Daniel Levy At Foreign Affairs: ‘Same Netanyahu, Different Israel’

Full essay here.

‘Israel’s parliament, its politics, and its public discourse have all shifted to the right, in the direction of Netanyahu’s Likud party. The rump Zionist left-of-center in Israel’s Knesset has shriveled from 43 members in 1996 to just 11 today.’

There are many more settlements now, too, Levy points out, as well as a shifting demographic:

‘In 1996, Israel’s population was 5.7 million people; today, that number is 7.75 million. The two fastest-growing population groups are the Palestinian Arab community and ultra-Orthodox Jews (known as the Haredi).’

Were the left-of center Zionists bringing a much needed vision of democracy to the table?  Obama’s universalist vision seems to be aiming for peace and a dated conception (Levy argues) of the two-state solution, which has consequences for Israel (which Netanyahu addressed yesterday).  Does Obama have the wisdom and leadership to back up the risks he is taking…according to these principles?

Lurking behind the new round of Western involvement and hopes for an Arab spring lie an existential hatred of Israel (and political expedience in drumming it up), potentially weakened autocrats, much more tribal societies, disaffected youth with few limited economic and educational opportunities, some radical and some radicalizing Muslims, a troubled relationship with the concept of Western Church/State and separation of powers…etc.  All of this seems worthy of consideration, as Israel surely considers such problems.

Am I right back to the Clash Of Civilizations? Feel free to highlight my ignorance.

Also On This Site:  A Few Thoughts On Watching Operations In Libya

John Mearsheimer’s offensive realism (Israel can’t go on like this forever, the Israel lobby leads to bad U.S policy decisions): Repost: From Foreign Affairs Via The A & L Daily: ‘Conflict Or Cooperation: Three Visions Revisited’

Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest: ‘Obama Embraces His Inner Bush’Charlie Rose Episode On Libya Featuring Bernhard Henri-Levy, Les Gelb And Others

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