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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ex-Negotio: Israel's Choice For Peace

The Netanyahu government continues to compound the errors of the recent past, calling into question Israel's "choice for Peace", including the truly large step of evacuating Gaza.

On the day that the U.S. sends the Vice President, Netanyahu's government announces plans for 1,600 more apartments in highly sensitive areas. Despite an quasi-apology, no one has retracted the plans.

Some of this is just posturing, but it really does start to call into question the degree to which Ehud Barak's "offer" to Arafat, by which some judge the moral case of Israel, was a paper offer, especially insofar as what was on offer regarding Jerusalem, right?

There aren't signs that the U.S. has structured its effort correctly and fully (at least to the average blogger guy).

We send the Vice President over, backed up by a paltry half dozen or so career analysts at State Department (I honestly don't know, but do know that there is turnover).

This has to be one of the largest (in terms of human effort invested) and longest conflicts of its kind. One would think that we'd be staffed for a multi-purpose, multi-pronged effort, including folks with public diplomacy skills and more. Are we?

We are on the brink of a schism with one of our key, strategic partners, with broad ramifications. You'd think that we'd be doing more analytically and procedurally, perhaps, to attend to that.