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This is not new, it has been the subject of a great deal of arguing between a friend of mine from Pakistan and I over the last week, if it has been posted before and I missed it please forgive. ... ml?_r=2&hp

The One-State Solution


Published: January 21, 2009

THE shocking level of the last wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence, which ended with this weekend’s cease-fire, reminds us why a final resolution to the so-called Middle East crisis is so important. It is vital not just to break this cycle of destruction and injustice, but also to deny the religious extremists in the region who feed on the conflict an excuse to advance their own causes.

But everywhere one looks, among the speeches and the desperate diplomacy, there is no real way forward. A just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians is possible, but it lies in the history of the people of this conflicted land, and not in the tired rhetoric of partition and two-state solutions.

Although it’s hard to realize after the horrors we’ve just witnessed, the state of war between the Jews and Palestinians has not always existed. In fact, many of the divisions between Jews and Palestinians are recent ones. The very name “Palestine” was commonly used to describe the whole area, even by the Jews who lived there, until 1948, when the name “Israel” came into use.

Jews and Muslims are cousins descended from Abraham. Throughout the centuries both faced cruel persecution and often found refuge with one another. Arabs sheltered Jews and protected them after maltreatment at the hands of the Romans and their expulsion from Spain in the Middle Ages.

The history of Israel/Palestine is not remarkable by regional standards — a country inhabited by different peoples, with rule passing among many tribes, nations and ethnic groups; a country that has withstood many wars and waves of peoples from all directions. This is why it gets so complicated when members of either party claims the right to assert that it is their land.

The basis for the modern State of Israel is the persecution of the Jewish people, which is undeniable. The Jews have been held captive, massacred, disadvantaged in every possible fashion by the Egyptians, the Romans, the English, the Russians, the Babylonians, the Canaanites and, most recently, the Germans under Hitler. The Jewish people want and deserve their homeland.

But the Palestinians too have a history of persecution, and they view the coastal towns of Haifa, Acre, Jaffa and others as the land of their forefathers, passed from generation to generation, until only a short time ago.

Thus the Palestinians believe that what is now called Israel forms part of their nation, even were they to secure the West Bank and Gaza. And the Jews believe that the West Bank is Samaria and Judea, part of their homeland, even if a Palestinian state were established there. Now, as Gaza still smolders, calls for a two-state solution or partition persist. But neither will work.

A two-state solution will create an unacceptable security threat to Israel. An armed Arab state, presumably in the West Bank, would give Israel less than 10 miles of strategic depth at its narrowest point. Further, a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would do little to resolve the problem of refugees. Any situation that keeps the majority of Palestinians in refugee camps and does not offer a solution within the historical borders of Israel/Palestine is not a solution at all.

For the same reasons, the older idea of partition of the West Bank into Jewish and Arab areas, with buffer zones between them, won’t work. The Palestinian-held areas could not accommodate all of the refugees, and buffer zones symbolize exclusion and breed tension. Israelis and Palestinians have also become increasingly intertwined, economically and politically.

In absolute terms, the two movements must remain in perpetual war or a compromise must be reached. The compromise is one state for all, an “Isratine” that would allow the people in each party to feel that they live in all of the disputed land and they are not deprived of any one part of it.

A key prerequisite for peace is the right of return for Palestinian refugees to the homes their families left behind in 1948. It is an injustice that Jews who were not originally inhabitants of Palestine, nor were their ancestors, can move in from abroad while Palestinians who were displaced only a relatively short time ago should not be so permitted.

It is a fact that Palestinians inhabited the land and owned farms and homes there until recently, fleeing in fear of violence at the hands of Jews after 1948 — violence that did not occur, but rumors of which led to a mass exodus. It is important to note that the Jews did not forcibly expel Palestinians. They were never “un-welcomed.” Yet only the full territories of Isratine can accommodate all the refugees and bring about the justice that is key to peace.

Assimilation is already a fact of life in Israel. There are more than one million Muslim Arabs in Israel; they possess Israeli nationality and take part in political life with the Jews, forming political parties. On the other side, there are Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Israeli factories depend on Palestinian labor, and goods and services are exchanged. This successful assimilation can be a model for Isratine.

If the present interdependence and the historical fact of Jewish-Palestinian coexistence guide their leaders, and if they can see beyond the horizon of the recent violence and thirst for revenge toward a long-term solution, then these two peoples will come to realize, I hope sooner rather than later, that living under one roof is the only option for a lasting peace.

Muammar Qaddafi is the leader of Libya.

A version of this article appeared in print on January 22, 2009, on page A33 of the New York edition.
Flip Side:


Posted by Patrick J. Buchanan on January 30, 2009

Standing before the Siegessaule, the Victory Column that commemorates Prussia’s triumphs over Denmark, Austria, and France in the wars that birthed the Second Reich, Barack Obama declared himself a “citizen of the world” and spoke of “a world that stands as one.”

Globalists rejoiced. And the election of this son of a white teenager from Kansas and a black academic from Kenya is said to have ushered us into the new “post-racial” age.

Are we deluding ourselves? Worldwide, the mightiest force of the 20th century, ethnonationalism—that creator and destroyer of nations and empires; that enduring drive of peoples for a nation-state where their faith and culture is dominant and their race or tribe is supreme—seems more manifest than ever.

“Vote Reflects Racial Divide” ran the banner in the Washington Times over Tuesday’s story datelined, “Santa Cruz, Bolivia.” It began:

“The Bolivian vote to approve a new constitution backed by leftist President Evo Morales reflected racial divisions between the nation’s Indian majority and those with European ancestry.”

Provinces where mestizo and Europeans predominate voted down the constitution. But it carried with huge majorities the Indian tribes of the western highlands, for this constitution is about group rights.

In 2005, Morales came to office resolved to redistribute wealth and power away from Europeans to his own Aymara tribe and other “indigenous peoples” he contends were robbed by the Europeans who began to arrive 500 years ago, in the time of Columbus.

Pizarro’s victory over the Incan Empire is to be overturned.

According to Article 190 of the new constitution, Bolivia’s 36 Indian areas are authorized to “exercise their jurisdictional functions through their own principles, values, culture, norms and procedures.”

Tribal law is to become provincial law, and national law.

Gov. Mario Cossio of Tarija, which voted no, says the new constitution will create a “totalitarian regime,” controlled through an “ethnically based bureaucracy.” To which Morales replies, “Original Bolivians who have been here for a thousand years are many but poor. Recently arrived Bolivians are few but rich.”

Bolivia is Balkanizing, dividing up and being divided on the lines of tribe, race and class. And, hailed by Hugo Chavez, Morales’ Bolivia is not the only place where the claims of ethnicity, tribe and race are conquering the forces of universalism and globalism.

After a disputed election in Kenya, the Kikyu were subjected to ethnic cleansing and massacres by Luo. In Zimbabwe, white farmers are being dispossessed due to their ancestry. In Sri Lanka, the Tamil rebellion against the ruling Sinhalese—to create a Tamil nation, a war that has cost tens of thousands of lives—appears lost, for now.

In Vladimir Putin’s time, Russians have crushed Chechens, confronted Estonians over Russian military graves and war memorials, collided with Ukrainians over the Crimea, and bloodied up the Georgians.

Beijing crushes the Uighurs who want their own East Turkestan and Tibetans who seek autonomy, flooding both lands with Han Chinese.

In Europe, populist anti-immigrant parties, alarmed at a loss of national identities, are striding toward respectability and power. The Vlaams Belang, seeking independence for Flanders, is the biggest party in the Belgian parliament. The Peoples Party and Freedom Party are now Austria’s second and third most popular. The Swiss People’s Party of Christoph Blocher is the largest in Bern. In France, the National Front humiliated the government this week, winning over half the vote in a suburb of Marseilles.

All are unabashedly ethnonationalist. Writes British diplomat Sir Christopher Meyer, “It is useless to say that nationalism and ethnic tribalism have no place in the international relations of the 21st century.”

Meanwhile, global institutions, the United Nations, IMF and European Union, have lost their luster. Czechs—whose president, Vaclav Klaus, regards the EU as a prison house of nations—hold the EU presidency. When the financial crisis hit, Irish, Brits and Germans rushed to bail out their own banks, as did Americans, who rescued Ford, Chrysler, and GM, leaving Toyota, Hyundai and Honda twisting in the wind.

This is economic nationalism.

Inside Ehud Olmert’s cabinet, a rising star is Avigdor Lieberman. What Lieberman’s “merry men” advocate, writes the American Prospect, is “ethnic cleansing: As the creepy name (which translates into ‘Our Home Is Israel’) suggests, Yisrael Beiteinu believes the million-plus Arab citizens of Israel must be expelled.”

Barack won the African-American vote 97 percent to 3 percent over John McCain, and 90 percent to 10 percent over Hillary Clinton in the later primaries. McCain ran stronger than George W. Bush only in Appalachia, the laager of the Scots-Irish.

In Jerry Z. Muller’s “Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism,” in Foreign Affairs, his thesis is summarized:

Americans generally belittle the role of ethnic nationalism in politics. But ... it corresponds to some enduring propensities of the human spirit. It is galvanized by modernization, and ... it will drive global politics for generations to come. Once ethnic nationalism has captured the imagination of groups in a multiethnic society, ethnic disaggregation or partition is often the least bad answer.

Disaggregation or partition, the man said.

Are we really in a post-racial America, or is our multicultural multiethnic America, too, destined for Balkanization and break-up? ... tionalism/
<img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/damned.gif" alt="Damned" title="damned" />
[quote author="Samurai Jane"]WE'RE FREAKING DOOMED

<img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/uhoh.gif" alt="Uhoh" title="uhoh" />
Thanks for the article on Morales and Bolivia.

I have heard a lot of crazy stuff is happening there.

Now this gets interesting on a different level ... greements/
Quote:Bolivian President Evo Morales,
building on earlier initiatives by the country's ministry of energy,
will fly to Russia Feb. 16 to sign formal agreements
enabling Russia's state-run OAO Gazprom to invest in Bolivia's natural gas industry.

In September 2008,
Gazprom and Total SA signed an agreement with Bolivia
for the joint exploration and production of gas in Acero gas field,
a project that may require a $4.5 billion investment.
That ties into the greater Russian strategy, very scary stuff actually because we're daring them to and saying we'll do....something.

Consider this article below and imagine...what if it was just one state and the people could move freely, all freely engage in commerce and enjoy free rights....would anyone even imagine the normal people would harbor terrorists or even listen to people who want to blow things up? I can't.

I do not say the road to the idea of enabling them all to live in hope and peace together is an easy one, what i am saying is that "We are not on that road at all, this will end in genocide, it already is that."

Quote:Saturday, January 24, 2009
Inside the world's biggest prison

Evidence is mounting that the Israeli defence forces used the Gaza assault as a testing ground for new, horrific weapons that have confounded doctors’ attempts to save the wounded, writes LARA MARLOWE in Gaza.

THERE WERE MANY ways to die during the Israeli offensive on Gaza.

From their hospital beds at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, Atallah Saad, 13, and Yussef Salem, 17, told me how “zananas” – remotely piloted drones that fire missiles – wounded them and killed Atallah’s mother and pregnant sister-in-law, and two of Yussef’s school friends. The drones were given the nickname because they make a loud z-z-z-z-z sound. But the most shocking thing about them is that an Israeli operator watches his target – in these cases, all civilians – through a surveillance camera before launching the missile. Death by remote control.

White phosphorous was another, much publicised means of death. Each M82581 artillery shell, manufactured by General Dynamics in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, bears the initials PB. And each of the 155mm shells contains 116 felt wafers soaked in phosphorus, which ignites on contact with oxygen. The phosphorous makes the white jellyfish-shaped clouds seen on television during the December 27th-January 17th Israeli offensive. It provides cover for advancing troops, but it also burns houses and people. If one of the felt pads lands on your skin, it burns until all the fuel is consumed, creating deep, wide, chemical burns, often to the bone.

Dr Nafiz Abu Shabaan pulls a plastic bag from under his desk. It is filled with white phosphorous, buried in sand. The brown pieces look like dog dirt, and re-ignite if broken open. Mahmoud al Jamal, 18, sits in the doctor’s office, his right ear congealed, his fingers and part of his chest eaten away by white phosphorous. The unsightly wounds make him look like a leper.

Al Jamal was walking at dawn when he saw the white jellyfish in the sky. “Everything was set on fire around me. I felt my body burning. I fell down and I asked the man lying next to me to help me, but he was dead. Then I lost consciousness.” Al Jamal’s brother later told him how smoke poured from his body in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

The Israeli’s use of white phosphorous is amply documented. Israel says it is legal, but human-rights groups say its use in civilian areas might constitute a war crime. Dr Abu Shabaan is more concerned by evidence of new, mysterious weapons and appeals for an impartial international investigation into Israel’s use of new weapons.

“We’ve seen many, many cases of amputation – like a cauterised wound, with no bleeding,” he recounts.

The article goes on at some length.... The Irish Times

<img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/nopity.gif" alt="Nopity" title="nopity" />
Notice at no time do I call for the destruction of anyone, not Israel, not the Palestinians, not anyone.

I don't know exactly what they should be doing but everyone seems to want to do the wrong thing, those involved i mean.

Some kind of actual compromise that treats everyone as equal human beings must be achieved, somehow, I have 2 or 3 things troubling me in this area I will probably post for consumption.

First another voice of reason with another point of view than the above:

Quote:The Holocaust Is Over
by David Gordon

The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From Its Ashes. By Avraham Burg. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Xvii + 253 pages.

The just-ended Israeli incursion into Gaza killed over one thousand civilians. Israel claimed that the rockets that Hamas directed against Israeli territory, even though they inflicted no fatalities, made its retaliatory strike, however severe, necessary and justifiable. How did the Israeli leadership arrive at this judgment? Did a biased mindset lead it to ignore chances for peaceful compromise? Avraham Burg’s remarkable book appeared before the Israeli strike and so of course does not directly address our questions. Nevertheless, it offers indispensable background information that enables those concerned to judge the issues for themselves.

Though Burg shows himself deeply committed to his native country, he decisively breaks with the dominant ideology that its ruling elite professes, a break all the more surprising when one considers the author’s family and career. His father, Josef Burg, headed the National Religious Party and held cabinet rank in every Israeli government from 1948 until he retired from active politics in 1986. The party that Burg represented stemmed from the Mizrachi movement of religious Zionists. Early twentieth-century Zionism had been largely secular, and most of Orthodox Judaism condemned it. The standard view of Orthodoxy, in that pre-State era, held that Jewish control of the Promised Land must await the coming of the Messiah. A minority of religious Jews, though, viewed Zionism with more favor. In the years since Israel established national independence in 1948, many of the religious Zionists adopted a much more militant stance than that favored by the senior Burg. They supported an aggressively expansionist policy, with even less attention to the rights of the indigenous Palestinians than the Likud party allows.

Avraham Burg makes a decisive break not only from these militants but from mainstream Zionism altogether. He has been a leading Israeli politician, both in the Labor Party and the One Israel Party; and he was for a time Speaker of the Israeli Knesset [Parliament]. He now, though, rejects the dominant themes of Israeli politics. In his view, constant stress on the Holocaust in Israeli society has led to a dangerous "us against them" mentality. "I [Burg] am increasingly convinced that the language of my land. . . is based on a false premise. Israel accentuates and perpetuates the confrontational philosophy that is summed up in the phrase, ‘The entire world is against us.’" (p.14)

In what way does stress on the Holocaust lead to this sort of mentality? Burg responds with two connected reasons. First, because the major European powers failed adequately to interdict Hitler, Israelis holds that at the present time only they themselves can stave off annihilation. "The Shoah [Holocaust] and the establishment of our state created a mechanism that necessitates force and obsessive defense at any cost for every Jew wherever he is." (p.88) Further, faced with what they conceive to be existential threats, they maintain that they must use force, to whatever extent they deem necessary, to preempt these dangers.

Suppose that Israelis do in fact have both of these beliefs. Why is this a ground for complaint against them? Perhaps these beliefs accurately reflect reality and permit Israelis to confront their problems better than they otherwise might. This Burg vehemently denies. The events of the Second World War, he holds, have decisively shifted world opinion toward Jews. The image of universal hostility that permeates Israeli thought misconceives reality. As Burg stated in a speech to the Knesset in January 27, 2004: "I don’t feel that the threat of a second Shoah is real in any way. . . The Western World. . .has many more protections for the hated, and especially for the hated Jew, than ever before. . . . Had we had the same friendships we have today sixty years ago, with the greatest superpower, with the three major European powers – Germany, France, and Britain – not to mention other states, the Jewish world would have looked different. We have this friendship unconditionally. . . No danger of genocide exists today." (p.167)

But precisely in this image of existential struggle lies a danger. Because Israelis wrongly see themselves as facing a continual battle to the death, they adopt policies that evoke condemnation. They thus help to bring about the hostility that they wrongly think makes these very policies necessary. Even more important, these policies violate the demands of morality.

As an example, during the 1948 War of Independence, many Arabs were forced to flee their homes. Israel has since that time refused any compensation for the property seized from them. "Israeli leaders have never admitted to our responsibility for the Palestinian refugee problem. From a tactical point of view, no one wanted to open the Pandora’s box of refugee recognition and compensation too soon, so as to avoid giving the Arabs anything tangible in return for nothing. . . The Shoah sensitized governments and organizations to anti-Semitism and other hate crimes. . . In contrast, we have never done anything similar to the Palestinian refugees and their descendants. We did not fulfill what we demanded of others." (pp.81, 83)

Matters were only exacerbated after the 1967 War, which brought great masses of Arabs under Israeli control. Burg quotes here the distinguished Orthodox Jewish philosopher and scientist Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who at the time warned against both the impropriety and the folly of this policy: "The inclusion of one and a half million Arabs within Jewish jurisdiction means undermining the human and Jewish essence of the state and the destruction of the social-economic order we established. . . The Arabs will be the working people, and we will become a nation of managers, supervisors, officials, and policeman, especially undercover policemen. The state will necessarily be a police state, and its central institution will be the General Security Services. . . This will surely influence the entire spiritual and moral atmosphere in the state and in society; it will poison education." (p.68. The book has been at times carelessly edited, and Leibowitz’s name appears in two different spellings. For his political and religious views, see his Judaism, Human Values, and the Jewish State [Harvard University Press, 1992])

Leibowitz’s wise words had no effect on policy, owing to the Holocaust mentality that crowds out rational consideration of alternatives to force. This mentality by no means was confined to the Israeli Right. "Speaking shortly after the Six Day [1967] War, one of Israel’s most remarkable doves, the foreign minister Abba Eban, brilliantly argued that Israel must never return to its prewar borders. He coined a term that is still used today, defining Israel’s boundaries, the 1949 Armistice Line, as ‘Auschwitz borders,’ – tight boundaries that compelled Israel to act." (p.22)

Again, in the incursion into Lebanon in 1982, images of the Holocaust controlled Israeli policy: "When we [Israelis] attacked Lebanon in 1982, launching a war of deceit, folly, and futility, Prime Minister Menahem Begin sent us out to fight Yasser Arafat, the ‘two-legged beast.’ It was the same expression he had used thirty years earlier to describe Hitler. He also liked to compare the Palestinian National Charter to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. ‘Never before in human history was such a despicable, wicked, armed organization formed – except for the Nazis,’ Begin once said, referring to the Palestinian Liberation Organization." (p.57)

Constant stress on the Holocaust, Burg argues, has led Israel to replace ideals with militarism. He draws a disturbing parallel with Bismarckian Germany. "The few who shred his [Nietzsche’s] views understood that German national revival at gunpoint was a poor substitute for true national revival, such as was needed to repair a decadent regime and society. . . In such a situation the military state would sanctify flawed values, such as nationalism, belligerence, and the idolization of a national security doctrine, above all others. Militarists know no other way of functioning but to manipulate people’s prejudices against those perceived ‘others’ through social and political toughness." (p.53)

Given the presence of this militaristic mentality, does it make sense for American policy to support unconditionally all of Israel’s drives against the Arabs? Rather, we would do best to heed the wise counsel of Ron Paul, one of only five Congressmen to vote against a resolution of support for the Gaza invasion: America should stay out of the politics of the Middle East altogether.

February 9, 2009

David Gordon [send him mail] is a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and editor of its Mises Review. He is also the author of The Essential Rothbard. See also his Books on Liberty.

Copyright © 2009 Taki's Magazine
and it appears the nation of Israel is going to indeed get their Hawk when they desperately need a dove.

Quote:Lieberman endorses Netanyahu for Israeli premier

By STEVEN GUTKIN, Associated Press Writer Steven Gutkin, Associated Press Writer – Thu Feb 19, 5:28 pm ET

JERUSALEM – Benjamin Netanyahu won the endorsement Thursday of an anti-Arab politician who emerged from Israel's election as a kingmaker, virtually ensuring that the hawkish, U.S.-educated politician will once again become prime minister.

The big question is whether Netanyahu will be able to build the broad coalition he will likely need to stay in power and avoid clashing with the Obama administration and much of the world.

With his top rival, centrist Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, signaling that she would enter the opposition, Netanyahu's prospects for such a coalition do not look good. He will probably have little choice but to forge a coalition with nationalist and religious parties opposed to peacemaking with the Palestinians and Israel's other Arab neighbors.

One major Orthodox Jewish party, Shas, also threw its support to Netanyahu, joining a group of similar movements that did the same.

"Today the foundations were laid for an extremist right-wing government under the leadership of Netanyahu," Livni said in a text message to 80,000 members of her Kadima Party. "That is not our way and there is nothing for us in such a government... We must be an alternative of hope and go into opposition."

If Livni stays out of Netanyahu's government, it would almost surely hurt Netanyahu's credibility with the United States and Europe. And his hold on power would be more tenuous in a narrow coalition of rightists, with hard-line allies threatening to bring down his government in the face of any concession for peace.

Livni seeks a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, a position supported by the Obama administration, while Netanyahu's partner on the right, Avigdor Lieberman, has drawn opprobrium with his call for Israel's 1 million Arabs to swear allegiance to the Jewish state or lose their citizenship.

Israel's ceremonial president, Shimon Peres, held talks with political parties before choosing a candidate to form a government. Peres is scheduled to meet separately Friday with Netanyahu and Livni, and is likely to make his choice over the weekend, the daily newspaper Haaretz reported. If he names Netanyahu, as seems likely, then Netanyahu will have six weeks to create a coalition.

Israeli Army Radio reported Thursday night that if tasked by Peres, Netanyahu would immediately invite Livni and Labor leader Ehud Barak to join him in government.

"In light of the great challenges which Israel faces — Iran, terrorism, the economic crisis and job losses — a national unity government is the order of the hour," the station's Web site quoted him as saying.

Netanyahu aides could not be reached for comment.

Barak, himself a former premier, has already said he will take the center-left Labor Party into opposition.

Livni has said she will not join Netanyahu unless she can be an equal partner, presumably through the sort of "rotation" agreement Israel has tried in the past in which an election's top two winners each get to be prime minister for two years.

One reason that a rightist government could be unstable is that Lieberman's secular agenda puts him squarely at odds with religious parties, such as Shas, clouding prospects.

Also Thursday, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., traveled to the Gaza Strip, the highest-level visit by a U.S. official since the Hamas militant group seized power in the territory nearly two years ago. He did not meet with anyone from Hamas, which the U.S. shuns as a terrorist group, and used the visit to urge the group to end its violence against Israel.

Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home) Party finished third in the Feb. 10 election, after Kadima and Netanyahu's Likud Party. That essentially allowed him to determine whether Netanyahu or Livni would be able to muster the backing of a majority in the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament.

Lieberman's stance toward Arabs has exposed him to charges of racism, and many see him as a far-right extremist. However, he is opposed to the Orthodox Jewish establishment's control over key aspects of public life in Israel, one of several positions that has enabled him to find common ground with moderates.

While announcing support for Netanyahu, Lieberman said he preferred a national unity government that included Livni over a narrow coalition of right wingers.

"We need a wide government with the three big parties, Likud, Kadima and Yisrael Beiteinu," Lieberman said. "Netanyahu will lead the government but it will be a government of Netanyahu and Livni together."

Putting together a broad, centrist government would be a tall order for Netanyahu.

Livni has said she will not join Netanyahu unless she can be an equal partner, presumably through the sort of "rotation" agreement Israel has tried in the past in which an election's top two winners each get to be prime minister for two years.

Both Netanyahu and Lieberman — buoyed by the clear majority for the hawkish parties — have ruled out a rotation.

It's also unlikely the hard-liners would agree to Livni's key demand for pressing ahead with peace talks with the Palestinians and Syria.

All this will pressure Netanyahu to rely on the sort of narrow coalition whose members could dictate or torpedo policy and force him from office on a whim — especially if he adopts any conciliatory policies toward the Palestinians that his ultranationalist partners oppose.

"If Netanyahu wants cohesion and peace among the ranks of his coalition, that would mean isolation from the rest of the world," said political scientist Menachem Hofnung. "If he wants to avoid international condemnation and isolation, then he will face cracks and dissent from within his coalition."

Hofnung said he believes Netanyahu will ultimately give in to Livni's demands for joining the government.

In Washington, former U.S. Ambassador Martin Indyk said Netanyahu would pursue "economic peace" with the Palestinians, removing roadblocks to the flow of people and goods, but wants to avoid territorial concessions on the West Bank.

Netanyahu will attempt to deflect pressure from Obama and adviser George J. Mitchell by trying to make peace with Syria instead, offering to relinquish the Golan Heights, strategic land captured in the 1967 Mideast war, provided Israel was secure on that front, Indyk said at the Brookings Institution.

Netanyahu showed a pragmatic side as prime minister from 1996-99, meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and ceding part of the biblically significant West Bank city of Hebron to Palestinian control.

However, the Likud leader says he will allow existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank to expand. He recently told a security conference that any territory Israel relinquished to the Palestinians in a peace deal would be "grabbed by extremists."

He says peace efforts should focus on building the Palestinian economy rather than creating an independent state — a nonstarter for the Palestinians and one of several stances that could put him at odds with Obama.

In forming a coalition, Netanyahu has said he would turn to religious and nationalist parties. But he has also expressed support for a government that reflects a broad national consensus.

Kadima edged out Likud in the election, capturing 28 seats to Likud's 27. But Likud is in a better position to make a coalition because of gains by Lieberman and other hard-line parties. ... l_politics