Monday, July 20, 2015

Netanyahu's Triumph // Josh Marshall // Talking Points Memo

Israel is a tribal state.  It is a democracy for Jews.  Nothing unites tribes like fear of the other.  In the case of Israel that fear could be called post-Holocaust stress disorder.  Benjamin Netanyahu has mobilized the country around that fear.  I think he has set the country on the road to further isolation.  But he dominates the discourse there.  We and they will be paying the price for that for years to come. - gwc

Netanyahu's Epic Triumph
by Josh Marshall

I don't doubt that Netanyahu believes what he says about the Iran deal, though I think the intensity of the reaction is about fears about the U.S. role in the Middle East more than a possible Iranian nuclear weapon. However that may be, Netanyahu is a fundamentally political animal. He's a man of the Israeli political right certainly. But he's a political survivor and defender of his own hold on power more than anything. And it's not just his personal hold on power.

Netanyahu stumbled back into power bruised and brutalized this spring. Yes, his party had staged a massive come-from-behind victory. But when it came to forming a government, he had the narrowest of majorities with only a single center-right party to leaven the hard right coalition he formed. His standing was sullied internationally and even among some domestic supporters because of the nature of his victory. Now he has the entire political nation to the right of the MKs from the Arab Parties united behind him on this issue. That doesn't just make his own personal longevity in office look longer, it also signals a continuing governing majority for the rejectionism that he has embodied and which has served Israel so poorly in recent years.

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