Israel on Kosovo
In the run-up to the elections the reaction of the two main political camps is surprising. The Labour "left" has welcomed the attacks on Yugoslavia (the Meretz party even held a demonstration demanding the expulsion of the Yugoslav ambassador), whereas the right has expressed reservations, even condemnation.
Ariel Sharon, the foreign minister, caused a sensation by saying that "Israel should not legitimise Nato's aggression, led by the United States … Israel could be the next victim of the sort of action now going on in Kosovo … Imagine what would happen if one fine day the Arabs declared autonomy for the Galilee and links with the Palestinian Authority".
This criticism by General Sharon and other rightwing nationalist leaders does not stem from fine feelings or respect for human rights. Remember Sharon's leading role in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the 1970s crackdown in Gaza. No, it is about the fear of the Israeli far right that its designs - the "transfer" of the Palestinians, meaning their wholesale expulsion - or its policies - continuing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza - could in turn trigger Western reprisals.