Israel releases terrorists in anticipation of talks with Palestinians.
At this point I can’t say I really understand any part of it. These periodic releases—and periodic talks—keep happening, and there’s no reason to expect that anything good will come of it, and plenty of reason to expect bad. I am puzzled as to what such talks would gain for Israelis:
Netanyahu said somewhat elliptically that being involved in a diplomatic process will make it much easier for Israel to act – and stop actions – in the area.
Israel, he said, had three interests in re-engaging now with the Palestinians: To try to find a solution to the conflict; to prevent negative trends against Israel in the international arena from gaining steam; and to allow Israel to better prepare to deal with the “challenges and opportunities” in the region.
Everything clear now?
This justificaton is particularly laughable, in a bitter-laugh sort of way: “to prevent negative trends against Israel in the international arena from gaining steam.” These “trends” have gained so much steam in the last forty years or so despite Israel’s cooperation in a gazillion negotiations and prisoner releases that they are capable of driving a dynamo that could power the entire country.
As for “finding a solution to the conflict” through talking—does anyone realistically think that has any chance of happening? The Palestinians have given no indication of wanting to find solutions except 100% on their terms. They are winning the propaganda war, they get aid and comfort from all over the world, and if they ever “solved” the conflict they’d have to face the extreme economic and political dysfunction of their own country (I assume it would have become a country at that point). Why would they want to ever do that?
Maybe the key to this move is something in internal Israeli politics? I’m not conversant enough with that arena to say. Perhaps some readers can shed a bid of light.
And by the way, in the past whenever I’ve written about Israel, the posts have almost immediately drawn trolls. We’ll see what happens with this one.
[NOTE: One odd fact from the article:
They [the Israeli negotiating team] were expected to hold a preliminary meeting Monday at US Secretary of State John Kerry’s home with Palestinian negotiators Saeb Erekat and Mohammad Shtayyeh, and then begin the negotiations in earnest on Tuesday.
John Kerry’s home? Doesn’t that seem rather odd? Kerry lives in Louisburg Square in Boston’s Beacon Hill, by the way, one of the ritziest old-money spots in the city:
The Greek Revival houses around the square reflect the rarefied privilege enjoyed by the 19th century upper class in Beacon Hill. The Atlantic Monthly editor William Dean Howells, teacher A. Bronson Alcott and his daughter, author Louisa May Alcott, are among the famous people who lived there in the 19th Century. One of the last private residences built on Louisburg Square was 2 Louisburg Square, built in 1847 for wealthy merchant and philanthropist Thomas Handasyd Perkins Jr., known as ‘short-arm Tom,’ who lived at 1 Joy Street.
Currently it is one of the most expensive residential neighborhoods in the country, and an oft-included landmark in walking tours and guidebooks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry owns a townhouse on Louisburg Square. The average cost of a townhouse on the street exceeds $6 million and reaches as high as $20 million.
Of course, Kerry has many other homes, too. Perhaps it’s one of the others we’re talking about? But technically, only the Louisburg Square home could rightly be called “his”; the others are in wife Teresa’s name.
A lot of people think Kerry is rich because he married Teresa, who was rich because she inherited the money from her late husband John Heinz. That’s indeed how Teresa got her enormous wealth, and it’s also true that Kerry’s wealth increased tremendously on marrying her (at least, his access to the perks of her wealth did). But he was a fairly wealthy man through his own inheritance before he ever married her.
It’s interesting to note that Kerry’s wealth was no issue for the Democrats in the 2004 election, although it was unearned by him or his wife, whereas Romney’s almost entirely earned wealth was considered an awful thing by Democrats in 2012. One can only conclude that earned wealth is more philosophically objectionable to liberals than inherited wealth—at least, when it’s earned by a Republican.
Oh, and of course, Bain Capital BAD. It seems like only yesterday that Bain was the bane of so many people’s existence. But it was only a year ago.]