A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
March 23, 2008 Cheney in Israel
Vice President Cheney visited Israel today. While the official reason for the visit was to move negotiations forward between Israel and the Palestinians, most of his discussions in Israel dealt with Iran and Syria. While a military strike by the US against Iran is now considered extremely unlikely, the continued application of sanctions is felt may be having some positive effect. The United States continues to be opposed to any talks with the Syrians, and the Syrian have now decided to wait until the next administration comes to power.
Much of the Israeli media has been focused on the fact that the 40 day mourning period since Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah's assassination is now over. Hezbollah announced that it would provide proof tomorrow that Israel is behind the assassination. Israeli observers doubt that claim. The expectation is that Hezbollah is going to try to attack a high ranking Israeli. Of course, the question was asked on one show why all this near hysteria, and there is no reason. There was a time which seems like yesterday (but in fact was the early 1970ís) that Israel operated on the assumption that the PLO would attack any Israeli target anywhere in the world if they could.
Southern Israel continues to be quiet. It seems there is an informal agreement between Israel and Hamas at the moment. Hamas continues to strengthen its hold on the institutions of Gaza. Since there is no good solution, delaying seems to be the current policy.