There is a war in Jerusalem right now, a war that ends the Israeli illusion that the Palestinian cause has somehow faded away or evaporated.
Veteran Israeli General Amos Yadlin, former commander of the IDF’s intelligence and a chief Israeli National Security analyst, described the Israeli reality in the most brutal terms in his commentary on Israeli N12: “The Israeli delusions are over. The Palestinian problem is Back. “
Yadlin believes that Israel’s lack of leadership has led to strategic paralysis, in which Israel and Palestine have practically morphed into ‘one state’ and it has only two options to choose from: either to ‘stop being a Jewish State’ or to be ‘undemocratic’! According to Yadlin, the “Palestinians are engaged in a different discourse today than in the past. After the failure of their three main strategies – terrorism, internationalization of the conflict and reliance on the Arab world, the Palestinians have greatly strengthened the discourse of rights. If they cannot achieve their own state, they seek equal rights as citizens of the Greater State of Israel – with the long-term hope of an Arab majority in one state. In the meantime, they hope to exhaust Israel’s economic benefits and gain points in the campaign for Israel’s delegitimization.”
I wouldn’t use Yadlin’s misguided terminology, as the Palestinians are already the majority of the people between the river and the sea. Yet, I believe that his dissection of the situation is largely accurate. It is also consistent with IDF intelligence’s reading of the Israeli Palestinian conflict since the early 1980s. IDF generals have been saying it for years: for the Palestinians to win, all they need to do is to survive. Mahmoud Abbas, whom many Palestine supporters tend to detest, also came to the same realization a while back. It is not war that will defeat Israel, it is actually peace which Israel fears the most.
As if the news is not bad enough for the Israelis and their future prospects in the region, the last election made it clear that the new Israeli kingmaker is no other than Mansour Abbas, the Leader of the Islamic party Ra’am. Benjamin Netanyahu was ready to form a government with him just to sustain his primacy, with the hope that this may help him stay out of prison. But an alternative centrist coalition also can’t be formed without the support of Abbas.
The hardcore right wing within the Israeli Knesset do understand that such political power in the hands of an Islamic party empowers their bitterest enemies. It is destined to bring many more Israeli Arabs to the polls in the next election and if Arabs in Israel enjoy the same political representation as the Jewish majority, they can easily become the biggest political force in Israel. Is Israel ready for an Arab PM, or Muslim minister of defence? I’ll let you ponder over that.
The most peculiar fact in all of that is that Jewish lobbies around the world are actually very successful in dominating different nations’ affairs that are relevant to Israel and Jewish interests. A lot has been written about AIPAC dominating American foreign affairs. A lot was said about the power of the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and the Labour friends of Israel (LFI) in Britain. Yet in the USA Jews amount to less than 2% of the entire population. In the UK, Jews are less than 0.5% of the Brits. In Israel, on the other hand, Jews are 80% of the Israeli society and about 50% of the people who dwell between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea. One may draw a conclusion that Jews are doing far better for themselves as a marginal exilic identity than being a majority on the land. Zionism, for those who do not know, was born to refute that observation but it failed.