James Besser |
This week’s U.S.-Israel diplomatic dustup over building additional Jewish housing in east Jerusalem may have as much to do with domestic politics in the Jewish state — and a desire to mobilize American Jews to oppose additional U.S. pressure — as with any shift in Obama administration policy.
The Israeli government emphatically rejected this week a proposal by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana to impose a settlement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if none is reached by a set deadline, and Israeli analysts dismissed it as infeasible.
by James D. Besser |
With his back to the wall in his dealings with Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly weighing the possibility of broadening his government to give him more flexibility in anticipation of meeting American demands.
The reports are based in part on right-wing elements in Netanyahu’s coalition government that are upset with the prime minister’s decision to work towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to Yossi Alpher, an Israeli analyst and co-editor of the Israeli-Palestinian Web site bitterlemons.org.
The infighting in Iran since its contested election has made it a “weaker patron” of Hamas and Hezbollah, the two principal terrorist groups abutting Israel, but it is too early to know the ramifications, according to an Israeli political analyst.
“Iran was weakened by the Gaza war [in January between Israel and Hamas] and Hezbollah’s loss in the Lebanese elections,” said Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar-Ilan University. “Now Iran is going to be totally absorbed in its own internal issues.
In what has become perhaps the most Americanized region in all of Israel, the sunny seaside city of Herzliya just landed a classic American import that it probably never expected: the Jewish state’s first-ever college fraternity.
As Friday’s election in Iran led to charges of voter fraud after incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the landslide winner, Israelis were divided over their preferred outcome.
“There is a debate in Israel,” said Moshe Maoz, a professor emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.