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University of Leeds Professor Clive Jones said he's "not at all hopeful." Right-wing extremists way outnumber moderates.

"I think that the way that Israeli politics is construed it makes it very difficult for parties in opposition to have any real effect anyway," he said. 

"And as much as you may see some coalescing around what they're calling the centre-left bloc".I think it's going to be extremely difficult for them to put forward any kind of meaningful opposition."

It shows "how moribund much of the political process in Israel is."

Peace is a four-letter word. Conflict takes precedence.

On January 14, the Financial Times headlined "Netanyahu: tactical genius, strategic idiot," saying:

He's Israel's second longest serving prime minister. Winning a third term looks sure. He prioritized small conflicts over major ones.

He defied Obama so far "without any real cost." 

There's "a strong chance that future generations will (regard him) as a man who fatally undermined" Israel's future.

Palestinian rights are a major unaddressed issue. Occupation harshness has been policy for almost five decades.

"It must be tempting for Israelis to believe (it) can last forever. It cannot."

Israelis face a "deteriorating" international environment. It's losing Western and regional support. It spurns Palestinian rights. "(A)nnexationists" want them denied.

Netanyahu's rage to expand settlements reflects it. He has "no strategic vision." He'll likely stay prime minister. "(H)e risks leading Israel to disaster."

Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh teaches at three Palestinian universities (Bethlehem, Birzeit, and Al-Quds). He previously taught at Yale, Duke and the University of Tennessee.

He's chairman of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People. His books and other writing focus on Israel/Palestine.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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