Monday, November 28, 2005

Zeek | The Second Coming of Yeshayahu Leibowitz

Leibowitz thought that peace was a very remote scenario. He believed that the concept of “land for peace” was flawed and untenable. Full and immediate withdrawal was an absolute necessity. Ideally, though wildly improbably, withdrawal might create the conditions necessary for a future peace. At the very least, though, it would allow Israel to retain the integrity of its democracy and spare Israeli society the ruinous ramifications of occupation.

According to Leibowitz, Israel’s security will come neither from the vision of wide borders—and is, in fact, weakened by the population that lives within these borders—nor will it come from half-baked “peace” schemes. He was, in effect, a leftist on territorial issues (with no patience for religious arguments) and a rightist on peace prospects. This bubbling brew of ideas is, in short, what characterizes the new Israeli center; it describes the fragile coalition that made the disengagement possible. And it’s likely that only someone as politically credible and shrewd as Sharon could have pulled it off. He was, after all, shrewd enough to appoint a Leibowitzian as his deputy.


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