..When Netanyahu mobilizes the full might of the pro-Israel lobby, will Obama surrender, like all preceding presidents?
And world public opinion how united will it be? How much pressure can it exert? When Netanyahu declares that all criticism of his government is anti-Semitic and that every boycott call is an echo of the Nazi slogan Kauft nicht bei Juden (Dont buy from Jews) how many of the critics will stand up to the pressure? How much courage will Merkel, Sarkozy, Berlusconi et al be able to muster? And on the other side: will a world-wide boycott not intensify the paranoia in Israel and push all the Israeli public into the arms of the extreme Right, under the time-worn slogan All the World is against us?
IN THE best of circumstances, if all the pressures materialize and have a maximum impact how long will it take? What disasters can such a government bring about before the pressure starts to take effect? How many human beings will be killed and injured in attacks and acts of revenge by both sides? Such a government would be dominated by the settlers. How many new settlements will spring up? How many existing settlements will be extended at a hectic pace? And in the meantime, wont the settlers intensify their harassment of the Palestinian population with the aim of bringing about ethnic cleansing?..
One or two years of a Bibi-Liberman-Kahane government can cause irreparable damage to Israels standing in the world, Israeli-American relations, the judicial system, Israeli democracy, national morale and national sanity.
THE POSITIVE side of this situation is that the Knesset will once again include a large opposition. Perhaps even an effective opposition…
ALL THESE are theoretical possibilities. What will happen in reality? What will be the consequences of a pure rightist regime, if Tzipi Livni maintains her determination not to join a Netanyahu government? Will Israel set off down a suicidal road from which there is no return, or will this be a passing phase before the wake-up call?
It is a great gamble, and like every gamble, it arouses both fear and hope.