When pragmatism is in the eye of the beholder

Peter Berkowitz in the Weekly Standard presents his analysis of the situation in Israel following the exit of Sharon and the victory of Hamas. Berkowitz contends that Sharon’s successor as leader of the new Kadima party, Ehud Olmert, will very likely achieve victory over his Likud and Labor opponents because he is in tune with the new centrist consensus that now prevails among at least a plurality of Israelis. I have no basis on which to disagree with this assessment. But Berkowitz’s claim that Olmert offers Israelis “clear-eyed, pragmatic politics” that have “arrived in Israel in the nick of time” seems problematic, particularly now that an election has swept an avowed fundamentalist terrorist organization into power in the terrorities from which Israeli “pragmatists” plan to disengage.
But you’re probably familiar with my arguments on the subject. Please read Berkowitz’s well-argued case to the contrary.


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