Saturday, 22 December 2012

U.S. and Israel Are Still Best Friends?


Here's the question no one is asking as 2012 ends, especially given the effusive public support the Obama administration offered Israel in its recent conflict with Hamas in Gaza: Will 2013 be a year of confrontation between Washington and Jerusalem? It's on no one's agenda for the New Year. But it could happen anyway.

It's true that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process appears dead in the water. No matter how much Barack Obama might have wanted that prize, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has

rebuffed him at every turn. The president appears to have taken it on the chin, offering more than the usual support for Israel and in return getting kloom (as they say in Hebrew). Nothing at all.

However, the operative word here is "appears." In foreign affairs what you see -- a show carefully scripted for political purposes -- often bears little relation to what you actually get.
While the Obama administration has acceded to the imagery of knee-jerk support for whatever Israel does, no matter how outrageous, behind the scenes its policies are beginning to look far less

 predictable. In fact, unlikely as it may seem, a showdown could be brewing between the two countries. If so, the outcome will depend on a complicated interplay between private diplomacy and public theater.

Read the full story here.

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