Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well, Now Here's A Pleasant Surprise (not)!

Benjamin Netanyahu has taken the Arab Spring to heart

May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been preparing to greet President Barack Obama at the White House tomorrow with a proposal to resurrect Middle East peace talks, advisers said.

That was until Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this month signed a reconciliation accord with Hamas -- classified as a terrorist group by Israel and the U.S. -- and dozens of Palestinians from Syria breached a border May 15, with similar efforts on three other fronts.

Netanyahu decided, his advisers said, that peace talks can wait.

This is neither pleasant nor a surprise. Netanyahu is a complete idiot when it comes to bringing peace the Middle East and my suspicion is the proposal he had neatly packaged together would have been not much more than a slap in the face to both the Palestinians and America.

I'm tired of my country being treated as a second class citizen by Israel. If any other Middle Eastern nation had done to us what Israel has, including planting spies on our very soil, we would have bombed them back to the Stone Age and then sat down to breakfast.

But I digress...

Netanyahu has made small but important steps towards settling the Palestinian question: he's recognized the idea of a state of Palestine...gee, Israelis and a Middle Eastern state, go fig...and made overtures toward the Arab world, notably Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

That last is interesting, considering that the Israelis and The Saudis have had peaceful dealings over the past few decades, and so you'd think they'd already have some backwater channels open.

It's not enough, and Netanyahu is blowing a major opportunity here to send a subtle signal to the Arab Spring that he would stand by the creation of regional democracies.

We all know about Hamas and his edginess is understandable, but every so often in the poker game that is global politics, you have to bet on the hand you think you see and not the one you're afraid of.