Recently, Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has been touring four Latin American countries: Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Colombia. He traveled there together with a retinue of Israeli businessmen. The claimed aim was to strength commercial ties with the region and to counterbalance the increasing presence by Iran in some countries.
According to Andres Oppenheimer, the true reason for the tour is Netanyahu’s need to give some stage role to his uncomfortable partner while sensible matters are dealed by himself (with USA) or by President Peres (with the Arabs).
Lieberman is the representative in the government coalition of the extremist fringe of Israel society, the colonialist settlers and the immigrants from the former USSR, some of them of a dubious (but convenient) Jewish identity, some linked to the mafia underworld. Lieberman’s fast enrichment has been scrutinized by the Police and now it seems to be on the verge of indictment.
These are no news for those already convinced of the colonialist character of Zionism and of the role of Israel as a bridgehead against the Arab peoples (the Palestinians in the first place). For those of us old enough to have witnessed the enormous changes occurred since 1967 is not so easy.
The Six Day War was a turning point that confronted Israelis with the neurotic consequences of become an occupation force with an increasing cynical, intolerant sectarianism. My standpoint of view is close to that written by Tom Segev at the 40th anniversary.
Before that, Zionist nationalism (beyond discursive nuances from left to right) sought the help of colonialist powers (be it the Turkish, British, German, USA, etc) as well as Arab nationalists did (from the British against the Turks, then from the Nazis against the British, the USSR, etc).
Now, to every person sincerely interested in stopping the endless circle of violence, let it hope the exit of Lieberman. Then, if Obama’s team of advisers succeed in isolating the extremist fringe of settlers and to draw recognized boundaries for the Palestine Autonomy (and to pull out the Israeli soldiers from surveillance upon Palestinians daily life), then this will be a first step towards a true coexistence between two people poisoned by mutual disbelief for too much time.