All will groan if Netanyahu is a winner

January 23, 2013 12:45 AM By Rami G. Khouri

The Daily Star

Story Summary

For the past generation and a half, since the late 1970s, Israeli society has been moving steadily to the right through three main trajectories: greater reliance on military force as a primary foreign policy tool, more social and policymaking influence by religious Jews, and a growing super-nationalist commitment to a greater Israel concept that includes building new settlements and preventing the birth of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

The expected victory of a coalition led by the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Tuesday’s general elections is likely to continue the militant and predatory Zionist trends of the past 45 years, but this will only refocus many people’s attention on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the wider Arab-Israeli conflict that it has spawned since 1948 .

The policies on three fronts of Netanyahu’s expected rightist coalition – toward Palestinian Israelis, in the West Bank-Gaza-East Jerusalem, and with the neighboring Arab countries – will usher in a period of heightened tension between Israel and every one of its regional and global interlocutors, especially Palestinians, other Arabs, Turks, Iranians, Europeans and the American government.

Tensions will rise with democratizing Arab neighbors whose governments will more faithfully reflect Arab public opinion that dislikes Netanyahu’s policies

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Categories: Arab World, Asia, Israel, Palestine

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