Blog 332 January 9, 2017
My, my! What a difference a few days can make!
As the year ended, the Obama administration failed to keep Israel out of hot water at the United Nations over the continued expansion of settlements. Sounded like a payoff to Netanyahu for by-passing the President when he went over his head to Congress. Obama got the final slap – for the moment.
What’s really going? In fact, it’s all more complicated that it appears to be. How you read the situation depends on where you stand politically.
The nay-sayers remind Netanyahu than somewhere around 40% of Israeli citizens do not approve of what the Prime Minister is doing by increasing settlements. They point out that his actions are illegal and believe he is only complicating the peace process. They see Netanyahu as becoming increasing dictatorial and disconnected from the international scene which is dangerous for the state of Israel.
Those supporting Netanyahu’s actions say he is building a defensive perimeter to stand against Palestinian attacks on innocent Israeli citizens. Keeping Israel secure demands pushing attackers further away. When Ariel Sharon withdrew Israel from Gaza, their country got nothing but more rocket attacks. Now look at where the Gaza strip is today. One big pile of smashed concrete!
Actually, President Obama’s opposition to settlements in the Palestinian area is not new and extends back to the Reagan years. Obama did not decrease financial aid to Israel’s military.
Responsible voices are increasingly saying that a two-state solution is already dead. The incoming Trump administration appears to be moving in that direction. Hamas controls Gaza. Supposed Palestinian leader Abbas and his Fatah party are essentially delegitimized and continue to exist only because they are propped up by the West. Who do you negotiate with? A terrorist organization or an ineffective political party?
Israel has many good reasons not to negotiate including Arafat’s walking out on a deal to establish a state, on to murderous assaults by knife-swinging Palestinian assailants.
The larger problem has been noted by David A. Andelman journalist and contributor to USA Today. He sees the risk of Israel becoming a global pariah on the scale of South Africa during the apartheid era. Andelman believes this would also drag America into the abyss because of the US’s close relationship to Israel.
Netanyahu’s current policies could jeopardize Isreal’s position as one of the world’s most technologically innovative countries. Israel is at the top of the ladder in research and production of such items as flash drives (the one you use was invented in Israel).
At this point, the world is not on Israel’s side. The U.N. Security Council’s vote was unanimous only with abstentions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu better take a second look.
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