When your very best friend betrays you once again, you've got to wonder how come they're still your best friend. You shower them with riches, good will, and unstinting support. Yet Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli PM, has once again told the U.S. to go **** ********! Time to find truer friends.http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-envoy-speeds-to-mideast-in-effort-salvage-peace-talks-1.316122http://www.juancole.com/2010/09/netanyahu-blows-off-us-mahmoud-abbas-pleads-for-settleme-freeze.htmlUPDATE: The realist view: "One of the great myths of Middle East diplomacy is the old clich that "the United States can't want it more than the parties do." This excuse for inaction is trotted out whenever the United States fails to exercise the enormous potential leverage at its disposal, and it's just plain silly. There's no reason why the United States can't want a settlement more than Israel or the Palestinians do, particularly if the two sides are so mired in dysfunctional politics or old Likudnik dreams that they need to be pushed hard to make a deal. Unfortunately, this conflict isn't just about them; it's also about us. And when U.S. interests are at stake, we can want a solution just as much -- and maybe even more -- than they do." Stephen Walthttp://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/09/27/settling_for_more_settlementsUPDATE: Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman has his own policy on negotiations: they seem to include the removal of Israeli Arabs from Israel. Didn't we call this ethnic cleansing in Kosovo? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/29/world/middleeast/29nations.html?ref=worldAnd there's this: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-jews-outraged-by-lieberman-s-un-speech-on-population-exchange-1.316298
Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal.