War is a strange way to launch peace negotiations. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got off to a surprisingly good start considering her history with the Israeli lobby. The next logical action, if she was serious, would be a positive statement from Israel.
This doesn’t seem to be the case. A crack in Clinton’s performance, a fallen piece, reality flickering from behind the curtain.
"Everyone realizes that the Palestinian Authority refuses to renew peace talks, while Israel took significant steps to advance the process,” read a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office.
Netanyahu was responding to US envoy George Mitchell, who inexplicably threatened Israel with financial sanctions. That America needs to pressure Israel more is certain, but to do it now, in the middle of the relaunch, is bound to cause system failures.
At the same time, who exactly does Netanyahu mean by “everyone.” Not everyone? "Let's sit down at the table and hammer a two-state solution out," must sound too weak.
Back and forth goes the performance, praising the Palestinians then abusing them, hope then anger, smiles then fear. Some people may qualify this intentional whip-lashing as abuse or oppression. We would say everyone, but Mr. Netanyahu would not agree.
Rumors of a new offensive in Gaza spread with each passing rocket fired into Israel, a trend that’s picking up. The border is hot. Two Palestinians were just killed doing one of two things: picking for scrap metal or firing rockets. Shalit's deal is breaking down. Now Netanyahu threatens mighty retalitation - a strange peace process indeed if this constitutes the second stage of Obama's relaunch.
Hillary needs something big up her sleeve to mask where reality is headed.