Saturday, October 18, 2014
"Benjamin Netanyahu has not had a good year. Israel’s prime minister was blamed by the US administration for wrecking its latest attempt to reassemble a peace process. In truth, there were obstinacies and obstacles on both sides, but publicly and privately, US officials identified Israel’s land grabs in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as the principal cause of the breakdown." "Only this month Philip Hammond, Britain’s foreign secretary, said he “deplored” plans for more than 2,000 additional homes for Israeli settlers in Palestinian East Jerusalem. France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius said it put in question Israel’s oft-stated commitment to a negotiated peace. Europeans have come to see settlement expansion as a strategy calculated to destroy fast-fading hopes for a two-state agreement." .......... "European governments had backed Mr Abbas’s initiative to forge a joint administration with Hamas as a prelude to serious peace talks. Now they speculate that the Gaza operation was Mr Netanyahu’s attempt to wreck any accommodation." "These episodes have not undercut the fundamental commitment of allies to Israel’s right to live in peace and security. They have drained patience and trust and led many to believe Mr Netanyahu prefers a permanent state of war to a difficult peace."