MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti, Dmitry Panovkin) - The pullout of Israeli settlements from Gaza will cause a serious split in Israeli society, a Middle East expert said.
"Causing a split in Israeli society at the turning points of his political career is the so-called traditional tactics of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who can thus attain the results that were earlier unachievable," said Yevgeny Satanovsky, president of the Middle East Institute.
Satanovsky said this would have a fairly serious negative effect on the government and the country as a whole. Only 25-30% of Israelis supported the Gaza pullout, he said.
"Leaders of this group do not associate themselves with life in Israel. It is a cosmopolitan group that does not care where it lives - in Israel, Berlin or New York," Satanovsky said.
He also said another group of the same size opposed the withdrawal, but that the group lacks leaders.
According to Satanovsky, about 40% of people say "we not need Palestine with all its problems, but we understand that we cannot give everything up and leave just to solve our own problems."
"The political establishment is utterly old. It is a group of people aged 70-80 that does not solve the critical issues crucial for the country's future," he said.
According to Satanovsky, young people are busy with their careers and are following American policy at large.
"We can say de facto that Israeli politicians are under tough U.S. pressure and most people fail to see any leaders who would really pursue national interests," Satanovsky said, describing the situation in the country as pre-revolutionary.
The expert also said the Israeli political establishment was in for galloping changes.
"The crux of the matter is that these changes will take place against the background of a civil war in Palestine or a fight of all against all (bellum omnia contra omnes) in the Gaza strip, left to the mercy of fate," Satanovsky said.