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Al Jazeera English reprinted an article by M.J. Rosenberg about Israeli inertia when it comes to making moves toward peace. M.J. Rosenberg is Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network.

Egypt: Why is Israel so Blind?

The last several decades have shown that left-leaning politicos have been right about the nuances of the peace process.

Those of us in the pro-Israel, pro-peace camp do not enjoy being proven right — although we invariably are.

Our standard recommendation to Israel is that it should move quickly to achieve agreements with the Arab states and the stateless Palestinians before it is too late.

And the Israeli response is that there is no urgency to make peace — except on Israeli terms — because Israel is strong and the Arabs are weak.

Reneging on Oslo

This pattern has been repeated over and over again. The Oslo Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which gave Israel its safest and most optimistic years in its history, collapsed after Prime Ministers Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak repeatedly refused to live up to its terms.

And then there is the US. President Obama put his prestige on the line to achieve an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but all Israel did in response was to ridicule him and reject every suggestion the president made - no matter that Israel receives more US aid than any other country, by far.

Anyone who cares about Israel at all has to be appalled by these repeated blunders - all backed by AIPAC and its cutouts in Congress.

Future steps

When will Israel's supposed friends learn?

Maybe never. In today's New York Times, Yossi Klein Halevi, an influential Israeli journalist, expresses fear, almost terror, about the Egyptian revolution.

Israel, Alone Again? By YOSSI KLEIN HALEVI

The bottom line: I am happy for the Egyptian people, but I am sad for Israel - not because it is genuinely threatened by this revolution but because Israel's leaders seem determined to turn the revolution against them.

One can only hope that Israel and its lobby wake up. I hate always being proven right when it comes to Israel. I care about it too much.

What affords Bibi's hard line Israeli government the luxury of blowing off the peace initiative by President Obama, to peruse territorial expansion in the occupied West Bank instead? As Rosenberg points out this is part of a recurring pattern by Israeli governments. The leaked Palestinian Papers have shown that Israel's leaders were unwilling to make peace on what largely amounts to Israel's own terms. In contrast the leaks showed Palestinian leaders' willingness to meet the Israelis well beyond half way.  

Bibi knows he can rely on UNCONDITIONAL support for his right wing government (and whatever actions it decides to take) from the U.S. Congress. As long as Israel's radical leadership can count on unconditional support from the U.S. Congress, there will be little incentive for them to make peace. America's congress has given Bibi a blank check to do whatever he likes, including turning his back on making peace with the Palestinians.  

Please take the time to read Rosenberg's thoughtful piece.

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Fri Feb 11, 2011 at 06:06 PM PST.

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