Two of the groups who have most closely watched the recent upheaval in Egypt, are the leaders of Israel and the Gaza Strip. Although bitter enemies, Likud and Hamas have been observing a de facto truce of late. They have also been uncharacteristically mum on the events unfolding in Cairo and across their largest neighbor.
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This may be as good a time as any, then, to take a closer look at these two powerful forces.
(For each question, choose the one answer that seems closest to the truth, as you see it)
Question 1 – History of The Movement
The Movement was founded by terror chieftains, the masterminds and commanders of bombings and armed attacks which killed large numbers of innocent people.
They were unrepentant. Moreover, to this day, their acts of violence are extolled and venerated by their political heirs, who have taken pains to incorporate them into school lesson plans and public monuments.
The Movement is:
B. The Likud
C. Both A and B
Question 2 – Democracy
The Movement came to power on the strength of promises to bring a fresh and powerful wave of democratization to a society in which many of the disadvantaged felt themselves marginalized and shunned by a graft-ridden, dictatorial, Sole Party in Power.
The Movement vowed not to interfere with personal freedoms.
But as its years in power have sapped much of its electoral support, The Movement has moved toward anti-democratic policies meant to cement its own hold on rule.
It has also sought to institute policies that favor fundamentalist clerical law and interpretations, over a more universalist approach.
Its policies have worsened the plight of the poor, even as a new class of the affluent has arisen under its rule.
Increasingly, officials of The Movement have been taken to task for statements betraying bigotry toward people of other faiths and nationalities.
The Movement is:
B. The Likud of Yariv Levin, Miri Regev, Moshe Feiglin, Michael Kleiner
C. Both A and B
Question 3 – The Goal, or Can you trust the moderates?
From time to time, moderates within The Movement have stated that a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine could be recognized, so long as it was ratified by referendum.
Whenever this has occurred, however, hardliners within the movement have been quick to declare that the people of the Enemy Entity have no moral or legal right to a state of their own within the Holy Land, and that there will be one state and one state alone, as Scripture specifies.
The Movement is:
A. Hamas. And, no, you cannot trust the moderates. They hold no real sway. There will be no compromise with these people, ever. Their goal is clear: Annihilating the state of Israel.
B. The Likud of Moshe Yaalon, Danny Danon, Ze'ev Elkin. And no, you cannot trust the moderates. They hold no real sway. There will be no compromise with these people, ever. Their goal is clear: Annihilating any chance for a state of Palestine.
C. A and B, but the answers are true only in part. Both Hamas and the Likud have survived by listening to, and responding in consonance with, public opinion, even when it augers for compromise and moderation.
The goal of the hardline ideologues of both movements remains a one-state solution. But the fundamental goal of the leadership of both movements, is remaining in power.
Geopolitical necessity, and the increasing isolation of both Hamas and the Likud, may force both sides to compromise, no matter how distasteful they may find it.
Scoring: 10 points for each A answer, 50 for each B, 200 for each C.
10 – 30 Points: It's only a matter of time. The world is gradually coming to the realization that Hamas cannot be trusted, that its goal is full and permanent control over every inch of the Holy Land, and that it will stop at nothing to realize that objective.
Your Take: Time is on my side. Time and justice. There will be only one state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, and it will be the sovereign state of Israel.
50 -150 points: It's only a matter of time. The world is gradually coming to the realization that Netanyahu and the Likud cannot be trusted, that their goal is full and permanent control over every inch of the Holy Land, and that they will stop at nothing to realize that objective.
Your Take: Time is on my side. Time and justice. There will be only one state between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, and it will be the sovereign and independent state of Palestine.
200 or more points: Over the years, the Likud and Hamas – often, perversely, effectively working toward common goals – have shown that they can destroy any hope for peace, if they so choose.
But they have also shown that they can be pragmatic when it serves their interests.
It will take some sort of unexpected earthquake, impossible to downplay or ignore, to bring about conditions that could persuade these sides to opt for an Israel/Palestine solution.