It’s From an Old Familiar Score

The latest story from the neverending story that is the Middle East “peace process” is that Prime Minister Netanyahu will agree to a 90-day extension of the moratorium on building in the West Bank, in exchange for completing the 1300 units just approved, and delivery of 20 F-35 jets capable of reaching Iran.  Many saw this as opening a window of opportunity for the Prime Minister to let the Palestinians continue their obstreperousness.

Many Americans assume that because the US Military tends to be more conservative, the same must be true of the Israeli military.  In fact, Israel’s military and intelligence services tends to be to the left (although not the Academic Suicidal Left), and it appears that they may be operating in coordination with elements in the Obama Administration to pressure Netanyahu through the press:

Israeli intelligence and military officials have warned in recent days that if a peace deal isn’t achieved soon the moderate Palestinian leadership in the West Bank could collapse and give way to more radical Hamas militants, backed by Iran and Syria, who already rule the Gaza Strip.The warnings come as the United States makes a last-ditch effort to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinians that stalled almost as soon as they resumed in September.

It’s also not as though we haven’t seen this before:

  • February 26, 1995 – South Florida Sun-Sentinal – “Middle East Peace in Pieces”
    • “Many U.S. diplomats say in confidential interviews that the partners for peace had but a short window of opportunity, a window that opened when the PLO and Israelis issued the declaration of principles for peace 18 months ago. Now, U.S. officials fear, that window has closed.”
  • October 15, 1998 – Austin American Statesman – “Decks Clear for Mideast Talks”
    • The decks literally cleared in southern Israel a few days later, when a bomb injured 64 people
  • July 24, 2000 – St. Paul Pioneer Press –  “Clinton Rejoins Peace Talks, Pressure High, Time is Short
  • August 14, 2000 – New York Times – “Washington Feels Time is Short for Restarting the Mideast Talks”
  • April 5, 2002 – Jerusalem Post – “The Postwar Window of Opportunity”
  • December 12, 2003 – New York Times – ‘A Bush Aide Criticized Israel For Not Doing More To Foster Peace”
    • “In Rome international donors to the Palestinians said that, because of the installation of a new Palestinian prime minister, a ”window of opportunity” had reopened, permitting the resumption of negotiations with Israel.”
  • October 19, 2006 – UN Security Council – “Mideast Peace Envoy Tells Security Council…Urgent to Help Restart Dialogue”
    • “ELLEN MARGRETHE LØJ ( Denmark) said the challenge for the parties to the conflict, as well as for the international community, was to ensure that they embarked on a process leading towards lasting peace…. It was now up to the parties to avail themselves of that window of opportunity.”
  • March 31, 2007 – Bloomberg – “EU Says Palestinian Government Gives Window for Mid East Peace”
  • May 2, 2008 – – “Rice Warns Time Is Limited For Achieving Mideast Peace Deal”

It seems that, to paraphrase an old saying, in the Mideast, whenever one window closes, another one opens.

Of course, this is only another iteration of the game that the enemy (the Palestinians, not the Israeli left; only Obama calls his own countrymen “the enemy”) has played ever since Soviet times: Give us what we want peacefully, or the next guy will take it by force.  Nice.

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