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Not in Israel’s interest, either

Mar 19,2015 - Last updated at Mar 19,2015

Commentators on the outcome of Israeli elections, both in the Arab world and abroad, have been quick to point out the obvious: that the re-election of the Likud and several far-right parties is neither in the interest of Palestinian-Israeli peace nor in the interest of stability in the region.

What should be pointed out, however, is that it is not in Israel’s interest either.

And this is a fact that Israelis, before anybody else, should be concerned about.

The forthcoming scenario, if the Netanyahu led-government will indeed be formed with Likud and far-right anti-peace radicals, is crystal clear: more oppression of Palestinians, more landgrab, and more undermining of the two-state solution.

It will also mean more tensions in the region, because of Netanyahu’s ill-intentioned position on the Iranian nuclear issue, which he uses merely to divert attention from his government’s evil schemes in the Palestinian territories.

Yes, this is very bad news for the Palestinians, who have no chance to see a better life and a brighter future with such a government in power, and for the Arabs, who have to deal with three stability threats at this point in time: Daesh, Iran and Israel.

But Israel is also in trouble, and it will continue to pay the price for electing radicals and enemies of peace.

In the short term, it will face more isolation and more boycott.

Several individual European governments, in addition to the European Union at large, are fed up with Israel’s extremism, apartheid policies and violation of Palestinian rights.

While the Europeans may not be ready to take drastic actions against Israel in the immediate future, they took, and will continue to take, small but significant measures that will directly harm Israel.

There will be more boycott and divestment by both governments and NGOs.

Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, there will be more sympathy and backing for Palestinian rights, including an insistence on Palestinian statehood.

The same, though to a lesser degree, can be said about the image and status of Israel in the US.

Netanyahu’s disrespect and antagonism of the Obama administration will not reflect positively on Israel, despite the administration’s weak response so far.

And American popular opinion regarding Israelis and Palestinians is noticeably shifting in favour of Palestinian rights.

The Israelis will soon realise — many have already — that a Netanyahu-led government is both a burden and a liability to Israel.

In the long run, Israel will be in more trouble.

History is on the side of the Palestinians. Palestine is their home. They are not going anywhere, and they are and will continue to be Israel’s problem, not anybody else’s.

This fact has been highlighted by many noted political analysts and intellectuals, including Israelis.

The argument here is crystal clear. Unlike what Israel thinks, a speedy solution to the Palestinians’ problem,  which would give them a viable, independent state of their own, serves Israel’s own stability and existence.

It solidifies the Israeli state and guarantees its longevity.

A belated or no solution, on the other hand, is a danger to the very existence and fabric of the Israeli state.

Those who are sceptical about this should read Noam Chomsky, Ilan Pappe, Jimmy Carter and many other thinkers and diplomats, including many who care about Israel.

In both the short and long run, also, the Israelis should not underestimate what the Palestinians and the Arabs could do, both diplomatically and by other means, if Israel continues to push Palestinians to desperation, and the region to instability and chaos.

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