Moreover, if Hamas is abandoning Assad and contemplating a strategic and non-violent alliance with Fatah (supported, presumably, by many of the newly emerging Middle Eastern states) then we will enter game-change territory for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A non-violent and united Palestinian negotiating partner obviously presents Israel with an incredible opportunity. However, as Molyneaux’s reflections on the immediate response of unionists towards the 1994 PIRA ceasefire announcement intimated, the sudden disappearance of assumed realities – however negative – associated with one’s opponent can induce fear, shock, hostility and instability.
Is Liduk about to be as destabilized and wrong-footed as Molyneaux’s UUP was in 1994?
Regrettably, one must fear that’s very likely. At a time when Israel’s democratic trajectory is bucking the tide sweeping its region, it’s difficult to imagine brave leadership emerging under Netanyahu.
That said, Netanyahu may care to review the contrasting fortunes and legacies of Molyneaux and his successor. Soon he may have to step up – or step down.