Close

Forgot your password?

Choose a newsletter




Premium access provided by ENSTA

Your premium access provided by ENSTA

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by NRC Q

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to NRC Q.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by EM-LYON

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to EM-LYON.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Goldsmiths

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Goldsmiths.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Worldcrunch HQ

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Worldcrunch HQ.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by MINES Alès Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to MINES Alès Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by ESCP Europe Alumni

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to ESCP Europe Alumni.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by IONIS Education Group

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to IONIS Education Group.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by SOAS University of London

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to SOAS University of London.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Contact Expats

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Contact Expats.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Financial Review Beyond

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Financial Review Beyond.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by MinnPost

You have been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 6 months thanks to MinnPost.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Expatica

You've been given FREE premium access to Worldcrunch

Enter your email to begin

Worldcrunch

No Israel, Time Is Not On Your Side

Analysis: The Arab Spring and conflict in Syria have taken the focus off of the intractable standoff of the Israeli-Palestinian situation. But Israel should not be fooled into thinking that stalling is anything resembling a real strategy -- or solution.

Article illustrative image Partner logo The West Bank barrier in the town of Ras Atiya (Paolo Cuttitta palestine)

PARIS - More than a year ago, Israel’s reaction to the Arab Spring was perceived as a cautious wait-and-see attitude, as one more reason to maintain the status quo with the Palestinians. In any case, says Jerusalem, exactly with whom should we be negotiating? The Palestinian Authority is no longer considered representative of the people; and Hamas, its rival, is a terrorist organization. After the second round of the Egyptian presidential election, the Israelis felt confirmed in their skepticism.

Didn’t history appear to agree with them? They can’t imagine the Egyptians -- Islamists or not -- foregoing a cold peace for a hot war. Egypt just doesn’t have the financial resources to launch such a reckless adventure. One wonders if it knows how it will pay public employees in four to five months.

But the Egyptian people’s participation in the decision-making process, and a long-term evolution that will necessarily run counter to the army’s interests, does not suit Israel. The country used to boast about being the only democracy of the region but now regrets the good old stability and predictability of its despotic neighbors.

Nothing good can come from the Arab Spring, according to Israeli leaders, neither for the populations directly concerned nor for Israel itself.

The absolute calm on the southern border with Egypt enabled Jerusalem to fully concentrate on the Iranian nuclear menace and to forge an implicit alliance with Saudi Arabia based on a common threat. For the Sunni monarchies in the Gulf, isn’t the existence of a nuclear, Shiite Iran as much a threat to their existence as it is to the Jewish State?

Other potentially unstable borders are the ones with Syria and Lebanon. Predicting the unavoidable fall of the Syrian regime as Israeli leaders regularly do isn’t just “standing on the right side of history,” it’s also, as for Iran, taking a common position with the Gulf monarchies. Israel is clearly taking advantage of a violent and confusing situation that helps divert the world’s attention from the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Calm before storms?

The more events speed up in the Arab world through this long-term revolutionary process, the more it appears possible for Israel to keep the status quo on the ground with the Palestinians; a political status quo that doesn’t prevent Israeli settlements, far from it. Around Jerusalem, the situation -- with multiple faits accomplis -- has become inextricable. It would take hundreds of geographers and surveyors to negotiate every inch of an acceptable compromise.

In such a situation, when ones arrives in Israel -- despite the rockets that strike the south of the country from the Sinai -- it isn’t surprising to be struck by a feeling of almost unreal serenity. Is this, like a decade ago, the calm before the storm? Are we on the verge of a third Intifada, closer to the first than the second (protests by stone-throwing as opposed to human bombs)?

What is sure is that there is among many young Palestinians an undeniable form of religious and political radicalization. The convergence between rising Islamism in the Arab world and the humiliation and despair of the Palestinian youth is pushing them to abandon all spirit of compromise. “Because I am nothing, I want everything, all of Palestine, without its Jewish occupiers!”

The contrast is much too important between the movements that are speeding up at Israel’s borders and the frozen situation in the Palestinian territories. Of course, compared to the current Syrian situation, they might seem better off, and they don’t want to renew the “savagery” of the second Intifada. But a man cannot live on bread alone. He needs hope, and Palestinians have none. In the Middle East, in spite of appearances, time is not working in Israel's favor.

Read more from Les Echos in French

Photo - Paolo Cuttitta palestine

Sign up for our Worldcrunch Weekly newsletter now


Be a part of the conversation. Click to show comments
About this article source Website: http://www.lesechos.fr/

France's top business daily, Les Echos covers domestic and international economic, financial and markets news. Founded in 1908, the newspaper has been the property of French luxury good conglomerate LVMH (Moet Hennessy - Louis Vuitton) since 2007.

Load More Stories

Unlimited access to exclusive journalism, the best world news source across all your devices

Subscribe Now Photo of Worldcrunch on different devices

Your premium access to Worldcrunch is provided by

University of Central Lancashire

Please register to begin


By registering you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.