UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 2, 2009

NETANYAHU POISED TO APPOINT LIEBERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER

Tikun Olam - The unthinkable happens rather frequently in Israeli politics. Ariel Sharon weathered banishment from politics to return as prime minister. Many Israelis thought it wouldn't be possible considering the humiliation of Sharon's fall from power after Sabra and Chatilla. But he managed a triumphal return. No one thought it possible that a sitting prime minister could be as venal as corrupt as Ehud Olmert has turned out to be nor that he would be brought down by putting his hand in the cookie jar once too often.

Now, we are about to enter another one of those Alice in Wonderland moments in the annals of Israeli politics. Bibi Netanyahu is vetting his planned governing coalition and among the eye-popping appointments will be Avigdor Lieberman as foreign minister. . .

How, I wondered, would Bibi have the temerity of bucking such a warning from Washington? Well, Bibi's either got balls or he's a fool. He's going to put forward a genuine Israeli racist thug as the country's next foreign minister. . .

One wonders what message it will send to the world community that Israel's chief messenger is previously convicted of physical assault and under investigation for money laundering. . .

When one considers that the incoming justice minister, Daniel Friedmann, owes the renewal of his tenure to Lieberman, one wonders how any investigation of Lieberman can be considered full, rigorous and independent. . .

This certainly complicates the Obama administration's dealings with Lieberman and the incoming Israeli government. The president has made a priority of rebuilding our relations with the Muslim world. Yet, Israel has chosen a politician who openly espouses disenfranchising and even expelling Israeli Arabs from Israel. . .

There is a silver lining in all this: the more extreme Netanyahu's government the more quickly it is likely to fall. Either the Israeli people will tire of an extremist government doing nothing to advance the peace process; or one or another of the wacko factions he's embraced will give him the old heave ho when he's insufficiently true to rightist principles. If Netanyahu embarrasses himself and his Party enough, then the Israeli people may turn to a more centrist alternative for their next government that might conceivably advance the prospects for peace.

1 Comments:

Anonymous frizzled said...

Considering the overwhelming support of Israeli Jews for the slaughter in Gaza; the growing dominance of the ultra-orthodox demographic in Israel, particularly in the IDF; the fact that Lieberman's racism against Israeli Arabs is not only mainstream but institutionalized within Israel; the open contempt for international law and norms by Israeli citizens; and the fragmented nature of Israeli democracy in which no ruling coalition can go against the religious fundamentalist parties, heirs to Kach; and (not least) the impossibility, on account of these factors, of a viable Palestinian state, and thus a guarantee of unending conflict -- all this calls into serious question the claim that an extremist Israeli government is likely to fall quickly. Rather, Avigdor Lieberman, now the most powerful politician in Israel, is the genuine heir to Zionism, in all its colonial brutality and racial supremacism. We must recognize that the Israeli Jews have chosen this path...

March 2, 2009 4:17 PM  

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