Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Israel's Netanyahu Wants Peace Deal

Aluf Benn is editor at large at Haaretz, Israel’s newspaper for intellectuals. Writing in the Washington Post, Benn argues that Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu, contrary to what most believed just months ago, is determined to conclude a peace settlement with his counterpart, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In Benn’s words:
With no serious domestic challengers, Netanyahu knows that he is the strongest Israeli leader in a generation. Looking outside, however, he sees mostly trouble: His country is ever more isolated from an international community that increasingly rejects Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories, its settlements and its excessive use of force. At the same time, he is deeply alarmed by Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, coupled with what he describes as its effort to "delegitimize" the Jewish state. He sees Israel's sheer existence, not its controversial policies, as the matter at stake. He therefore wants President Obama to help neutralize the Iranian threat -- and he understands that Obama's price for that help will be Israeli concessions in the West Bank.

If true, this remarkable development means Obama is on the cusp of a foreign policy achievement that has eluded every American president since Nixon. Obama will need to deliver on Iran, however, and to help Abbas give up the Palestinian refugees’ generations-old demand for a “right of return.”

No comments: