Friday, May 23, 2008

Is Israel on the road to oblivion?

When Amnon Rubinstein speaks, many people in Israel listen. As an intellectual who has held the posts of minister of education and of justice, Rubinstein commands the respect of the Israeli elite regardless of their intellectual and political leanings. And yet Rubinstein surprised Israelis when in interview with Hebrew Radio in mid-April he anticipated that the Israeli state would not survive. Rubinstein is not the only person to have reached this conclusion. On the eve of the 60th anniversary of Israel's establishment, Israeli intellectuals teemed with pessimistic predictions about the future. An increasing number of politicians and Zionists have begun to openly express the belief that the entity of Israel is on a path to oblivion.

Since these predictions were made public, the Israeli press has dubbed them "visions of the end of time". They have gained weight because they undermine the appearance of confidence that Israel's leaders are keen to convey at any opportunity, but also because their proponents have played important decision-making roles or have long been connected to the establishment and are not merely members of elite intellectual circles on the margins of society. These intellectuals explain that their conclusion results from three basic factors: external threat; lack of confidence in the state's future; and severe polarisation among society's components. Rubinstein holds that Israel has failed counter Arab threats, in particular failing to extinguish the desire of Palestinians to obtain their rights in struggle against Israel. More...

See also: British Jews: "We're not celebrating Israel's anniversary"
And this: Gaza, a human and Palestinian tragedy...

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