This does not only include Jewish settlements, even for those willing to give every one up for real, lasting peace. In fact, 55.5 percent of the Israeli people and 63 percent of Israeli Jews said they were against Israel agreeing to return to the 1967 lines, even if there were land swaps which would enable some Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to remain part of Israel. It is not the terms ostensibly offered, but the credibility of the United States and the Palestinians. Mind you, the figure is even higher, because most people feel that this simply won’t work in terms of providing more security and stability.
Israel is not naïve. It was walking down a dark alley and thought that kindly old Uncle Sam — perhaps a bit grumpier lately — had his back, then looked to them for support only to find another enemy. Yet you will never ever hear an Israeli politician admit that.
Read Netanyahu’s unprecedented memo on the talks and the prisoner release. It reads as if he saw a ghost; he is trying to signal something very grim and serious and there is no implication that he believes in any possibility of compensation for this concession. Faced with a wasted effort of a unilateral Palestinian prisoner release, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government went along with it because they realized the indifference of the United States to Israel’s interests was extremely high. They realized that Congress was hypnotized that the Jewish community, in its Obama worship, was largely neutralized; and that rather than fighting European hostility, the White House was conducting it.
Looking over their shoulder in the misty night, they realized that a monster was following them. If you read Netanyahu’s unprecedented memo to the Israeli people as to why the terrorist prisoners were released, you get that clear signal. They realized that the Obama administration was extremely dangerous and that it was necessary to buy time.
Of course, the talks will not go anywhere because the Palestinians know they have a strong hand, and they will overplay it. But the administration’s willingness to punish Israel to win public relations points and to shore up the doomed U.S. alignment with Islamists has to be reckoned with, and for the next few years.