Wednesday, September 15, 2004

  • Wednesday, September 15, 2004
  • Elder of Ziyon

Israel must brace for 'big bang'

WASHINGTON -- In Hebrew, physicists call the theory about the formation of the universe the hamapatz hagadol -- the "big bang." In Israeli politics, that phrase is used today to describe the potential realignment of parties and power.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to "disengage" from Palestinians now under the spell of terrorist leaders brought this simmering pot to a boil.

Sharon's plan calls for completing a security fence to protect almost all Israelis and pulling back into the well-defended territory the remainder of those now most vulnerable in Gaza and the West Bank.

Once a divisive figure, the former general is supported in this plan by an overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens. Like him, they are realists: Israel needs defensible borders and cannot absorb Palestinians nearby.

But 7,000 deeply religious and courageous Jewish settlers -- who live amid the 1.2 million Arabs in Gaza -- see this as a double-cross. Within the Likud Party that Sharon founded three decades ago, they are an admired force of pioneers. As a result, though Arik wins landslides in national elections, he loses to supporters of settlers in referendums within his rightist party.

The day of decision in the Knesset to adopt his disengagement plan is near. (Coincidentally, it will be in the first week in November, as elections are held in the United States.)

The level of fury and viciousness is worse than in the days before the assassination of Yitzak Rabin. Sharon, the lifelong embodiment of Israeli security, is being reviled as a traitor and threatened with death. Members of the Israeli Defense Forces are urged to disobey orders to dislodge settlers when moving day comes. Febrile minds in the settler minority even warn of civil war.

At a moment like this, Sharon expects members of his coalition Cabinet to speak out for his plan. They vote his way -- 9-1 in the Cabinet this week to richly compensate the settlers being moved -- but some of the Likudniks are keeping mum, lest they upset the hardest-line members of their own party.

Benjamin Netanyahu, who as Sharon's finance minister is becoming the Jewish Alexander Hamilton, has found a way to hedge. On one hand, he votes in the Cabinet for disengagement, even as his family denounces it; on the other, Bibi proposes delaying the November disengagement vote until a national referendum can be held.

That straddle has Sharon seething. He knows the momentum of battle, and sees delay as destructive. A referendum requires legislation, with lengthy debate, a probable filibuster and a wrangle over whether Arabs can participate. He believes that deviation from his timetable -- surrendering to threats of violence from within -- would mean six months of paralysis and a loss of the initiative.

I sent in a single query to Arik about Bibi's suggestion. An aide passed back his response: "I hear all sorts of suggestions, but not one word from him about the incitement to civil war. Not one word."

I think there will be no referendum or election before the Knesset vote to disengage. Sharon's plan will carry with the support of either the Shimon Peres or Ehud Barak faction of Labor, the centrist Shinui Party and Arik's followers.

Now let's consider the possibility of a political big bang. That convergence of forces on the disengagement vote could be the genesis of "New Likud." The anti-Arik faction of Likud would go its own way, hitching up with several of the religious parties.

My unsourced guess is that Bibi would choose the New Likud, which would reflect the Israeli majority. After Arik retires, like Cincinnatus, to his farm -- and with a new Palestinian leader ready to become a partner in creating a peaceful neighborhood -- the Hamiltonian Bibi would compete for leadership with the Sharon loyalist Ehud Olmert, former mayor of the still-undivided Jerusalem.

Thus, the Israeli system would have the gall to divide into three manageable parts, with the center party making deals for a majority with left and right. Not a bad way to run a parliamentary democracy.

Having had the chutzpah to predict the coming hamapatz hagadol, let me wish a peaceful Rosh Hashana to all.

William Safire's e-mail address is

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive