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The Middle Eastern Dynamics

December 8, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu

Tel Aviv Wednesday. Henry Kissinger said Israel does not have a foreign policy but only a domestic policy. If that’s true, according to brilliant radio journalist,Yaron Deckel, there’s little progess on the horizon – Israelis have lost interest in the Israel-Palestine dispute.
There is no urge to negotiate. There is no terrorism, there are no rocket attacks, no missiles. No apparent interest on the other side.
Deckel says: “We tried it all. Camp David, disengagement of settlements, comprehensive negotiations, re-occupying territories, summits . And nothing good happened.”
There was one plus to getting out of Gaza and that was showing Israel’s government could re-locate settlers. That is now part of the psychology. It offers the option of a negotiated or a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank.
Deckel says Wikileaks confirm Arab leaders don’t care about the Israel-Palestine dispute. Behind closed doors for them the issue is Iran.
And Iran will likely get the bomb although Israel may be slowing down the process (now that would be the ultimate spy story, beating any of the Cold War nostalgia I treat you to on this blog – the full story of what Mossad has managed in Iran would beat anything in Le Carre ) Once they get the bomb what is the advantage in being a friend of the US in the region? And if they have it, why not everyone? That is, an Arab, or Sunni, bomb? The Koreans are there to clinch the sale – they need the cash and the US is powerless to stop them.
Netanyahu won’t, however, bomb Iran. Or will be very reluctant. After all the risk and the Israeli casualties he would have to hear the Iranian leadership hit the airwaves and declare that they will continue to build a bomb, starting all over again if necessary. And the key to Israel’s PM is he was once rejected by the people and spent 10 years out of power and doesn’t want to lose power. His landslide defeat of 1999 was too traumatic.
Meanwhile he’s happy with the American mid-terms which put huge pressure on President Obama not to rough up Israel. Netanyahu’s friends are Republicans and they can be counted on to restrain the White House doing anything to pressure the rightwing coalition in the Knesset.
Remember Kissinger’s wisdom : Israeli’s domestic politics is its foreign policy.


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