Obama cannot pressure Israel, and Israel will not move without pressure

It is evident by now that the Obama administration will not be able to risk confronting Israel`s powerful allies in the United States. So far, differences between the Middle East policies of the Bush and Obama administrations seem to be mostly stylistic in nature.

Even if negotiations start, the United States will not be a neutral partner. Syria will be sitting alone on one side, Israel and the United States will sit on the opposite side.

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Israeli counter-arguments to above objection


Regardless of whether the U.S. can ever be a true “honest broker” between Israel and Syria, neither nation should wait to see if and how things develop. After all, Turkey was chosen by both sides, to serve exactly that purpose. We cannot allow Peace to be made or not made based on a particular administration in Washington. There are other significant parties in the region (Turkey) and outside it (EU, Russia, etc.), that can certainly help the sides get closer to an Agreement.

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If that is the case then Syria should insist that a more unbiased broker is used, such as Turkey or the quartet. A more disinterested broker may relieve both sides from the constant vying for recognition and support that is taking center stage when America is involved as a broker, and which reduces many peace negotiations into a charade meant to impress the Americans, rather than find a solution to the conflict between the countries. America’s involvement may only be necessary at the end of negotiations, to bring the necessary military, political and financial guarantees that may be required to cement a deal.

In other words, if both sides are generally interested in peace, then America’s bias would not be in anybody’s interest, as it would prevent reaching a deal, and therefore, again if there is true interest, the sides will be able to agree to use a different broker.

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One Response to “Obama cannot pressure Israel, and Israel will not move without pressure”

  1. 0
    Noam Bec wrote:

    The question of pressuring Israel is a major one. Like any other open society, the Israeli society is not immunized against external pressure and other outside influences, but before anyone rushes to exploit it, please bare in mind how it may interact with the main traits of Israeli psyche.

    The basic primordial fear in any Israeli mind is of total annihilation. The most common yearning is to be loved and appreciated by the world, which is the other side of the same coin – if you love me your’re less prone to annihilate me. Between these two measures there is a considerable but not unlimited room for operation.

    You can press Israelis to the point they fear loosing whatever is left of the world’s love for them. But if you go further beyond that point, they start filling that all too familiar itch of the rope around their neck, and they shut down to any outside pressure and just do whatever they thing they should do, whatever are the consequences.

    The first Intifada was a moderate pressure and Israelis responded with electing their most dovish government ever of Izhak Rabin.

    The second Intifada was not a popular uprising but an all out war so Israelis shut down to worldwide condemnation and did whatever it took to break the Palestinian ability and will to produce suicide bombings.

    World public opinion is pressing now Israel more then ever before. Its nearing a point where Israelis will loose their faith in the possibility of ever gaining it back. In that case they will shut down completely and turn to even more radical right wing parties. And that will be bad in Biblical proportions for everybody.

    Obama, for that matter, is a private case of the world. He can only push Israel to a point.

    If my opinion matters in any way, I would suggest the world and Obama alike to try the other way round and ease down the pressure on Israel. The more confidence Israel has in its friends friendship – the more it will be open to take risks for peace.

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