The analyst''s job is to make sense out of separate events that might be connected. However it is done, there is a lack of certainty. It is best to avoid far flung stories about conspiracies, or inevitable consequences. All of that leads people to put the analysis in with the other junk, of which there is no small supply making the rounds of the internet and other media.

This note is about separate events that, at least in my mind, come together in a way that suggests a lack of good sense among powerful governments, and some threat poised over Israel. The fact that it is our friends who are responsible for what appears to be senseless justifies fear and trembling about the future. And not only our future.

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The events at issue:
 
What appears to be the bumbling of European and American do-gooders to foment, or at least encourage and applaud uprisings in Arab countries that they see as indications of grass roots democracy
 
The involvement of European and American governments and armed forces in the Libyan civil war, in a situation where they act against one side, but not decisively, and admit to wondering about the motives and capacities of the various Libyans they are helping to take down their government
 
Suspicions that western involvement in Libya has as much to do with Nicolas Sarkozy''s political weakness as with careful consideration of what can be done on the ground
 
American and European stuttering about what should be happening in Syria
 
The repeated insistence of those same governments that Palestine is ready for independent statehood, and that Israel must do what is necessary to make that possible
 
The movement of Palestinians, in violation of their agreement with Israel, to engineer an endorsement of their statehood on their terms in the United Nations
 
The presence of some 15 separate armed organizations in Gaza, with factions in the West Bank
The recent killing of an Italian human rights activist in Gaza, which appears to have been done by one of those organizations despite the efforts of Hamas and others to blame Israel
 
The renewal of missile firings against Israeli civilians, less than a week after Hamas trumpeted its renewal of a disciplined period of quiet
 
Occasional drive-by shootings and other acts of violence in the West Bank, and the murder of parents and children in Itamar, despite the good marks for security given to the Abbas regime by its international supporters
 
The way I put these items together does not add to the credibility of Palestinians, or of Europeans and Americans who claim wisdom in things Middle Eastern, and are certain that the Palestinian regime is ready for statehood.


The keystone in Israel''s worries and opportunities is the United States. There is no encouragement from the blather and certainty heard from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, along with their lack of experience and repeated stumbling here and among our neighbors. More encouraging, however, is the upcoming presidential election, Obama''s domestic vulnerability, questions about his support among Jewish donors, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, the intensity of Republican conservatives, and what we can hope are the kernels of intelligence and good sense in Obama himself.

Early signs are that the United States is cautious, and may be opposed to the grant of statehood to Palestinians without the nuisance of negotiations with Israel. Similar expressions come from senior personnel in the governments of Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, but they are mixed with other expressions suggesting that all those governments may go along with the majority.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great speaker, and may be the darling of Americans and Europeans anxious for reinforcement of a posture in favor of Israel. Trust in him is another matter. He is preparing a speech before the American Congress that may counter the Palestinian movement toward quick and easy statehood. Israelis are hoping for the best, but are skeptical.

And what will happen if the world forum endorses a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem, a fuzzy definition of borders that mentions 1967, something about refugees, and Israel withholds recognition of such a state?

The scenarios are many, the certainties fewer.  

Will Palestinians in suits appear at the edge of Jerusalem, brief cases in hand, intent on reaching what they envision as the site of their capitol?

Will foreign diplomats come to Ben Gurion airport, or the border crossing from Jordan, intent on presenting their credentials to the head of a Palestinian state in Jerusalem or elsewhere?

Down the road may be sanctions, with Israel''s small economy, western living standards, and dependence on trade making it more vulnerable than Iran.

None of this is certain. Israel''s capacity in international politics is multifaceted, and goes beyond Bibi''s fluency. Adversaries must ponder its military capacities. Itamar, the kidnapping and assassination of the Italian volunteer, and rockets aimed at civilians should not add to the stature of Palestine among those of good sense.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

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