A House Undivided: Israel’s New Consensus Politics – Emanuele Ottolenghi (National Interest)
- Israelis go to the polls on March 17, and while international pundits are hoping for a political earthquake, it is likely that, like most of Israel’s preceding elections, this one will bring incremental rather than apocalyptic change, and Israel’s domestic, regional and foreign situation will remain largely the same as it had been before.
- Israeli politics have developed around a new national consensus. Israelis have reached a near wall-to-wall consensus on the enormity of the Iranian nuclear threat.
- Israelis are keen to reach a compromise with the Palestinians but despair of having one, given ongoing Palestinian incitement and terror, the presence of Iranian proxies at Israel’s borders, and regional turmoil left unchecked by a retreating American superpower.
- Increasingly, Israelis are loath to renounce strategic settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley to a Palestinian society increasingly dominated by Islamic extremists. They have little faith in the Palestinian Authority’s ability to prevent a West Bank replay of the scenario that followed the withdrawal from Gaza ten years ago – with thousands of rockets indiscriminately launched at Israel’s civilian centers.
- That is why, ultimately, whoever wins the elections on Tuesday will have to embrace that consensus.
The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.