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Ayoon Wa Azan (The Far Right in Israel Has All But Destroyed the Two-State Solution)
Published in AL HAYAT on 11 - 01 - 2013

As I follow the Israeli election campaigns, I can say with certainty that there can be no peace with Israel in the foreseeable future. Indeed, the far right now controls its policies, and it has all but destroyed the two-state solution. Some of the leaders of this right even want to deport the Palestinians from the West Bank.
Last year concluded with the former brothel bouncer Avigdor Lieberman being officially charged with corruption and abuse of power, forcing him to resign as Israel's foreign minister, although his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, continues to be part of the electoral alliance with Likud.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby went to Ramallah but did not bring with him the one hundred million dollars pledged by the Arab League member states. This infuriated Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, but it seems that he has forgotten that our governments spend their money on security services to beat up the people, which is more important than Palestine. Fayyad attacked the donor countries, and spoke about endemic poverty among half of the Palestinians under the occupation.
The Israeli President Shimon Peres had called for expediting the two-state solution and defended Mahmoud Abbas, sparking a backlash from the right. It seems that the whole climate in Israel has veered towards extremism. One poll has shown that 83 percent of Israelis do not believe that peace would return with a return to the borders of 1967, while the Zionist parties insist on maintaining a unified Jerusalem [under Israel]. In other words, peace is impossible.
At least, the Israeli Supreme Court has decided unanimously to overturn the decision of the Central Election Commission barring Palestinian-Israeli MK Haneen Zoubi from running for the 18th Knesset representing Al-Balad Party, and reinstated her right to represent the Palestinians living in the territories occupied in 1948. Recall that an immigrant MK originally from the former Soviet Union stepped up to the Knesset podium and tried to strangle MK Zoubi while she was speaking.
With the beginning of this year, polls have been showing a continuous decline for the alliance of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu. Compared to August 2012 when the two parties had 46 seats out of 120, the number now is 34 seats. There are parties that are even to the right of this racist alliance, which is a source of concern for Israeli ambassadors abroad. They, more than anyone, know the extent of hatred of Israel around the world.
When the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor asked the National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror at a meeting of ambassadors about the wisdom of the government's decision to build settlements in the E-1 area of the West Bank, in response to the recognition of Palestine as an observer member of the United Nations, the other ambassadors applauded the question. This angered the advisor, who warned the Israeli diplomats that they represented the government and that it was their duty to defend it.
The extremist demagogue Moshe Feiglin, a Likudnik hawk, is blind to the above. He had the gall to entice the people of the West Bank with money to push them to immigrate and leave the land to the Jews. So once again, I say that peace is impossible with these neo-Nazis who have no claims whatsoever to Palestine.
I am writing from abroad, and the popular proverb says, “He who is at the receiving end of sticks is not like he who counts them." So I choose to quote a man from within Palestine, who is Bishop Atallah Hanna.
Hanna condemned the Israeli measures against the Church of the Resurrection, which he said are being taken successively to restrict access to one of the most important Christian churches. He also said that the Jews often insult Christians in the streets, and added that all the Palestinians refuse the attacks on the Church of the Resurrection, and would defend it no matter the cost.
Bishop Hanna said, “We will not give up a single grain of sand from our endowments, and Jerusalem will remain a symbol of Christian-Muslim national unity where churches and mosques embrace one another. The assault on the Church of the Resurrection is an assault on all of us, just like an assault on Al-Aqsa Mosque would be an assault on all of us."
The election campaigns have exposed everything that is base and extreme in Israel. There is a public opinion poll every day, and the figures do not differ by more than a seat or two. The latest of these shows that the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu alliance will win 34 seats, Labor 16 seats, Jewish Home 14 seats, Shas 11 seats, Yesh Atid 11 seats, Hatnuah 10 seats, United Torah 5 seats, Meretz 4 seats, Hadhash and Ta'al 5 seats each, Balad 2 seats, Am Shalem 2 seats, and Otzma LeYisrael 0 seats.
The names above require some explanation, so I will continue with that tomorrow. Today, I will conclude with the leader of the Labor Party Shelly Yachimovich, who refused any coalition with Likud, and said that she will either lead the government or lead the opposition.
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