Only a New Leader Can Save Israel Now; Could This Be a Turning Point in the Ferocious Cycle of Violence?

By Wasserstein, Bernard | The Evening Standard (London, England), March 6, 2002 | Go to article overview

Only a New Leader Can Save Israel Now; Could This Be a Turning Point in the Ferocious Cycle of Violence?


Wasserstein, Bernard, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: BERNARD WASSERSTEIN

ARIEL Sharon's government in Israel is on its last legs. After a year in power, Sharon is generally reckoned to have been a disastrous failure. His promise of peace with security has been exposed as hollow. He offers no strategic guidance save endless struggle, no diplomatic vision beyond constant naysaying.

His only programme, according to the wags, is the evening news on television.

As the conflict with the Palestinians rises to a paroxysm of mutual bloodletting, the internal contradictions within Israel's governing coalition are pulling it asunder. The public response to the staccato of suicide bomb attacks is one of baffled outrage. Extreme-right ministers, such as Avigdor Lieberman and Benny Elon, are stoking up feeling with their calls for ever more extreme measures against the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank and Gaza. The Labour Party, Sharon's reluctant coalition ally, is looking for an opportunity to jump ship. It lacks a leader and any alternative policy but internal unease is growing.

Labour ministers know that if the party is to survive at all as a force in Israeli politics, it will soon have to take the plunge.

Sharon's most likely successor is a member of his own Likud Party, Binyamin Netanyahu, 20 years younger, much fitter, and more in tune with the mood of the Israeli right. His re-emergence is the most remarkable return from the political grave since Richard Nixon's bounce back from defeat in the 1960s.

Just three years ago, Netanyahu was ousted from power in such total disgrace that he contemplated leaving politics altogether. Today he is poised to recoup the leadership of the Likud and perhaps of Israel.

NETANYAHU is winning support by posing as a more energetic and decisive leader than Sharon. By comparison with Sharon's painful mental incoherence and visible exhaustion, Netanyahu projects an aura of confidence and vigour.

Yet Netanyahu's policy prescriptions are essentially the same as Sharon's.

Both men fundamentally mistrust the good faith of the Palestinian leadership; both disbelieve in the possibility of peace; both think that Israel's only recourse now is to beat the Palestinians remorselessly into the dust.

Israel's politics today resemble those of France in early 1958 as the Algerian war approached its climax and brought about the collapse of the Fourth Republic.

Then as now, an increasingly demoralised army confronted an elusive enemy that would stop at nothing.

Then as now, terrorism provoked counter-terror, torture-and attacks on civilians that merely cemented the bond between the rebels and the occupied Arab population.

This is not a war in which Israel can be beaten militarily . But Israel has suffered serious military reverses in the past few days. The impunity with which Palestinian fighters destroyed an Israeli tank and shot up a line of Israeli soldiers like skittles at a checkpoint indicates a new vulnerability that Israel's conscript army can ill afford.

In the end France tired of fighting a squalid war on behalf of a million French colonists in Algeria. Today Israelis are despairing of a conflict that the leader of the opposition in the Knesset, Yossi Sarid, calls, with some justification, a "war for the settlements". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Only a New Leader Can Save Israel Now; Could This Be a Turning Point in the Ferocious Cycle of Violence?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.