Magazine article The Nation

Right Turn in Israel

Magazine article The Nation

Right Turn in Israel

Article excerpt

The irony of the right-wing gains in the Israeli elections is that they come at a time when conditions for the creation of an Israeli-Palestinian peace had never seemed riper. It now looks as if the Likud Party will form a governing coalition with two smaller blocs of religious and far-right hyper-nationalist parties -which were helped by the cynical banning of Meir Kahane's Kach Party two weeks before the November 1 balloting. Ariel Sharon will probably not be elevated to Defense Minister right away (Moshe Arens has more favor in Washington). But Sharonist repression -on a scale far worse than Yitzhak Rabin's "iron fist" policies - will be inflicted on the Palestinian intifada. The institution of the death penalty, expansion of settlements, mass expulsions -these are but a few measures on the Likud agenda. There is always the possibility, of course, that a right-wing government will feel secure enough to work toward a historic compromise, as de Gaulle did in Algeria and Nixon did in China. …

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