A dark cloud

November 24, 2016 22:49

Tzipi Livni appears to have narrowly won the Kadima primaries, seeing off her closest rival, Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz by 43% to 42%.

This is indeed a cause for celebration.

But after the parties are over Ms Livni, should she succeed in setting up a government in the next six weeks or so - by no means a certainty - has a tough job.

For Israel has some dark clouds on its horizon... Iran's nuclear programme, Syria's agreement-or-confrontation policy, Hizbollah's increasing strength and Hamas's entrenchment surround Israel with a tightening noose of threats.

On top of all those not insignificant issues, most Israelis today - including those who would be defined as left wing - have given up on the idea that a peace deal with the Palestinians is even possible in the foreseeable future. No matter what Israel proposes, it will never be enough for a Palestinian leadership living in fear that it will be branded a sell-out.

Israel, under Livni, must grab the initiative, imposing a strict time-limit for breakthroughs on the Palestinian and Syrian fronts. And Israel has to prepare for the failure of these talks, not out of pessimism, but out of a sense of realism.

This, unfortunately, is not something Israel has done for a long time. In fact, the short-termism of its leaders was born after 1967, with the state relying too heavily in its unofficial motto, "Smoch, yiyhe beseder" - "Trust me, it'll be OK."

It never was OK.

The time has come to rectify this.

November 24, 2016 22:49

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