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The prospects for peace recede even further

If ever there was a piece expressing despair, this article "How Israel Lost its Latest Chance for a Peace Process" by  Bernard Avishai in The New Yorker is it.    The appointment of this new Defence Minister in Israel, can, objectively, only be seen as  disastrous for Israel.

The sad fact is that there are still politicians both in Israel and elsewhere, talking of a Two State Solution in the intractable Israel - Palestinian conflict.   It's a myth that there could be such a resolution given the facts on the ground - especially as Israel relentlessly, and without any ready sanction, proceeds to build and expand with so-called settlements in the West Bank.    Add to the above, the cynical approach of the US, even if somewhat critical of Israel in its actions, nevertheless ramping up its military aid to Israel.  

"Last Friday, after weeks of political maneuvering, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Avigdor Lieberman to be his defense minister. A longtime political hard-liner who has filled various cabinet positions for more than a decade, Lieberman made his career with coarse talk: Israel, he said, should “cut off the head” of a disloyal Arab citizen, or take “a lesson from Putin” on how to deal with terror. His appointment served as a climax to parallel dramas: a public dispute between Netanyahu’s most conservative ministers and the Israel Defense Forces, which Lieberman’s appointment will inflame, and a secret peace initiative prompted by Tony Blair, involving players from the opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, which the appointment effectively scuttles.

Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, the minister whom Netanyahu fired to make room for Lieberman, spoke bluntly at a press briefing on Friday. “To my great sorrow, extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel and the Likud Party,” he said. Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who was Ya’alon’s predecessor as defense minister under Netanyahu, angrily reinforced Ya’alon’s message on television later that night. Israel “has been infected by the seeds of fascism,” Barak said. “This government needs to be brought down before it brings all of us down.” At the Knesset on Wednesday, the former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, of the moderate Zionist Union, also condemned Ya’alon’s removal. “The Army is mandatory for all, so it must uphold Israel’s collective values,” she told me. “When my two sons served, I wanted them back with the same values they went in with.”

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