Jessica Apple writes: Mr. Netanyahu has been ignoring the peace process for most of his current four-year term. For the first time since Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat shook hands in 1993, and as Israel prepares to elect a new Knesset in January, its political leaders are not talking about a two-state solution.
When I moved to Israel 15 years ago, the picture was very different. There was never a question of whether Israel and the Palestinians would make peace, only of when. The dream of peace inspired me, and even after an intifada, scores of suicide bombings and a war, I stayed in Israel. I remained hopeful.
But today, as the missiles get closer to Tel Aviv, I think of leaving. It’s not the missiles that are breaking me. It’s the lack of an alternative to them.
Mr. Netanyahu has avoided the Palestinian issue while enabling and encouraging settlement building; he has ignored the Arab initiative and focused solely on the threat of Iran. Late last month he struck a coalition deal with his ultranationalist foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, to have their two parties run one slate in the next elections in January. It signaled that Mr. Netanyahu would have no plans to make peace if he were re-elected.
Now Mr. Netanyahu has chosen to enter into a conflict that ensures that the vote in the upcoming elections will be about security — something he says he can provide. There is no great surprise in that. The surprise is that there is no opposition to Mr. Netanyahu’s policies — a signal that Israelis are resigned to living indefinitely with the threat of war. [Continue reading…]