Livni, Mofaz, Barak, Bibi - none of them will end the occupation
w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 03:04 10/08/2008By Gideon Levy
They're playing that old tune again: Anybody but Benjamin ("they're-afffraid") Netanyahu. Shaul Mofaz loves peace, Tzipi Livni will end the occupation, Ehud Barak will treat the Palestinians like human beings. Only Netanyahu will bring disaster. Once again, the political fashion is to discuss how to stop the king of the opinion polls and the prince of disaster.
The Likud chairman's demonization by the Anti-Netanyahu Defense League is not new. It has one goal: presenting all the other candidates as better, because they are so different from the devil Netanyahu. It is an old, tried-and-true method in Israeli discourse: For example, we will fight the "illegal outposts," thus koshering all the other, meticulously "legal" settlements. Just as there is no difference between Ariel and Asael - both are patently illegal - there is no real difference between Netanyahu and all the other candidates. None is a harbinger of peace or the end of the occupation, but only Netanyahu is painted in frightening hues, thus rendering the others kosher.
Netanyahu, the man of our nightmares, met with Yasser Arafat, signed the Hebron agreement and did not bring peace. The prime ministers who succeeded him - Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert - did not lead Israel even one step closer to peace. Netanyahu did open the Western Wall Tunnel, a fiasco that ended with dozens killed. And who was his partner in that move? Olmert, then mayor of Jerusalem, who has never been as horrifying as Netanyahu. True, Olmert's rhetoric as prime minister was much more pleasant to peace-loving ears than Netanyahu's; he conducted negotiations, he was hospitable to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and he even sent emissaries to Turkey to conduct talks with Syria. But what did we get out of all that? More settlements, and more brutal occupation. Netanyahu, at least, did not set off on a useless, foolish war.--MORE--