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Ear to the Ground

A Plague in Time for Passover

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Posted on Mar 28, 2010
"The Plague of Darkness" by Gustave Doré

Haaretz’s Akiva Eldar has seized upon the holiday to suggest a biblical metaphor: “For 43 years, the Israeli public—schoolchildren, TV viewers, Knesset members and Supreme Court judges—have been living in the darkness of the occupation.”

Akiva Eldar in Haaretz:

It is true that for many years, we have managed to grope our way through the dark and keep the pressure at bay. We did so with the assistance of our neighbors, who were afflicted with the same shortsightedness. On Sunday, however, the Arab League marked the eighth anniversary of its peace proposals, which offer Israel normalization in exchange for an end to the occupation and an agreed solution to the refugee problem, in accordance with UN Resolution 194. But Israel behaves as if it had never heard of this historic initiative. For the last year, it was too busy realizing its dubious right to establish an illegal settlement in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, turning a blind eye to reality, has tried to persuade the world that what applies to Tel Aviv also applies to Sheikh Jarrah. He simply refuses to see that the world is sick of us. It’s easier for him to focus on his similarly nearsighted followers in AIPAC. Tonight they’ll all swear “Next year in rebuilt Jerusalem” - including the construction in Ramat Shlomo, of course.

Hillary Clinton is not Jewish, but it was she who had to remind the AIPAC Jews what demography will do to their favorite Jewish democracy in the Middle East. A few days earlier, she had come back from Moscow, where she took part in one of the Quartet’s most important meetings. Israeli politicians and media were too busy with the cold reception awaiting Netanyahu at the White House. They never gave any thought to the decision by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations to turn Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s state-building plan from a unilateral initiative into an international project.

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