Avi Issacharoff; 22/10/09; (2 Items)
The Obama administration’s ambassador to the United Nations told Israelis on Wednesday that it is not enough just to pay lip service to peace and urged the government to immediately relaunch negotiations, without preconditions, aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state. Ambassador Susan Rice, in an address at a high-powered conference hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres, assured Israelis – many of whom are wary of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Mideast agenda – that her government is committed to their security. “As President Peres always reminds us, being serious about peace means taking risks for peace,” Rice said. “Being serious about peace means understanding that tomorrow need not look like yesterday.”
See: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1122633.html; http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1122612.html
Public opinion, where art thou?
Yitzhak Laor; 22/10/09
The avaricious sortie by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his courtiers to Paris was sponsored by a state in which a third of all children live under the poverty line; Barak himself is supervising the starving of Gaza and its 1.5 million inhabitants. All this ties in well with Israel’s current political crisis, which revolves around a crisis of representation: Whom does Ehud Barak represent apart from the arms dealers and military elites? How can the commonwealth’s citizens demand accountability in a manner that would force le petit empereur to reply? The answer is they can’t. Israel’s political society is essentially a club of advocates. Those advocates are portrayed to constituents as their representatives. The public is invited to elect those representatives, who are feeding on propaganda money, to a term in office. The public is only allowed to choose from the limited offering available, and essentially gives the advocates carte blanche until the next elections. “Public opinion” is not consulted until those next elections, when it is offered such tantalizing choices as “He’s not a pal, he’s a leader,” “He will defend Jerusalem,” and “Who will take on the ultra-Orthodox’s extortion?” Anything goes.