T. Belman. I have taken the position that Bibi really wants to cut a deal very close to the API. This article suggests he has no intention of doing so. You decide, but please note the author of this article, the EU and the Obama Administration all believe that their is only one deal on offer. Thus want assurances that Bibi is willing to accept it. The game is rigged, nothing to discuss, take it or we will ram it down your throat..
As Israel and various Arab states cosy up, anti-normalization looks like ancient history. Can the Palestinians really be sidelined so easily and comprehensively?
Appearing before a meeting of the Knesset State Control Committee on the Foreign Ministry and Israel’s public diplomacy last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Israel’s international standing is on an upward trajectory. For understandable reasons the Prime Minister may have been somewhat embellishing his track record, but his claims should not be too quickly dismissed or belittled.
In just the last few weeks, Netanyahu can list an impressive trip to Africa, the Egyptian Foreign Minister visiting Jerusalem alongside that country’s efforts to renew peace talks on Israel’s terms, a renewal of ties with Turkey and hosting an unofficial Saudi delegation. In actual fact, the lead visiting Saudi, General Anwar Eshki, is a marginal figure in the Kingdom, but the discrete official channels that have been established and upgraded with Saudi Arabia, often also with and involving the United Arab Emirates, are both real and significant.
Netanyahu has notched up some genuine achievements in upgrading Israel’s regional relations. In the case of the Saudi delegation, Israel’s opposition, rather characteristically, cast itself in the role of Netanyahu’s useful idiots, serving to provide some political cover for what was in essence a pro-Bibi visit. The Hadash party was correct in criticizing the visit and exposing its underlying message of peace without the Palestinians, but more on that shortly.
Previous peace efforts, including recent U.S. led initiatives under Secretary Kerry and former special envoy George Mitchell, have been punctuated by attempts to create incentives for Israel, by dangling the prospect of normalization with the Arab world. That equation failed to budge successive governments — largely because it under-appreciated the depth of Israeli rejectionism and ignored the need to also bring disincentives into the mix.
Netanyahu, Lieberman and others in the current government have argued that their approach is to improve this formula by turning it on its head. Israel will be more confident and strengthened in its ability to advance peace with the Palestinians if it already has the reassurance and guarantees that come with enhanced ties to key Arab states.
The problem with the Netanyahu formula is its fundamentally dishonest and specious character. Netanyahu has no intention of pursuing genuine de-occupation, Palestinian enfranchisement and peace under any circumstances. In reality he is attempting to prove something quite different — namely that Israel can manage and upgrade its regional relations while at the same time pursuing an ever-more …read more