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Arens: One Country West of the Jordan



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Moshe Arens

Moshe Arens | Likud's Latest Zigzag


Some time ago I commented on a surprising political zigzag of Netanyahu. He had announced to be the first Israeli leader to attend the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) on April 12-13, 2010. However, on April 9, he withdrawn from President Obama's summit claiming that Egypt and Turkey intended to raise the issue of Israel's assumed atomic arsenal at the meeting. Probably, Netanyahu feared not getting the American support needed to deter the concerted accusation.

More recently we all saw the agitated rhetoric of the Israeli leadership with respect to Gaza’s Freedom Flotilla and the illegal blockade of Gaza. It reached such extremes that nine people were assassinated by the IDF so that humanitarian help wouldn’t reach Gaza’s ports. Another zigzag followed it; due to the international condemnation of the crime, Israel lets merchandise enter Gaza. It’s still early to judge if this opening is for real or just a public relations event; however the zigzag did happen.

Much less advertised – but probably much more dramatic – was a political zigzag of the Likud. It wasn’t in the form of a new formal decision, but as an article published by one of the senior members of this party. Another member of the Warring Family, also Moshe Arens features a public nickname, “Misha” in this case. Born in 1925, he is an aeronautical engineer, researcher and former diplomat and politician. He was a Knesset member between 1973 and 1992 and again from 1999 until 2003, he also served as Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Arens has also served as the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and was professor at the Technion in Haifa. He was a strong supporter of IAI (Israeli Aircraft Industries), and of the Lavi Aircraft, the biggest white elephant in Israel’s history.

In a recent op-ed in Haaretz, Arens suggested that Israel seriously consider the option of a single state west of the Jordan, in which Palestinians be granted full citizenship. Such an article – in the most serious Israeli newspaper and published by one of the most senior Likud members – is almost a formal statement by the party. For certain it indicates the idea is being considered seriously by the Likud.

This is not only a zigzag, but a colossal earthquake. In the past I commented about an infantile test of the Shin Beth; those citizens who support – while quietly questioned by plainclothes informants (see the The Cross of Bethlehem) – the two-states solutions are considered pro-Israel, while those who support the one-state solution are pro-Palestine. The Likud had supported the two-state solution forever, with a little twist: Jordan is the Palestinian state. An old Likud-members joke says: “Two banks to the Jordan River; this one is ours; the other one also.” Under such reality, Arens’ article is a revelation.

The Likud is zigzagging back and forth like rats in a sinking ship between realities and policies it wouldn’t consider in the past. These three recent examples are not unique and not even the last ones; more are to come. More than anything else, they let us realize one thing: Netanyahu, the Likud and the Israeli Administration in general, are in panic. Israel is being defeated, and they have finally realized that.

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