Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Bibi's bait-and-switch at the UN

Why is Bibi going full throttle at Rouhani and the possibility of Iran coming in from the cold?  Because he has nothing else.  If Iran is not an existential threat for Israel, then Israel might actually have to come to the table with the Palestinians.  And that is the last thing Bibi wants to do.

This is what it boils down to: Bibi cut his political teeth under Yitzhak Shamir.  Shamir's grand strategy was this: do nothing.  Don't make any big moves, and affect the facts on the ground.  He wanted to freeze diplomacy in place through delays, obfuscations and half-measures.  Of course, he didn't have a choice because the situation changed the calculus as the first Intifada broke out, and an American administration that had won the Cold War and succeeded in the first Gulf War was willing to twist arms to bring Israel to the table.  But this remained his modus operandi through the Madrid peace talks and until he was booted from office.

But Bibi learned from this.  He saw Shamir get dragged to Madrid against his will and Likud judgement, and Bibi has learned from it.

So Bibi plays a Kentucky shuffle, and focuses on Iran while dragging out the "peace" negotiations.  He attacks Iran at the UN so that Palestine is forgotten.  An Iran that is not an threat to Israel is a bigger existential threat because then Israel might actually have to deal with the Palestinians, which is the real issue at play.  The one Bibi wants us all to forget.

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