Haaretz columnist and senior editor Bradley Burston said Tuesday he did not expect to see peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the coming years, and he placed the blame mainly on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.
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"There is every reason for the current government to keep peace as far away as possible," Burston told Haaretz's Aimee Amiga. "It is in their interest because it creates a situation that energizes the right in this country, and drives the rest of the country into a kind of state of permanent despair, which keeps them neutralized and keeps any kind of broad coalition, broad opposition, from forming against them."
Burston said he had no doubt the Israeli public wanted a two-state solution and peace, but said they have been "absolutely convinced that it is impossible."
He said Netanyahu "truly believes that his survival as prime minister is absolutely critical to Israel’s survival as a country.”
"The settlements are the answer to every one of his political prayers," Burston said. "First of all they defuse the right – it's only the right here that can depose him politically at this point. Second, they cause anger in Washington, and he exploits that to have this kind of macho image which helps him with his own Likud party."
Asked if he thought Netanyahu believes in the fearful worldview he expresses in statements and policies, or whether he pursues them to pacify the right and ensure his political survival, Burston said:
"I believe that the way he talks about the world is what he honestly believes to be true, but I think he also knows that there's a distinct political advantage for him in having the counrty in a state of despair, in a feeling of continual fear, and a sense that it's being attacked all the time and forever."
Watch the full interview here: