Another day in the conflicted land
Like most, today was a paradoxical day in Israel’s news cycle. Here are a few of the highlights:
• The largest left-wing demonstration Israel has seen in recent years took place the night before and the media was full of speculation as to whether the Left is experiencing a rebirth of sorts. Yet the issue that has driven the Left for decades – ending the occupation and making peace with the Palestinians – wasn’t on the agenda.
• The world was congratulating the Tunisian people for the potential freedoms gained by overthrowing a dictatorship that has ruled their country for decades. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu joined the likes of Libyan ruler Colonel Muammar Qaddafi in warning that the turn of events represents regional instability and is a threat to peace.
• Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni once again attacked the “moral failure” of Netanyahu for allowing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s enquiry into human rights organizations. However, she made her stand from the moral high ground of Gush Etzion, the home of some of the settlement enterprise’s more extreme elements.
• Finally, The Quartet announced it will meet early next month to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Meanwhile in Jerusalem, 1,400 housing units were put up for discussion to be constructed east of the Green Line and in Ramallah the Palestinian Authority announced it will approach the UN Security Council for a resolution declaring that Israel’s settlements are illegal.
Today was nothing out of the ordinary. Nobody expects anything less than contradiction in the Middle East. After all, it is the conflicted land.