New York Times columnist Roger Cohen gives his nod to Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog for the coming election, accompanied by the usual alarmist rhetoric of what might happen if Herzog doesn’t win:
‘The two-state idea is alive but ever more tenuous. It is compatible with an Israel true to its founding principles. It is incompatible with an Israel bent on Jewish supremacy and annexation of all or most of the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. It can be resurrected, because there is no plausible alternative, despite the fact that almost a half-century of dominion over another people has produced ever greater damage, distrust and division. It can be buried only at the expense of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, for no democracy can indefinitely control the lives of millions of disenfranchised people — and that is what many Palestinians are.’
But disenfranchised by whom, Roger, me old dodger? Certainly not Israel. The last time there were ‘free’ elections in the Gaza Strip, Hamas thought they might lose to the opposition Fatah party so, among other things, they threw Fatah leaders from the top of tall buildings in order to ensure power. Meanwhile Fatah leader Abbas refuses to order new and long overdue elections in the West Bank for fear that he will be overthrown (as he surely would be) by Hamas. Ah, Palestinian democracy at work is such a delight. Now what tune do I hear constantly in my head when it comes to the ‘enfranchisement’ of the denizens of the Gaza Strip? Yes, yes, I know. It’s Connie Francis’ 1958 hit, Who’s Sorry Now?