The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland writes the following in his April 10th column on the Israeli election results:
…what will allow [Netanyahu] to remain prime minister is the overall success of the broader right, which will form his coalition. It dominates in Israel because the left has been truly trounced, its one-time core message – that Israel should offer land in return for peace with the Palestinians – thoroughly discredited in the eyes of Israelis, ever since the failure of peace talks at Camp David in 2000 and the intifada that followed, as well as the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza that brought not peace but conflict and the rise of Hamas.
We have made variations of this point time and time again – that you can not understand Israeli politics without a basic understanding of the trauma of the 2nd Intifada, as well as the impact of the Gaza withdrawal and rebuffed Israeli peace offers. Israelis haven’t radically changed their core political ideals. They merely started questioning the fundamental assumptions of Oslo – that ceding land will necessarily reduce violence and bring about peace. This shift occurred as the result of harsh reality, not ideology. Israelis still long for peace. They’re just not as sure as they used to be how to achieve it.
Yet, the Guardian – except for this one column – continually gets this wrong, misinterpreting Israel’s increasing political consensus over most security matters as some sort of dangerous lurch towards the far right, rather than what it is: a sober realization – informed by the experience of withdrawals and wars over two decades – that the myriad of security threats they face don’t have easy solutions.
But, of course, to acknowledge this reality would require Guardian journalists and editors to deviate from narrative they’ve been selling which frames Palestinians solely as victims, and acknowledge that Palestinian violence, rejectionism and antisemitism help explain – arguably more than other factors – the death of the peace process.
Whilst we’re glad that Freedland at least partially gets why Israelis vote as they do, the chance that the Guardian as a whole will undergo some sort of transformation and begin to take Palestinians seriously as agents of their own fate, thus modifying their myopic framing which views Israel as the only party in the conflict that matters, is pretty close to zero.