Nowhere does Shlaim mention any role for the Palestinians in Mideast diplomacy. Only Netanyahu is responsible for its failure. Shlaim ignores historical facts by claiming that Netanyahu has rejected any settlement freeze, conveniently forgetting the 10 month freeze that did take place in 2009 when the Palestinians still refused to return to the negotiating table until the dying weeks of the freeze.
If we are talking about Israel-US relations then no anti-Israel commentary would be complete without some standard canards:
How can a jimcrack politician from a small country defy the most powerful man in the world and get away with it? At least part of the answer lies in the enduring power of the Israel lobby. Ever since 1967 the lobby has opposed every international plan for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli dispute that was not to Israel’s liking. But any proposal for a military strike against Israel’s enemies can count on the support of Israel’s friends in Washington, Iraq in 2003 and Iran today being the most obvious examples. In the case of Iran, Netanyahu is the war-monger in chief and he is doing his utmost to drag America into a dangerous confrontation that cannot possibly serve American interests.
In one paragraph, Shlaim breaks down the US-Israel relationship into one based on “the enduring power of the Israel lobby”, even falsely implying that the 2003 Iraq war was driven by Israeli interests. As for Iran, the US does not need Israel to define what serves American interests. The Iranian problem is not solely one for Israel alone and effects all free nations in the world who do not wish to see an extremist regime that indulges in state-sponsored terrorism in possession of nuclear weapons.
Avi Shlaim, The Independent and Israeli citizens are entitled to their views on Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Israeli government and its policies. Shlaim, however, is clearly motivated by an intense dislike or even hatred of the Israeli PM, the result of which is a vicious personal attack on Netanyahu and a one-sided political polemic against Israel.
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