Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Kicking the Palestinian Habit

Kicking the Palestinian Habit FrontPageMag

Conspicuous for its absence in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last week was any mention of what is variously called the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Middle East peace process. Israeli analyst Yoram Ettinger suggests that this “reflects a US order of priorities and, possibly, a concern that mediation in the Arab-Israeli conflict does not advance—but undermines—Obama’s domestic standing.”

Conceivably, a similar premise underlies Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent demonstrative acts in favor of settlement in the West Bank. Last week, just after a meeting in Jerusalem with U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, Netanyahu marked the tree-planting holiday of Tu Bishvat by planting trees in public ceremonies in the Jerusalem-area West Bank settlements of Kfar Etzion and Maale Adumim. He capped it off on Friday with a tree-planting ceremony in Ariel, a settlement somewhat deeper in the West Bank in Samaria.

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