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ISRAEL IS NOT WEIGHING THE CONSEQUENCES OF ITS ACTIONS CORRECTLY
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ISRAEL IS NOT WEIGHING THE CONSEQUENCES OF ITS ACTIONS CORRECTLY

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

Israel is getting batted around in the press, at the United Nations, and by the E.U.  The Israeli Foreign Ministry calls these actions irrelevant and the Prime Minister criticizes the very Security Council action deemed irrelevant.  The truth is Israel does care and is rightfully angry at the one-sided, broadside attacks which it is facing.  On the other hand, Israel is its own worst enemy.  At a time where there is only an internal political price to be paid, the Netanyahu Government is is acting irresponsibly and blatantly looking less and less like it has any interest in even working toward a two state solution. Meanwhile, Hamas and the Palestinians are at least making symbolic moves to suggest they are seeking a common approach. 

There is an important not so hidden problem with Israel’s strategy. Israel needs the U.S. to continue to stand as its public supporter, but it can’t constantly be pushing the U.S. to do so in the face of its European allies urging an alternative approach. Jerusalem and Washington may know full well that their approach is more even handed, but Israel needs to have the Americans selling  this strategy. The U.S. cannot do so if it is constantly standing in public against its allies and defending Israel at every turn. America must have some opportunity to try to work with the rest of the quartet–the European Union and even the Russians and the U.N. The United States must be given some space.

Israel will achieve no diplomatic gains without the U.S. being in a position to advocate for it from the inside. The Netanyahu Government needs to cease pandering to its right and to “dis-ing” the U.S., especially at a time when there is no immediate threat from Hamas or the Palestinians.  Israel can and should call their bluff and not continue to provide fuel to fan the flames of anti-Israel feeling.

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