The US Presbyterian Church continues to gently push for effective change in Palestine and the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof rehashes the tired line of finding a Palestinian “Gandhi” (do these Western commentators simply feel the need to repeat predictable talking points over and over again?)
Max Blumenthal finds increasing Israeli violence at Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.
It is, as Zeev Sternhell writes, all signs of a nation in deep crisis:
Among the regimes in the Western world, Israel stands out with certain characteristics that generally do not indicate a strong democratic system. Its parliament is paralyzed, the opposition is nonexistent, and contempt for the law is becoming more pronounced. This not only refers to the unrest caused by the ultra-Orthodox, but also to something much more dangerous, the unrest caused by the settlers. The “respectable” right has chosen leaders of the most dangerous kind, like Moshe Ya’alon, who erases the line between Likud’s level-headed elements and the extremist “Feiglins” and far-right National Union party. In the not-too-distant future, they will replace Likud’s current leadership, which itself is much less restrained than the veteran Revisionists.
Moreover, the political leadership and the ruling elites, including the military elite, evince a worrisome lack of talent. From the Second Lebanon War to the Gaza flotilla – and this period includes Operation Cast Lead – Israel’s failures have been much greater than its successes. Against this backdrop, Israel’s moral crisis is getting deeper all the time. Israeli society is disintegrating into layers and blocs that have totally different worldviews and historical visions. More and more, these hostile blocs lack a mutual national objective.
Viewers of the Channel 10 news last Friday were amazed to see a scene that seemed to belong to the world of sick imagination: To shorten the route to the Cave of the Patriarchs for the Jews of Hebron, the windows of Arabs’ homes that the worshipers pass were sealed off. You had to rub your eyes to believe how the colonial power allows itself to make life so unbearable for the natives. Not only were their windows sealed, but access to their homes was made especially difficult – just for the convenience of the occupiers.