Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Israel is a story of vindication, success and transformation. The world was awestruck, seeing the desert bloom and the start-ups multiply. The arguable beginnings were overshadowed by the later achievements. The Golda Meir/Sadat historical meeting was as much about Realpolitik as it was a recognition of the need to find answers for reciprocal legitimate grievances or aspirations. Few countries were as respected as Israel was then.

The further solution for a Palestinian homeland looked in the making. Palestinians should be granted a continuous land after corrections of borders and a dismantling of a number of Jewish settlements. Jerusalem should receive a special status, compatible with the historical claims of both parties. The two state solution would also address economic, military, water, security issues and find ways to compensate those Palestinians who lost all after the creation of the Jewish state.

The situation today looks totally hopeless. After the passing of the historical leaders in Israel and a Palestinian Authority in free-fall, the tensions multiply, fed by regional instabilities and by the curse of the Trump/Netanyahu lethal partnership. To be critical of the American president does not make one anti-American (quite the contrary). To be critical of the Israeli P.M. does not make one anti-Israel.  In our current post-truth times, Trump and Netanyahu are the chosen spokesmen for the new alternative reality. They share a selfish view of their interests and are not interested in participating in a new world architecture that is so badly needed. They sacrifice the existential for sake of the parochial. Therefore, they give up on larger ambitions and only live for prime-time slots in social media.

The Gaza situation is dramatic. Hamas is an unreliable steward of the Palestinian cause (Mahmoud Abbas has lost his credibility as well) but both Israel and Egypt act like jailers of people who feel locked up and deprived of hope. It can be understood that the psychological gap between the" haves" and the "have nots" is creating structural problems that might well become irreversible, given the current frustrations. The timing for the US Embassy move to Jerusalem arrived at the worst possible moment. The attendees at the inaugural spectacle looked and acted like representatives of a detestable pseudo-religious "sect".  The whole show was shameful.

There is a blueprint, known by all, for finding a solution for Jerusalem's final status. Yesterday's show might well have been its undertaker.

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