Thursday, May 29, 2008
What future for Israel
The news today that leader of the Israeli Labour Party, Ehud Barak, is calling for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to step down, is the latest crisis to hit Israel. It comes at a time when one of Israel's leading intellectuals, Amon Rubinstein a former minister of education and justice recently went on Hebrew Radio to say he anticipated that the Israeli state would not survive. His view is shared by a number of intellectuals who fear that the external threat, lack of confidence in the state's future and severe polarisation amongst society's components may all lead to Israel's demise.
Abraham Tayrosh wrote in February that one of the signs of collapse is that the Jewish Agency has stopped trying to convince Jews around the world to migrate to Israel. Rovi Rivlin (Likud) reports that an increasing number of Israelis are working to obtain European passports to be used in fleeing Israel if they need to. Muli Beilig sees that Ben-Gurion's vision of a "melting pot" society has failed miserably with ethnic and cultural polarisation. Nahom Burnei believes that although Israel is strong militarily and economically, it is unable to provide security for its citizens and is also the only state in the world whose mere existence is a source of doubt.
The full text of the article "This state cannot survive" is available here.
The tragedy for me is that it doesn't have to be like this. A true commitment to a viable state for the Palestinians (whatever happened to the roadmap?) and a true commitment to equal rights for all her citizens, would contribute to Israel's future security. I am increasingly drawn to the view that perhaps the only hope now is a one state solution, with some sort of Northern Ireland type power sharing.