Friday, May 6, 2011

Mofaz's Permission

Should Mahmud Abbas tell Bibi Netanyahu that he would not engage with the Israeli government unless every minister was, individually, prepared to endorse a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, renounce the use of force in the occupied territory, renounce settlement, oh, and represent a faction with no civilian blood on its hands?  It would be a small coalition, without Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, National Union, and half of the Likud. Secretary Clinton, so far, is striking the right note.

Yesterday, on Israeli radio, there was report that Shaul Mofaz, the former Chief of Staff and Kadima's Number Two--the Chairman, Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and former Defense Minister to boot--told Yediot's Nahum Barnea in a soon to be published interview that Palestine's unity government is an opportunity that cannot be missed. Watch this story. Mofaz may well give the Israeli center, and the whole of the Western diplomatic community, permission to support Abbas's efforts to make unity work--perhaps even give Palestinian democracy the respect it deserves.

Note: I'm going to be traveling for a couple of weeks and will be blogging haphazardly. This is probably a good time to sign up for email delivery of the blog. New Yorkers: I'll be appearing at YIVO on the evening of May 18 on a panel honoring Philip Roth.