At age 57, has Israel begun to mature somewhat? The decision to back Arab Gulf state Qatar in its bid to get a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council suggests a new and forward-thinking approach to Israel's foreign relations policy. In fact, Qatar is showing some maturity too, seeing as they made the request to Israel in the first place. Don't get me wrong, they're not great mates but it is refreshing to see some give-and-take and maybe (just maybe!) it will open doors to other states in the region.
Here we go again? Looks a bit that way. Yesterday Hamas returned to firing (at least 20) mortars and anti-tank missiles at civilians and IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip. Some say it's the Hamas way of competing with the PA and a reaction to the PA's canceling of recent municpal election results.
Regardless, Israel is not likely to take on the role of sitting Zionist duck for Hamas to enjoy and there is already talk up at the Knesset about returning to harsher responses.
It does worry me that upon Disengagement, the Strip will be left in the hands of Hamas, Jihad and Brothers Inc. What's the point then? How does that strengthen Abbas as we're instructed to do? And what hope does that give to Ashkelon and the like who will become the next rocket destination? Maybe it's none of my business and we should get on with things and let the PA deal with their own internal problems after we've left Gaza. The 'Orange Team' have a point don't they?
And lastly - peculiarity! Listen, I don't have a PHd in Pollard but the whole affair does seem very unusual. I'm not going to sit here and tell the Americans how do deal with spies - that's their right and being spied against by an ally (or anyone) is never fun!
But I can not fathom the apparent reluctance by Israeli leaders to pressure the US to release Jonathan Pollard. The man 'helped' Israel and yet while we were willing to release 100s of Arab prisoners to get Tannenbaum released from his (self-inflicted?) stay with Hezbollah, we seem 'hands off-ish' in helping Pollard. The 3 dead IDF boys who we brought home with Tannenbaum fully deserved their redemption. Pollard also took risks for Israel and lost his freedom for it.
It's all nice and lovely that Israeli Ambassador Ayalon visited him this week but after almost 20 years in prison, shouldn't we be doing more? We shouldn't spy on allies (though they almost certainly spy on us!) but we also shouldn't abandon those who risk their lives for Israel. Since when does Israel leave its men and women behind in the field?
KIC me if you want! I might be wrong about all this.
Michael - KIC