Don't count on the 'opposition'...
Israel is a Western-style democracy, right? The 'only one' in the Middle East, yeah? Well, apart from the fact that Zionist democracy really more a democracy for Israeli Jews that it is for Israeli Arabs, of late we're hearing increasing internal complaints about the state of democracy in the Jewish state.
Gideon Levy in Ha'aretz seriously questions whether there's a functioning opposition in Israel, so vital for the functioning of any democratic state. In view of the developments of the past days, this does not bode well for any course adjustments needed vis-à-vis the blockade, the 'Palestinian question' and peace... In short: don't count on Livni.
Suddenly Tzipi Livni's authoritative voice was heard in the Knesset. "Let MK Hanin Zuabi have her say. Democracy is tested by its tolerance and readiness to hear other voices, even subversive ones," Livni said. Silence fell over the hall.
Zuabi ended her speech uninterrupted and the Kadima leader rose to the podium. Knesset members of all factions sat up straight, in anticipation of what she had to say. This always happens when Livni takes the podium. For an hour the opposition leader outlined her impressive credo, blasted the government and proposed a well-formulated alternative. Stop the blockade, it has only caused damage. I would have allowed the flotilla to reach Gaza; I'd call all the Palestinian people's representatives to the negotiating table immediately, to reach peace based on the 1967 borders and a solution to the refugee problem. Israel's international status and democratic character are immeasurably more important to its future than continuing the occupation.
Are you pinching yourselves? Of course you are. None of this actually happened, nor could it ever happen.
Read the rest...