Thursday, 9 December 2010

The phone is off the hook

The talks are over. Nobody is talking. Nobody wants to deal. The phone is off the hook. President Obama's failure to tempt, bluster or cajole Netanyahu into a compromise over a brief Settlement moratorium has exposed the intransigence of the Israeli government and offers the Palestinian leadership and three other members of the Quartet, the chance to take the initiative. BBC's Jeremy Bowen in Middle East crisis is embarrassing for Washington is spot on.
America's policy towards the Israelis and Palestinians is in disarray.
The attempt to persuade, cajole and bribe Israel into a limited and partial freeze on building for Jews in the occupied territories has been declared dead.
That at least replaces some wishful thinking with a note of realism.
Unless there is a parallel, top secret peace negotiation going on that will surprise the region, as the Oslo agreements did in 1993, it is clear that the Americans are floundering.
Never mind the embarrassment that this very public display of the limits of their influence with Israel has caused President Barack Obama and his administration.
In the age of Wikileaks, they must be getting used to red faces. 
Read more here