Goldblog surveys the series of pretty awful diplomatic blunders over the last few months and concludes:
Bibi Netanyahu is not in control of his government. He has brought into his coalition parties -- Lieberman's party, the Shas Party -- that are narrow-focused, excessively-rightist, stubborn and prideful, and now he's paying the price. The problem is that Israel is paying the price as well. America can afford stupid politicians. Israel can't.
Jeffrey rightly points out something that many missed: the truly stupid alienation of Turkey. But he doesn't note that the Dubai assassination wasn't merely impolitic with respect to the UAE but to France, Germany, Ireland, Australia and Britain, whose citizens had their passports and identities stolen. is it really in the interests of Israel to have MI5 pissed off? In the Times, former Tory foreign minister, Malcolm Rifkind, puts it this way:
Was it a cock-up? Or was it a conspiracy? In all probability it was a cocked-up conspiracy.
We are now getting all sorts of excuses and explanations - East Jerusalem has always been fair game for new Jewish settlements, Netanyahu didn't know what was happening, Obama has made this worse than it might have been, and on and on. But the truth is: Petraeus is right.
If Israel continues to alienate and insult every ally, as it has done now for over a year, and if its actions inflame Jihadist terrorism which US forces are trying to tamp down, then this is an American issue. And the American president has every right and reason to protest and get a change in attitude and policy from Jerusalem.
And, yes, the Palestinians could always throw this opportunity away. But it's there now. And Obama must not flinch on seizing it.