News

Europe wearies of Netanyahu’s diversions

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
In yet another sign that Israel has lost the plot, Europe is weary of the Israeli prime minister’s claims re Iran, writes Philip Stephens, lead columnist at the Financial Times, in a piece titled “Israel is losing its friends in the world:”
When Mr Netanyahu warns about the nuclear threat from Iran, even those who worry deeply about Tehran’s intentions, respond with a weary shrug. The warnings are seen as a diversion – an effort to distract from his refusal to accept a Palestinian state rather than a clear-headed assessment of a present danger.
Stephens’s piece is a full-on attack on Netanyahu for his latest settlement expansion, which guaranteed the passage of the British Parliament’s Palestinian state recognition, a monument of bipartisanship in the House of Commons. “Israel had lobbied hard against the motion. It was soon obvious it had lost its best friends.” This sounds like a call for regime change.
The Gaza onslaught, which killed 2100 Palestinians and left tens of thousands homeless, fosters only deep cynicism:
European governments had backed Mr Abbas’s initiative to forge a joint administration with Hamas as a prelude to serious peace talks [in April]. Now they speculate that the Gaza operation was Mr Netanyahu’s attempt to wreck any accommodation.
These episodes have… drained patience and trust and led many to believe Mr Netanyahu prefers a permanent state of war to a difficult peace. Yet the alternative to two states, as I have heard often during visits to Israel, is one state that comes to resemble apartheid South Africa.
Britain is sure to recognize a Palestinian state before long, Stephens says.
Obviously the British vote has made a big difference in the U.S. This new climate is why J Street is hammering on Netanyahu and settlements (after it abandoned the settlements as an issue a few years ago in favor of “borders”). And here is Peace Now’s Lara Friedman:
Israel is indeed losing friends in the international community. This is not because of rising global anti-Semitism, or successful Palestinian public relations campaigns.  Rather, it is because pro-settlement forces – Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of his Cabinet;  [Amos] Yadlin, [Elie] Wiesel  and their fellow travelers – are recklessly sacrificing Israel’s relationships and its future at the altar of Elad and its ilk, in the service of the messianic dream of Greater Israel.
Netanyahu’s Israel is increasingly on the defensive. Note what the Defense Minister said two days ago:
“I am not looking for a solution, I am looking for a way to manage the conflict and maintain relations in a way that works for our interests.”
91 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What is fascinating is the total lack of foresight exhibited by not only the Israeli government but the Israelis and thei Zionist fellow-travelers as well. Apparently they harp on the fact that “only” 274 MP’s voted for Palestinian recognition, short of the 326 needed for a simple majority of the… Read more »

This editorial, coming from where it does, is a good sign. I think it’s a mistake however to direct attention to Netanyahu. As a leader he has no center, no conviction. That’s why he’s there. ush and John McCain, he has a stern father he has to please (even after… Read more »

Gerald Ford, it was once said, could not chew gum and walk at the same time. The Rt. Hon. Benj, Netanyahu appears to be unable to keep more than one thought, or project, in mind at one time. The Rt. Hon. Benj. has in mind the danger — as he… Read more »

Time for regime change. Long past due. And may the neocons be dropped like hot potatoes at the same time.

“Regime change” is usually used to refer to violence employed by outsiders or insiders to undo a nondemocratic leader. It was used vis a vis- Saddam Hussein and Bashir Assad, maybe Ghaddafi as well. It is cutesy to use it vis a vis Israel, when referring to a specific elected… Read more »