Israel/Palestine: The Politics of a Two-State Solution

  • Israel/Palestine and the Politics of a Two-State Solution
  • When Peace Fails: Lessons from Belfast for the Middle East

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Is Shaul Mofaz for Real?

Last week the Partners for a Progressive Israel (formerly Meretz USA) blog reposted a NY Times Profile of new Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz, who decisively defeated Tzipi Livni the former leader in the leadership primary at the end of March. Mofaz appeared much more dovish than one would expect for a former West Bank settler and former Likud defense minister.

Mofaz appeared to be attempting to paper over the disagreements between himself and Livni before the election. Whether this is because he wants to lead a Center party that is sincerely in favor of a two-state solution or merely wants to increase the value of his stock before he enters into merger or coalition negotiations with Netanyahu is anyone's guess. 

Many former generals turned politician are very ideologically flexible during their early political careers as their main goal is to serve in government and increase their personal resumes and profiles. Ariel Sharon made statements that were all over the map when he ran as head of Shlomzion in 1977. Matti Peled started out on the far right when he was still in the IDF but after entering politics in the late 1960s quickly moved to the far left. Ezer Weizman more gradually went from being a supporter of Eretz Israel haShlema (Greater Israel) in the 1960s and 1970s to become a dovish Labor Party minister in the 1980s. And Moshe Dayan weaved all over the place both when in government and in opposition during the late 1960s and 1970s. 

Where Mofaz ends up both ideologically and in terms of political party affiliation is for the punters to lay odds on.

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