Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lurch to the right

The results of the Israeli elections are a disaster for moderates

By Khaled Amayreh from occupied East Jerusalem
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....Palestinian intellectuals seem to have lost all faith in any Israeli will to end the occupation that started more than 40 years ago.

"The Palestinian Authority has been holding protracted peace talks with the Kadima government but to no avail. Imagine how futile and pointless peace talks will be with a government led by Netanyahu and Lieberman and other extremists," says Hani Al-Masri, a leading political analyst.

Al-Masri argues that "Israel has decided to elect an extremist government despite Palestinian illusions about peace." "I think we have to rebuild our strength because neither Israel nor the world will respect us if we continue weak and divided."

Hamas has denounced the outcome of the Israeli elections, arguing that "a racist society has produced a racist leadership".

"Now we have a manifestly fascist leadership in Israel that doesn't believe in peace and doesn't recognise a Palestinian state. So why does the hypocritical West not boycott these fascist parties, such as Lieberman's party, as it boycotted the Hamas- led government that was elected freely and democratically by the Palestinian people more than two years ago," said Ahmed Youssef, a senior advisor to Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Gaza- based Hamas-led government.

Youssef advised the Arab and Muslim worlds "not to pay attention to what Netanyahu and his cohorts say but to what they do". "They will claim to want peace but they will be building more settlements and stealing more Arab land.""

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