A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 10, 2008 Making a Decision on Gaza While Making a Decision on New Elections
There is so much activity going on. Talks between Syria and Israel are to resume, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Israel to further negotiations with the Palestinians, there are rumors of an agreement with Hezbollah on the release of the captured Israeli soldiers, or more likely the return of their bodies, and there are more talks of a Tahadia [ceasefire] in Gaza. Wow! One would think Israel was about to solve all of its basic problems. Only one problem Israel is not solving yet is the Prime Minister who is incapable of acting. A Prime Minister under the shadow the Olmert is under cannot bring any of these agreements to fruition. Yoel Marcus wrote it best today in Haíaretz by calling for Olmert to resign immediately- Olmert Go Home. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/992393.html
There is a serious chance that an agreement will be reached with Hezbollah. That agreement will require Israel to give up on Ron Arad, the Israeli navigator missing for over 25 years. Prime Minister Olmert supposedly has concluded that Hezbollah does not know about his fate. Somehow that is hard to believe. So, it would seem that Israel is about to release Samir Kuntar, the terrorist who murdered a family in northern Israel, in order to receive two bodies, I fear.
It is clear that Barak does not want to attack Gaza. He talks about the attack being near, but he fears the law of unintended consequences. This is a serious concern, but also cannot be a reason for inaction.
Professors Waltz and Mersheimer are in Israel. They are the authors of the book Israel Lobby. They mentioned the fact that they received a warmer response in Israel than in the US. They stated that they did not receive one favorable review in the US press but did receive some in Israel. I was surprised by London and Kirshenbaum, who are usually good interviewers, did not have any difficult questions to ask them. After the interview, Yair London stated that having read the book he found nothing particularly objectionable in it, just a book that reflected the realist view of Foreign Policy. For such seasoned journalist they showed remarkably little understanding of the American political and diplomatic scene.
There is an excellent article in the new issue of the Foreign Affairs called Israel New and Old. It traces support for Zionism to the earliest periods in American history. The major point in the article is that American support for Israel is not an example of the power of a lobby, but instead that power of wide spread public opinion over the foreign power establishment. Unfortunately, their web site still has last monthís issue online, when this goes up I will link to it and recommend that it is widely read
If you are interested in a lengthy but interesting article about serious changes that may be taking place in the Muslim world that is pushing back against suicide bombings then read THE REBELLION WITHIN, An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism by Lawrence Wright. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/06/02/080602fa_fact_wright/?printable=true It is very lengthy but worth reading.