Flotilla anger threatens to sink Jewish state

That’s a headline in today’s Murdoch Australian that indicates a growing fear within the Zionist community. The piece by Abraham Rabinovich is remarkably measured (mostly, anyway) and includes this:

The explosion of anger [after the flotilla massacre] is unlikely to have been touched off by a transient episode such as the interdiction of the flotilla. A more probable explanation is Israel’s failure over four decades to find a way to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories. The resentment has accumulated like leaking gas that can be ignited by a random spark.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak acknowledged this when he told his cabinet colleagues last week that “a daring and assertive political initiative” aimed at achieving a peace agreement with the Palestinians was necessary if Israel is to emerge from its international isolation.

The isolation has become pronounced since Benjamin Netanyahu became Prime Minister last year. Under intense pressure from Washington, Netanyahu declared his readiness to accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but his repeated statements that Israel must build Jewish homes in East Jerusalem, his appeasement of West Bank settlers, his failure ever to paint an optimistic picture of co-existence with the Palestinians, suggest he does not, deep down, believe in it.

The Palestinians, of course, are no less to blame than Israel for the political stalemate, given their internal rivalries, their past negotiating positions and their recourse to terror.

The lesson of the flotilla affair for Israel is that the status quo, which has lasted for 43 years, is no longer viable. The world has lost patience with the ongoing conflict and it wants Israel, as the occupying power, to do more to resolve it.

Sadly, there is no evidence that Israel and its main Diaspora supporters are doing anything to address these concerns.

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