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Role of Palestinian Authority in Israel's Election Results

Since news broke of Benjamin Netanyahu’s overwhelming victory in Israel’s elections, much of the world’s media has been attacking Israel for the result. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Alan Dershowitz says that Israel and her people have only done what they have been forced to do:

Those around the world who are upset with Prime Minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu electoral victory over the Zionist Camp party should put much of the responsibility for Israel’s rightward turn squarely where it belongs: on the Palestinian Authority (PA).

At least twice over the last 15 years, Israel has offered the Palestinians extraordinarily generous two-state solutions …

Israel is a vibrant democracy, in which people vote their experience, their fear and their hope. In 2000-2001 and 2007, most Israelis had high hopes for a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian conflict. These hopes were dashed by Arafat’s rejection and Abbas’ refusal to accept generous peace offers. It is not surprising therefore, that so many Israelis now vote their fear instead of their hope …

The Obama administration also contributed to the election results in Israel by refusing to listen to Israeli concerns — concerns shared by Israelis of every political stripe — about the impending deal with Iran. Many Israelis have given up any hope of influencing the Obama administration to demand more from the Iranians. The current deal contains a sunset provision which all but guarantees that Iran will have nuclear weapons within a decade. Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog made a serious mistake when he said he trusted President Obama to make a good deal with the Iranians. Few Israelis share that trust, as do few members of Congress, and few Sunni Arab governments. That lack of trust was reflected in voting for a Prime Minister who has been more confrontational and less trusting.

If Israelis voted their fears, these were not entirely irrational fears; they were based on the history of the region.

The international community, academics and the media tend to have short memories. They will blame Netanyahu, and especially his campaign rhetoric, for a result of which they disapprove. But Netanyahu’s rhetoric found a receptive audience because many Israeli voters have long memories. They remember what the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, the Obama administration, the Iranian mullahs and the United Nations have done and said with regard to Israel …

So instead of casting the blame on Netanyahu and the Israeli right for all the problems of the Middle East, let all sides look at themselves in the mirror of reality and decide how they can contribute to making the world a safer place, by preventing Iran from ever obtaining a nuclear arsenal and by encouraging a compromise resolution of the Palestinian issue that protects Israel’s security while providing the Palestinians with a viable, demilitarized state.

Tags: Palestinian Authority , Israel , Elections

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