Why Israel has gone ballistic over the 'Palestinians'
While I disagree totally with Commentator Executive Editor Raheem Kassam's characterization of Israel's behavior as 'irrational,' I believe he's right that Britain, along with other European countries, caused Israel not to take the UN's decision lightly.
The failure to get the Palestinians around the negotiating table prior to a UN statehood bid is a blow to Israel's continued efforts to renew talks. A settlement moratorium was ignored by the Palestinians, as has been every offer to sit down with no preconditions, an offer made as recently as October 2012 by Prime Minister Netanyahu.
So Israel has finally responded in a manner that befits David, rather than the Goliath it is made out to be. As the only Jewish state, the only legitimate and transparent and free democracy in the region, Israel has been pushed to taking an offensive stance rather than a defensive stance.
This relates to the announcement of 3,000 new settler units and plans to develop the E1 area east of Jerusalem - a position that may well cut the Palestinian areas off from the West Bank.
Is this the fault of some super right-wing expansionist plot? Not likely. It will cost Israel time, money, political and diplomatic capital and is the equivalent not just to kicking the can down the road, but to booting it over the fence and into a pond.
When actions have been taken repeatedly to undermine the position of an ally whose actions are broadly reflective of a strong will for peace - then certain rational and responsible actions go out the window with it.
Expanding and building settlements in areas that could and would be Palestinian areas is of course irrational and irresponsible, but the international community, Britain especially, has placed Israel in a position whereby it sees, from the world's feelings and dealings on Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, that aggression seems to be consistently rewarded.
In now talking about 'tough sanctions' against Israel for its actions, Britain espouses yet another inconsistent response to bringing parties in the region to the table - and has landed itself a position of increasing irrelevance and opposition to its allies in Israel and the United States.
For Britain, Israel's actions are unpalatable. For Israel, Britain's reaction is unconscionable.Read the whole thing.