51st: To Netanyahu "Obstruction will lead to Isolation"

Headline from Haaretz: "Israeli intelligence urges return to peace talks with Palestinians""In recent meetings of the eight senior cabinet ministers, [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the other ministers that the focus should be on Israel's interests and not on symbolic issues like national honor. If Israel does not try to seriously move the peace process ahead, it will be seen as obstructionist by its friends in the West, Barak told the ministers.""By sharpening tensions with the Palestinians, we are inviting isolation on Israel," Barak also told the octet"UPDATE: The Saudi's weigh in (Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former director of Saudi Arabias intelligence services and a former Saudi ambassador to the United States had this to say in Monday's NYTimes OpEd): "The United States must support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations this month or risk losing the little credibility it has in the Arab world. If it does not, American influence will decline further, Israeli security will be undermined and Iran will be empowered, increasing the chances of another war in the region."He also says that the special U.S.-Saudi relationship is on the line.UPDATE II: And this from the editor of Haaretz: "New Mideast will make Netanyahu long for Oslo Accords: Opening immediate negotiations over a final-status agreement with the Palestinian state as part of a regional process is the only responsible, realistic and sane alternative to the Oslo Accords." Akiva Eldar also details the way Netanyahu has undermined the Oslo agreement reached in 1993.

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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