The next stage in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the diplomatic intifada. Both sides are mobilizing their lawyers and lobbyists to do battle on several fronts, but primarily in The Hague and in Washington, D.C.
Since neither side has shown much interest in sitting down at the peace table for serious negotiations, they've opted for the battle of the briefcases.
When Bibi Netanyahu was in grade school, his teachers probably did not check the box on his report card where it said, "plays well with others." He has a long history of clashes with political colleagues and others. Two of his stronger critics and rivals inside his own Cabinet and are former senior aides who broke with him.
So it comes as no surprise that he also has a long history of difficulty in getting along with foreign leaders – French, German and British but most notably Americans.
A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is not the only truce needed to restore peace for the Jewish state. There are at least two others.
The Israeli cabinet looks like a circular firing squad as ministers take pot shots at one another and particularly at the Prime Minister, whose job each covets. It's gotten so bad that Bibi Netanyahu is reluctant to hold a Likud leadership vote because he could get dumped by his party's settler-nationalist wing.
The Jewish community is rightly concerned with a campus environment that is too often hostile to Israel. Public demonstrations, inflammatory language and personal attacks by anti-Israel organizations seek to exploit the spirit of open debate and public action central to American academic life.
With Israel facing extraordinary challenges in the Mideast, it is losing a key advocate in the White House.
Dennis Ross, a Mideast adviser to five presidents, once was derided as one of “Baker’s Boys” during the administration of President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker. More recently, though, he has been viewed as a confidante and friend of Israeli leaders. He is leaving his post at the end of the year, an implicit signal that the U.S. effort to break the Israeli-Palestinian impasse is on hold until after the 2012 election.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The recent Middle East turmoil has sharpened Israeli needs for tangible security guarantees in exchange for concessions to the Palestinians, Dennis Ross said.
Ross, President Obama’s top Middle East adviser, told the Anti-Defamation League’s annual leadership conference in Washington on Monday that security guarantees sought by Israel toward a peace deal with the Palestinians were critical, “particularly during a time of change.”
In a speech Monday to the J Street conference in Washington, the senior White House adviser on Middle East peace issues said the current process of the United States working with both sides on bridging proposals needs more time.
“That process hasn't played out yet,” Ross said. “We'll make a judgment on where the process is, where the two sides are and what we think the most appropriate steps are on where we'll have the most impact.