September 26, 2010 Settlemnet Freeze Coming to an End, Computer Virus Strikles Iranian Nuclear Program

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

September 26, 2010 Settlemnet Freeze Coming to an End, Computer Virus Strikles Iranian Nuclear Program

Today marks the end of the building freeze in the West Bank. Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to put the fate of the peace talks in the hands of the settlers and in the hands of the Palestinians. His hope is that (under US pressure) the Palestinians will continue the talks, despite the end of the settlement freeze and that (at the same time) the settlers will not do anything too provocative. It's a very risky strategy, not so, much from the Palestinian perspective, but more likely problematic depending on the settlers. For the moment, the settlers have limited their public shows of building (under pressure from the Prime Minister's office). However, many of them have every interest in disrupting any peace process, and are likely to try to do so. As long as they think that Netanyahu is not really interested in reaching an agreement the settlers will cooperate, if not they will do whatever they can to disrupt the talks. The Palestinians have indicated they will be willing to find a way to continue. Abbu Mazen understands that he only has a political future if talks continue. However, if the settlers do something that is too provocative it may be more than Abu Mazen can take. The other mine field out there is the building in East Jerusalem, something the Netanyahu government has stopped and can continue to do so without any cabinet approval. Netanyahu is under continued pressure to resume that building, but so far, he has resisted it. What seems clear is that the US government has been doing a poor job of running the talks. Why Obama had to, once again, call for the complete halt of building in his speech before the UN General Assembly is unclear. Obama's declarations make it all that much harder for the Palestinians to accept a compromise.

There have been a number of news reports that the Iranian nuclear program has been under an intensive advanced cyber attack. Obviously no one has taken responsibility for the attack. Of course when one looks at who has the most to gain, and who also most likely has the capabilities, then all eyes are on Israel.

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