Friday, March 18, 2011

Netanyahu revives the "No Partner" mantra

The recent murders of five members of the Fogel family at Itamar, a settlement in the West Bank, are truly horrid and deserved to be condemned by all people everywhere. And that is what Mahmud Abbas, in the name of the Palestinian Authority, did earlier this week. But the Netanyahu government seems intent in using the Itamar slayings to whip up hysteria against all Palestinians - especially the PA - and to harden its position on settlement building in the occupied territories. (It ordered 500 new units built as a response to the killings.)

M.J. Rosenberg, writing at Al Jazeera, does a good job of explaining how and why this is taking place now: in short, to deflect increasing pressure for Israel to make concessions and allow for renewed peace talks - especially in light of Israel's increasing isolation, the PA's "threat" to unilaterally declare a state late this year, the first rustling of a raproachment between the PA and Hamas, and the general democratic ferment in the Arab world.

In light of all this Netanyahu and his American Jewish allies at AIPAC, seem to be gearing up to once again label all Palestinians as terrorists or supporters, and to fend off increasing world pressure with the mantra "We have no partner to talk to."

You can read Rosenberg's excellent analysis here.


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