Let us go back to the fundamental that Goldstone’s latest statement has consolidated the nationalist “we told ya, we were right” camp in Israel. Amidst the political debates ahead of elections,the discourse is that, in an international community which is often misguided and indeed threatening, Israel stands alone but triumphant at the end of the day.
Entries in Isaac Molho (4)
Challenging the new US line on settlements, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas warned that there would be no talks with Israel unless there was a halt to settlement building.
Having obtained the support of the Arab League and Egypt, Abbas does not want to take a step back on the settlements. Indeed, he may be going on the offensive. The London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat reported on Thursday that Abbas had "given a green light" to his aides to ask the UN to recognize a unilaterally-declared Palestinian state; however, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit asked the Palestinian leadership to give Washington another chance.
According to the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi, Ramallah --- noting the recent US "incentives" offered to Israel to get a three-month extension of the freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank --- is also seeking its own American package.
The Obama administration is being asked to increase funds for the Palestinians and to spell out a "political commitment" for an agreement on the border issue within three months. The Palestinian Authority also wants Washington's assurance that it will deal with the issue of Palestinian refugees, compensating them through an international fund that would involve most countries in the region, including Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in New Orleans for the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, asked US Vice President Joe Biden to create a credible threat in the form of a military campaign to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
So, the four rounds of economic sanctions in the last four years against Tehran is insufficient for West Jerusalem, which wants the prospect of US military power days after the Republicans gained the majority in the lower house of Congress. Netanyahu is reportedly prepared to support his argument with intelligence reports saying that Tehran only halted its uranium-enrichment process in 2003 when Washington was still threatening to bomb.
Netanyahu's second subject will be the deadlocked negotiations with the Palestinians.