Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

November 25, 2005

Israel’s political map

In the five years since the Palestinians launched their second, more deadly, intifada, the pragmatic Israeli right has grudgingly acknowledged that the dream of a Greater Israel stretching from the Mediterranean to the Jordan is no longer attainable. The demographic and security price, it admits, is too high. At the same time, the pragmatic left has grudgingly acknowledged that the right was not always wrong in its pessimistic assessment of Palestinian intentions. The 1993 Oslo agreement, the left still contends, was an important breakthrough, but twelve years later it has yet to deliver a comprehensive peace.

The polar icecaps are melting. It has become possible to redraw Israel’s political map. In August 2005, Ariel Sharon created a precedent by evacuating twenty-one settlements in Gaza and four in the northern West Bank. Three months later, on 21 November, he announced that he was breaking from the right-wing Likud (Hebrew for “Unity”) and launching a new centre-right party, Kadima (“Forward”).

More from Eric Silver.

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