Israel, the big loser in recent developments

September 17, 2011 - 16:48

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The extremist government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is only continuing the policy of settlement expansion in the West Bank and other parts of the occupied territories to appease Israeli hardliners.

However, Israel’s refusal to halt the settlement projects has not only stymied the Obama administration’s efforts to jumpstart the process of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis but has also complicated relations between the United States and the Zionist regime. 

The Democrats in the U.S. are traditionally inclined to cooperate with the moderate political forces inside Israel. However, after his election as U.S. president, Barack Obama was forced to deal with the Israeli extremists, resulting in a rise in tension between the two sides. Thus, the Democrats’ policy that negotiations are the only way forward, which is being pursued by Obama’s foreign policy team, has now come to an impasse. 

Over the past two years, U.S. officials have made considerable efforts to persuade the Israelis to halt the settlement expansion projects and to return to the negotiations, but the stance adopted by the radical Netanyahu government has neutralized all these efforts. 

Given the new situation in the Middle East and the sweeping wave of changes in a number of Arab countries, especially those that had been loyal to Israel, the Zionists seem to be in a much weaker position compared to the past. 

Israel has lost Hosni Mubarak, its strongest ally in the region, resulting in a series of devastating setbacks for the Israeli hardliners. 

Making matters worse for the Zionist regime, the incident in which Israeli forces killed several Egyptian border guards and the Israeli government’s refusal to apologize in a manner acceptable to the Egyptian people sparked massive anti-Israel demonstrations in Egypt.

All these developments have had a huge impact on the position of the Israeli hardliners both inside and outside the occupied territories. 

At the external level, the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Ankara have created a nightmare for Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition government.

At the domestic level, the Israeli government is facing a wave of popular protests demanding a better economic situation and an increased level of security. In other words, the Israeli population is opposed to the huge cost of expanding settlements in the current economic situation.

Due to all these challenges, the Israeli hardliners are in the worst situation that they have been in for many years in terms of external and internal support.  

Mohammad Irani is the former Iranian ambassador to Jordan and the former head of the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon.