Who's blocking peace in the Middle East? More evidence.
Here's a story that hasn't been in the Times yet, probably because it's a New England centered story. It could be read as just one more petty story of intra-diplomatic intrigue, but it seems to be revealing of one of the main barriers to peace in the Middle East.
Leaders of Boston’s Jewish community yesterday rallied strongly behind Israel’s consul general for New England, Nadav Tamir, who was summoned to Jerusalem this week to explain his controversial memo saying Israel’s handling of its relations with the United States was “causing strategic damage’’ to American public support for Israel.
Here's a quote from the memo:
Throughout the years, opinion polls have shown that the two most significant factors in US public support are the perception of a partnership in values and interests, and the perception that Israel seeks to end the conflict with its neighbors (hence the consistent public support of our right to self defense). These two parameters have suffered greatly recently. In many American circles, there is a feeling these days, that while the Obama administration tries to resolve global conflicts, it must deal with the refusal to cooperate by governments in Iran, North Korea, and Israel. Aaron Miller's words, spoken after the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, clearly show this feeling. He said it was a meeting between Obama yes we can and Netanyahu no you won't.
So what's he talking about? How about the fact that after years of international recognition that Israel's settlements in the occupied territories are illegal, and years of politely requesting that Israel stop, the Obama administration is showing signs that it might be serious about it? How about the fact that Netanyahu is continuing to insist on expanding Israel's illegal settlements? How about the fact that Americans are finally starting to catch on that Israel is pursuing a maximalist policy?
Of course, this kind of thing never gets leaked by accident. Whenever you see one of these diplomatic kerfuffles, whether it be the U-2 spy plane case back in the 1960's, the confrontations with Iran in the Persian Gulf a few years ago, or this, you need to think about who's doing the leaking and why.
In this case, it appears to be the hardliners, leaking the memo in order to publicly recall the consul general and undermine his position.
In other words, the opponents of peace with the Palestinians are demonstrating that they have the upper hand. Not surprising considering Netanyahu is on top, is it?