After Sharon

Sharon may have had all sorts of cynical and wrong reasons to take concrete steps to withdraw from some of the Occupied Territories, but he was right to take them, and brave to take them, and it is surely fair to say that few other politicians could have gotten away with it. While it is true that Sharon's record in 1967, and above all in Lebanon, is a shameful one, we should nevertheless honour this man.

Jogo sent me this great article by Benny Morris.

I don't agree with this: "His defeat, as prime minister, of the second Palestinian intifada will doubtless be carefully studied, once the hysteria and hype die down, as a model of a relatively clean, successful counterinsurgency."

But otherwise, Morris is spot on. Here especially:
One certainty remains. Israel, and especially and paradoxically, its large moderate left and center, is in the grip of a great sadness. Those opposed to peace, in the slums of Rafah and the Jewish settlement compound of downtown Hebron, can be expected to rejoice (as they did when Mr. Sharon suffered his small first stroke, on Dec. 18). The Islamic fundamentalists and the so-called Palestinian secularists who view Israel as a cancer and seek its destruction will honk their horns and hand out candy to the cruelly misled children of Gaza; and those Jews who are unwilling to give up the dream of Greater Israel and, perhaps, of ridding this land of its Arab usurpers, will offer thanks to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Morris is right to question who can continue the steps Sharon took towards peace: surely not Netanyahu, who has no desire for peace, and probably not Amir Peretz, who might want peace but may not be able to defeat the Greater Israel fanatics to get it.

A blog link: Daniel's thoughts on Sharon.


bob said…
Yes, Natanyahu back is the worst case scenario. Opening the way for Peretz is my personal best case scenario. A Kadima victory I can live with.
They should log Netanyahu into Big Brother with Galloway! That would be entertainment!

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