So says Ari Shavit, the wisest and most influential journalist in Israel. He is so wise and so influential that even Ha'aretz, the Hebrew daily of phantasmagoric illusions about the peaceful Palestinians, publishes him. And it published him this Friday morning, arguing that this two-man team of reasonable and experienced still middle-aged soldiers is open to peace but will not be trapped by the illusions of peace. Frankly, it's hard to imagine Barack Obama summoning up for them in conversation the Irish settlement as a model for ending the terrible wars, ideological and strategic, that have been fought in the Land for nearly a century. Forget that cliche, Mr. President and ladies and gentlemen, it just will not do. It is, in fact, silly, George Mitchell stuff. And, as my old college debate coach (I debated for one year) used to tell me, "Analogies are not arguments."
Shavit says that Netanyahu and Barak are also the two most hated men in Israeli politics, and that hatred has now been taken up by the fashionable American Jewish left and their flatterers in the general press, from the FT to The New York Times. But Israel cannot long indulge itself in seasonable hatreds. In any event, Bibi and Ehud have outfoxed Avigdor Lieberman who, though the incoming foreign minister, will not be received in significant foreign capitals, except perhaps Moscow where Vladimir Putin will recognize a cognate soul. Indeed, after all the huffing and puffing against Barak, four of the remaining 12 Labor members of Knesset will follow him into the cabinet.