Following the Israel retreat from Gaza, the coalition party spokesmen in Israel have kept doing their propaganda job. Israel saw its own image wrecked in Europe during a second Intifada and is now devoted to restore it. In an interview given to the daily Die Welt, Labour group president at the Knesset (parliament) Isaac Herzog went over Tel Aviv’s traditional speech without contributing any new elements: Israel’s government has made a great effort in favour of peace, it has taken an enormous risk with the most zealous settlers, and it is now the Palestinians’ turn to prove their part. He also considers that Israel must remove all illegal settlements from the West Bank and complete the Wall, which has been presented again as a security measure although it increasingly appears as a way to redefine the boundary. In this interview, made before the Likud’s internal voting, where Israel’s prime minister won over Benjamin Netanyahu, Herzog spoke in support of Ariel Sharon.
This point of view is also supported by a group in Russia. Thus, in Izvestia, Duma deputy and Director of the International Political and Humanitarian Research Institute Viacheslav Irgunov presented the Gaza withdrawal by Israel as a great step that can contribute to peace. However, he said that such a progress could only be possible if Arab countries finally gave up their hope to destroy Israel. Along with this presentation of an Arab-Muslim militaristic world, Irgunov stated that Israel’s problem lies in reluctantly adopting the goal of a real war - that of annihilating the opponent. In this context, no victory is possible in front of certain opponents. Inexplicitly speaking, Irgunov seems to ask Tel Aviv for greater demonstrations of force against the Arab world. But, why ask for this when everything is favourable to Israel today? The purpose of the Gaza retreat plan was to evacuate a region hard to control militarily and leave advanced but poorly defensible colonial positions. This would also strengthen Israel’s dominance in the West Bank and lessen international pressures, which neither Ariel Sharon nor his advisers concealed. The international pressure issue quickly gained ground since Washington’s most submitted Arab or Muslim states hastened to start talks with Tel Aviv in order to establish diplomatic relations. This is definitely the culmination of the Saudi plan, which claims the creation of a Palestinian state in exchange for the recognition of Israel by all of its neighbours.

Pakistan has also increased its acts of goodwill in relation to Israel. On September 17, 2005, Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf took advantage of a trip to the UN in New York to address the North American Jewish Congress. Daniel Pearl’s father – Daniel Pearl was a Wall Street Journal reporter killed in Pakistan under obscure circumstances – expressed his satisfaction for this diplomatic switch but considered that a further step should be taken. Loyal to his Israeli nationalist line, he thinks that Musharraf has not done enough though. However, he’s glad that the Pakistani President has met the representatives of the North American Jewish Congress, condemned Palestinian terrorism, and, in fact, recognized Israel. On the other hand, Judea Pearl is glad that General Musharraf has linked Anti-Semitism with Anti-Zionism, thus taking the classic line of Israeli propaganda. Mr. Pearl now wants Islamabad to recognize the historic right of the Jewish to Israel’s territory, which vetoes the Palestinian right to return. Trying to look more conciliatory, he ended up asking Pakistan to open a centre for Judeo-Islamic dialogue.
This text illustrates Tel Aviv’s repositioning in Asia. When India was ruled by the BJP, Ariel Sharon started to approach New Delhi on behalf of the fight against Islam – a strategy abandoned after the electoral victory of the Congress Party and upon India adopting again a foreign policy more suitable to its “non-aligned” tradition. This change and the possibility of a military attack on Iran have ever since led Tel Aviv to turn to the Pakistani enemy. The withdrawal from Gaza provides the chance to justify this covert rapprochement in supporting the peace process.

Israel’s growing contacts with other countries have pleased the former foreign policy adviser to Ehud Barak, Alon Liel, who takes pride in Ha’aretz and Almustaqbal of Israel’s power, which despite international pressures, “anti-Semitism”, regional isolation and international rejection, has acted alone in the retreat from Gaza, thus getting the benefits. But Mr Liel has also forgotten that this has been possible thanks to U.S. total support. So, he took again the old Zionist topic of Israel’s absolute independence to assert that his state will continue to work alone in the region.

Israel television presenter and documentary maker Chaim Yavin did not prove that optimistic in the Boston Globe, where he expressed his concern about the West Bank situation. Basing on demography, Yavin is afraid that Israel becomes a bi-national state if it does not retreat from the West Bank after having done so from Gaza. He thinks that Israel should continue to be a Jewish state, and for this it must remain within the internationally recognized boundaries, excluding other territories. However, would evacuation anyway settle the problem from that point of view? Twenty percent of Israelis living in Israel are Arabs and they grow demographically faster than Jewish Israelis. So, unless a Palestinian state is created and Israeli Arab populations are driven out there, Israel will face again, sooner or later, the bi-nationality “problem”. Though Chaim Yavin’s text is much more positive towards Palestinians than many of the articles by Ariel Sharon’s followers, it does not reveal the ideological failure of Zionism. How can a truly democratic government exist if it poises itself only on one community of a state?