With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community.
Following reports of an unprecedented U.S. offer of a host of assurances in return for a 60-day extension of the freeze on building in West Bank settlements, some political analysts are wondering why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not grabbed the deal with both hands.
Israel has not claimed responsibility for the assassination in Dubai of top Hamas arms smuggler Mahmoud Mabhouh, but the killing is raising questions about whether it will compromise Israel’s effort to stop Iran from obtaining the bomb.
Should a billionaire tycoon who lives abroad be entitled to use his money to influence Israeli political life?
Although warm and effusive in their congratulations, Israeli officials fear President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize could limit his options on Iran.
The release of the video showing captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit alive and apparently healthy is likely to raise the pressure on the Netanyahu government to secure his release.
Despite the latest clash between Israel and the Obama administration over building – this time in eastern Jerusalem – the United States is pressing ahead with plans to reopen negotiations on both the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Syrian tracks.
The fact that Israel and the United States have yet to reach an agreement on Jewish settlement growth in the West Bank is as much a question of wider Middle East concerns as about the settlement issue itself. The Israelis want to use the freeze as leverage for Arab moves toward normalizing ties with the Jewish state. Imposing a full settlement freeze is a strong card the Israeli administration is reluctant to play until it sees something tangible from the Arab side, such as Arab countries allowing Israeli civilian flights over their territories or opening up economic interest sections in Israel
If Avigdor Lieberman’s appointment as foreign minister seemed odd when it was made, recent developments cast more doubt over his capacity to function as Israel’s top diplomat.
Like the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly two decades ago, the outcome of the post-election unrest in Iran could be of major strategic significance for the Middle East and for Israel.