can only be a positive to get more folks across the spectrum to get out and vote

Read something where Israelis usually get around 65% or so to vote in national elections but it didn't have a detailed break out.

Wonder what the average is for Arabs.

josef
josef

@TBS @josef 


The Arab vote had fallen into the upper 50s.  Today's turnout can only be seen as a positive.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Kamchak  That's 2 GOP resignations in about 2 months.  We're gonna run out of GOP at this rate.  ;) 

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

I fear that the hard line attitude of Bibi and our own republicans will only make things worse.  It seems that they only want war and conflict.  It's nice to have your values and feel that never compromising on them is a good thing.  It is until that leads to war and destruction, all because of never compromising.  That is what we have to look forward to with this group.

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@Fly-On-The-Wall 

"I fear" blah blah blah....

It wasn't the "hard line" of Bush that made things a nascent Iraqi disaster to be fed upon by ISIS and Iran.  It was a problem with one weak-kneed, adrift, morally confused, dithering, indecisive thing.  Starts with O. 

Ends with BAMA. 

td1234
td1234

@consumedconsumer And we did the exact same thing in Japan, Germany and Italy after WW2. The difference is we knew we had to occupy those countries under Marshal law until we got everything back right. Obama ran on the promise to pull ALL troops out. 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@Yes_Jesus_Can @Fly-On-The-Wall no, what made Iraq a disaster was that they didn't plan for after the invasion. They disbanded the army and the government and had nothing - absolutely nothing - to replace either with. you see the results still to this day.

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

@Yes_Jesus_Can @Fly-On-The-Wall When you do refer to W it is always positive, it's as if he never did anything wrong.  Iraq was a clusterF*** from the get go.  Big deal that we could demolish a 3rd rate army in a matter of days.  Our armed forces are the best but our leadership at the time is what sucked.  

Bush won the war but lost the peace.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Yes_Jesus_Can

It wasn't the "hard line" of Bush that made things a nascent Iraqi disaster to be fed upon by ISIS and Iran.

It was the SOFA.

Just remindin'.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 Japan, Germany and Italy were functioning nation states with rather long histories, even after WWII. There's a HUGE difference between the Marshall Plan which benefitted both Asia and Europe and the NOTHING that W/Cheney had in mind. You are more of idiot than I've previously thought if you find the two situations morally equivalent.