Monday, August 14, 2006

After the War

One result of the Lebanon war may be changes in the government of two peoples. In Israel, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu is starting to sound relevant again. Meanwhile, both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz face challenges to their leadership. Neither had a firm status within their parties going into this, with Peretz alienating some in Labor with his antics during coalition negotiations and Olmert holding Kadima's reins solely because he was Sharon's deputy when the party founder suffered his stroke. My guess is that the most likely political changes will come through internal party challenges, especially in Kadima, where Shaul Mofaz joined the party only after aborting his bid for Likud leadership and was later denied the Defense portfolio in favor of Peretz.

Meanwhile, in the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Hamas are close to creating a unity government. This might go back as far as the joint negotiating position they agreed on at about the same time Gilad Shalit was kidnapped, but has been spurred on by the Israeli campaign against Hamas and Hizbullah. Given Fatah's insistence on key points like respecting previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, this might be a good thing for Israel, but Hamas also claims to be drawing the lesson from events in Lebanon that, in the words of the PA's Information Minister, "Resistance should be a key factor in resolving the problems of Lebanon and Palestine." National unity is, I think, good for the Palestinians. According to the Jerusalem Post article, Israel's defeat is resounding around the Arab world, with some commentators arguing it shows the destruction of Israel is a realistic objective, though I'll wait for Abu Aardvark to assess that trend more fully.

The situation in Lebanon is harder to read, though predictably Nasrallah is resisting calls to disarm. He's also trying to build up his group's image by marshalling them for a rebuilding effort.

UPDATE: And then there's Avigdor Lieberman.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home