My last blog, posted on Tuesday, posed the question of what Prime Minister Netanyahu’s strategy is regarding peace talks with the Palestinians. That question remains, even more so today, but I stand corrected on one conclusion I drew.
I noted that Mideast experts are baffled by the Israeli leader’s seeming willingness to press ahead in negotiations, including the possibility of ceding West Bank land, while at the same time holding fast on the right to build in the settlements, and quickening the pace of construction.
Does Bibi really want a deal with the Palestinian Authority?
That’s the question Mideast observers, here and in Israel, are asking more and more these days, and they are baffled.
There are those who feel the Israeli prime minister genuinely is interested in negotiations that would include ceding territory to the Palestinians, as long as there were security talks for Israel as well. At least, they say, that’s what Netanyahu told President Obama this summer during White House talks that seemed to go well.
Over at the Atlantic, influential blogger Andrew Sullivan yesterday called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel after the collapse of Obama administration efforts to win a 90 day settlement freeze extension in return for a rich package of incentives.
Reading the early reports about the apparent U.S. decision to give up on its efforts to win a renewed Israeli settlement freeze in return for a big package of incentives, I can't help but wonder if what we're seeing here is simply an administration with absolutely no sense of direction.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel was briefed by the United States about classified files that were later released by WikiLeaks.
The United States briefed several of its allies on the documents over the weekend. Israel already had been told by the U.S. last week that it could be mentioned in the release of classified U.S. documents.
The WikiLeaks website publishes classified documents from anonymous sources and leaks. It released about 250,000 secret diplomatic cables on Sunday.
The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “asked the US to release Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard as part of a series of gestures made to Israel in an effort to restart peace talks with the Palestinians.”
Isn't this called piling on? Well, sometimes piling on is justified.
Yesterday former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer heaped what looks to me like well deserved scorn on the Obama administration's attempt to “bribe” Israel back to the peace table, and predicted it will never work.
The Jewish right has always had a special place in its rogues gallery of enemies for Dan Kurtzer, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Egypt. I've always thought that was because his pro-Israel credentials are so strong that his critiques of Israeli policy have to be taken seriously – except, of course, by those who believe Israel is the only nation in the history of the world incapable of making mistakes or pursuing flawed policy.
(JTA) -- U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor's promise that the new GOP majority will "serve as a check" on the Obama administration was "not in relation to U.S.-Israel relations," his spokesman said.
Brad Dayspring told The Washington Post Monday that the comment last week by Cantor (R-Va.), the putative leader of the House of Representatives, to visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been misinterpreted to refer to Israel.