who joined the activists in their sail towards Gaza. The episode has sparked a debate within Israel itself on the policies towards Arabs living within Israel and indeed on the wider question of combining true democracy with continuing to hold onto the Palestinian territories.
Many have long feared that Israel's occupation of the Palestinians territories undermines its democratic credentials. [The Economist] asked Mr Rivlin and two Israeli academics whether they thought this was the case.
The key obstacle has always been and still remains the Palestinians' demand
for a “right of return” says Mr Rivlin, which
means, in effect, the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. As long
as this philosophy prevails, our security dictates, in practice, that the
present situation will have no early, easy resolution.
is a country in conflict. The conflict, with ups and downs, has lasted since Israel's
establishment 60 years ago. Half of the country's Jewish population originated
in the Muslim Middle East; the other half, mostly in Eastern
Europe; the great majority had no previous experience of
democracy. It would be difficult to imagine conditions less favourable to the
emergence and development of a multi-party parliamentary democracy with a free
press, independent judiciary and citizens free enough to express open support
for other side in an armed conflict. Israeli democracy is a tremendous
achievement.Read more at The Economist...