Saturday, July 16, 2011

Waste and Squandered Opportunity

Just about everywhere in the Middle East there has been movement — stirring, remarkable, uneven — as the region breaks old chains of despotism and seeks its slice of the modern world. But Palestinians and Israelis remain stuck in their sterile and competitive narratives of victimhood, determined, it seems, to ensure past rancor defeats promise.

It’s been a year of terrible waste,
concludes Roger Cohen in the New York Times.
The waste is staggering and the looming train wreck appalling.

Meanwhile, as 4500 Arabs and leftists marched together in Jerusalem to support Palestinian statehood, Haaretz's Yossi Verter lambasts Bibi Netanyahu for his wobbly leadership. He points out how in the Knesset, settlers now appear to be setting the agenda by passing the Boycott Law, introduced by the rightwing MK Zeev Elkin.
MK Ahmed Tibi ‏(United Arab List-Ta’al‏) asked Elkin if his passion for enacting legislation of this kind had to do with his being beaten up as a kid. The immigrants, veterans and newcomers alike, sometimes carry unpleasant memories from Mother Russia or from the torment of trying to integrate in Israel.

As the left continues to crumble and be increasingly irrelevant, the parliamentary right is becoming ever more militant against the Arab public, “the professors,” the Supreme Court, creative artists, so-called intellectuals, donors from abroad and so on.

In the past Israel’s right wing was characterized by grace and decorum, as decreed by Revisionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and by grace and courage, as per the Betar anthem.

These days, Benjamin Netanyahu is not ashamed to take the floor and declare that if not for his support of the problematic law, it would not have come to a vote. If so, why didn’t the government sponsor it?

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