SHAKING UP Israel's rigid ideologies : The inconclusive results of Israel's Sept 17 election have thrust Israeli politics into a gripping deadlock.

The center-left has no way to form a coalition, but for the first time in many years, neither does the right. This political paralysis reflects a profound change sweeping Israel society in the last decade in the debate about the conflict.

For years the Israel left promised : If Israel withdraws from the West Bank and permits the creation of a Palestinian state, this will bring peace and security.

But election after election, Israelis rejected the left's generous offer and voted for right-wing governments. In the recent elections, for the first time, the Israeli right made a counteroffer : an annexation of the swaths of the West Bank.

But the election results show that neither proposal is acceptable to the Israeli public. Just as they rejected the two-state solution they also rejected an annexation that would create a one-state reality.

In other words, Israel's political deadlock reflects its ideological deadlock : Most Israelis oppose annexation of the West Bank just as strongly as they oppose a withdrawal.

To understand why Israeli oppose a withdrawal, just look at the Gaza strip. In 2005, Israel pulled out of Gaza, removing the army, uprooting the settlers and shutting down its local intelligence operations.

The move backfired. Ever since, every Israeli town, within 10 miles of the Gaza strip has been under threat of rocket attacks.

Israelis look at life on the Gaza border and imagine what life would be like along the West Bank border after an Israeli evacuation.

A 10-mile radius from the West Bank includes the greater Tel Aviv area and Jerusalem : Israel's demographic, economic, and cultural heartland.

If central Israel is exposed to constant rocket attacks, Israel would simply seize to function.  So it is easy to understand why Israelis are so wary of a withdrawal from the West Bank.

But it is also easy to understand why Israelis are wary of an annexation.

Just take a look at Lebanon for a look at life in a Middle Eastern country where no national group has a clear majority.

Lebanon is deeply polarized and fractured, and in order to avoid importing Lebanese-style anarchy, Israel must do everything to stop becoming a binational state.

Israel's continued control of the West Bank, home to more than two and a half million Palestinians, imperils its Jewish national majority and risks thrusting the country into binational chaos. 

The serving of the latest operational research on Elections and Israel, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Micah Goodman.


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