Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Uri Avnery comments on the political earthquake in Israel: "THE LIKUD has reverted to what it was before coming to power in 1977: a radical right-wing party. This is the classic Herut party, which believes in the Greater Israel (called in Hebrew "The Whole of Eretz YIsrael"), from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River (at least). It opposes any peace agreement with the Palestinian people and wants to maintain the occupation, until circumstances allow for the annexation of all the occupied territories. Since it also wants a homogeneous Jewish state, this contains a hidden message: the Arabs must be induced to leave the country. In right-wing parlance, this is called "voluntary transfer". However, the party takes care not spell this out openly."

"THE SHARON PARTY (called Kadima, "Forward") is built on a lie.... Sharon does not make a secret of his real intentions: to annex to Israel 58% of the West Bank, including the ever-expanding "settlement blocs", as well as various "security zones" (the extended Jordan valley and the roads between the settlements) and Great-Great- Jerusalem, up to the Ma'aleh Adumim settlement. Since there can be no Palestinian partner for such a "solution", he plans to implement this by a unilateral diktat, backed by force, without any dialogue with the Palestinians."

"[Labour's new leader] Amir Peretz supports a serious peace program: negotiations with the Palestinians and the establishment of a Palestinian state, on the basis of the borders of 1967. He will represent this in a social context: the money wasted on war, occupation and the settlements is stolen from the poor and increases the gap between rich and poor."

"Strangely enough, many commentators ignore the most manifest and most decisive fact: The whole system has undergone a shift to the left. The Likud nucleus is stuck on the right, where it always was. But all the others have moved. The Sharon-party, which has split from the Likud, has given up its main article of faith: the Whole of Eretz Yisrael."

"For years now an abnormal situation has prevailed in Israel and driven social scientists crazy: according to all public opinion polls, most of the public wants peace and is prepared to make almost all the necessary concessions, but in the Knesset this position has hardly been represented at all.. During all these years, my optimism has irritated many people. I told everyone: this will not go on. Some day, in a way that we cannot yet foresee, this abnormal state will right itself. One way or another, the political scene will attune itself to public opinion."

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