Elections Updates (3)
Yet another interesting leading article by political expert Angelo Panebianco in the pro-Union Corriere della Sera. This time his interest is focused on international politics, though in Italy—as he complains—this is not an election-campaign issue. But Palestine, he argues, “is the focus of almost all the potential international crises that await us,” and this is why
[k]nowing our parties’ stance on what happens is essential if we are to understand anything about Italy’s post-election foreign policy. The problem regards the Centre-left more than the Centre-right. If the Centre-right wins the election, it is likely to continue to support Israel, and it would surely support the policies of the new Israeli government. But what would the Centre-left do if it won the election? It is no secret that Romano Prodi’s Union is racked by serious internal divisions over the Palestine issue. For precisely that reason, it is important for Union leaders to take a clear position over the Israeli election.
Perhaps the prime ministerial candidate, Romano Prodi, should indicate the “point of equilibrium,” if there is one, in his coalition. It would enable us to understand something about the policy the Union will adopt on Israel, in case of victory. Above all, clarification is needed on two issues. If we accept that the victory of Hamas has made it impossible, now or in the foreseeable future, for direct Israel-Palestine peace negotiations to begin again – this has been confirmed by Hamas, which has just said that it is willing to speak to the Quartet of Powers but not to Israel – what else has Israel got left to ensure its own security except a policy of unilateral withdrawals and defensive closure? Should not the world, and Italy, support this line as the only policy that is realistically feasible? Regarding Hamas, will a Centre-left government maintain the position that it and the rest of Europe initially took up – no aid and no support unless Hamas recognized Israel and abandons armed struggle? It would certainly be helpful to know the thinking on these issues of Mr Prodi.
Categorie:somewhere in italy