Panetta's Pointless Warning to Israel

(Commentary) Jonathan S. Tobin - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Israel Monday that its increasing isolation in the region means it must take "risks for peace." But this is not likely to make much of an impression with the Israeli people for the simple reason that Israel has been taking risks for peace for 18 years. After the 1993 Oslo Accords, the peace offers that both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas rejected, and the withdrawal from Gaza that turned that area into a terrorist state, Israel has taken terrible risks for which it has gotten little reward. The Panetta visit is meant to reassure the Israelis who are understandably worried about the way in which the Arab Spring has led to more hate for the Jewish state rather than democracy for the Arabs. It is an unfortunate fact that there is nothing Israel can do to repair relations with countries like Turkey and Egypt, whose governments are whipping up antagonism for reasons that have little to do with the policies of the Netanyahu government.

2011-10-04 00:00:00

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