Isolating Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu surprised nearly everyone by decisively securing a third consecutive term in office. But the celebration is likely to be short: By renouncing a two-state solution and pledging continued settlement of occupied land, Netanyahu has exposed Israel to serious political and diplomatic consequences.

RAMALLAH – Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu certainly has reason to celebrate. He surprised nearly everyone by securing a decisive electoral victory, winning a third consecutive term in office after his right-wing Likud party gained a five-seat advantage in the Knesset over its main rival, the center-left Zionist Union. But the celebration is likely to be short. The way Netanyahu finagled this outcome – renouncing his commitment to a two-state solution with Palestine and pledging to continue building settlements on occupied land – will almost certainly have serious political and diplomatic consequences for Israel.

In recent years, Netanyahu’s hardline stance has increasingly undermined Israel’s international credibility, while convincing the Palestinians living in the occupied territories that a genuine agreement with Israel is impossible. (Indeed, Palestinians showed little interest in the outcome of this election.)

Now that Netanyahu has intensified his right-wing rhetoric – and been rewarded with another term in power – the international movement to isolate Israel will only gain momentum. After all, support for direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine no longer makes sense, even for Israel’s main ally, the United States, because the assumptions underlying this approach have been demolished.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/jGOKflu;
  1. solana105_JUANMABROMATAAFPGettyImages Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

    The Lost Spirit of the G20

    Javier Solana

    As Japan prepares to host its first G20 leaders’ summit later this month, little remains of the open and cooperative spirit that marked the first such gathering in 2008. But although the United States will most likely continue its protectionist drift, other G20 countries should use the occasion to make a clear case for free trade.

  2. velasco94_YoustGettyImages_headswithbooksstaring Youst/Getty Images

    The Experts We Need

    Andrés Velasco

    Policy gurus spend too much time with others like them – top civil servants, high-flying journalists, successful businesspeople – and too little time with ordinary voters. If they could become “humble, competent people on a level with dentists,” as John Maynard Keynes once suggested, voters might identify with them and find them trustworthy.

  3. benami152_KiyoshiOtaPoolGettyImages_trumpmelaniaeatinginJapan Kiyoshi Ota - Pool/Getty Images

    Don’t Feed the Donald

    Shlomo Ben-Ami

    For Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, appeasing US President Donald Trump is not so much a choice as a necessity: he must prove to Japan’s people and their neighbors, particularly the Chinese, that he knows how to keep Trump on his side. But Abe's strategy won't work with a US administration as fickle and self-serving as Trump’s.

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.