It’s easy to feel like one is trapped in some sort of alternate reality where the world is just a big funhouse of mirrors these days. After
US Secretary of State John Kerry is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he arrives at his office in Jerusalem on March 31, 2014, for peace talks with his government and Palestinian Authority leaders. Credit: State Department
decades of right wing Israelis and even more radically right wing American Jews campaigning for the release of Jonathan Pollard, his release might actually happen. But it will not be a result of the right wing campaign, nor will it be the US playing its ace in the hole with Israel for some extraordinary Israeli concessions. It won’t even be some dramatic gesture of friendship or a “humanitarian” gesture now that Pollard is old and has been reportedly sickly.
No, Pollard might be released so that the talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which have gone on for eight months with noting but negativity resulting from them, can continue pointlessly. All this time, freeing Pollard has been one thing every administration has refused to do, and now they will do it for, essentially, nothing. Why? I explore this and other questions today at LobeLog.
This piece was originally published at LobeLog
If John Kerry wants to find a silver lining in the heavy criticism US foreign policy has faced due to the events in both Egypt and Syria, he might find it in, of all places, the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
The secretary of state embarked on the talks by saying there would be no discussion of them in the media; that any reliable information about them would only come from him; and that he would not talk about them. Given the history of leaks in such talks and the widespread coverage generated by any negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, this seemed like a very ambitious promise. But amid an imminent attack on Syria after the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime and the controversial, tacit US support for a coup in Egypt that turned out to be a lot more bloody than Washington probably expected, attention has been completely drawn away from the Israel-Palestine conflict. Continue reading