The hawks who have clawed their way to power in Israel have received scant attention in the American news media. Reporters are far more interested in Michelle Obama’s clothing and whether she hugged the Queen before or after the Queen hugged her.
Fortunately for those of us who worry about this dangerous world, there is the BBC. The BBC News Service recently had a report that makes me worry very much indeed. According to the BBC, former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni is voicing concern over the new Israeli government’s bellicose attitude towards Palestine.
The BBC cites an interview with Israeli army radio, in which Livni said hardliners had avoided peace efforts in the past with the “pathetic excuse” that there had been no partner on the Palestinian side. She doesn’t see them cooperating with President Obama’s initiatives for Mideast peace.
Now, Livni is no peacenik. She is a tough-talking, hard-nosed defender of Israel. And she has talked in the past about taking drastic action to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. So when she expresses concern over the new government’s warlike policies, the world should worry.
Israel’s new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is a frightening figure. He has pledged to seek peace but it is extremely doubtful that he plans to do so. His rejection of a two-state solution to the vexing Palestinian problem leaves little room for negotiation.
And the new foreign minister is just as bad as the prime minister – if not worse. He said Israel is not bound by the Annapolis accords agreed with the Palestinians and the Bush administration in November 2007. He declared the only legitimate document is the Road Map peace plan of 2003, which was ratified by the Israeli government and the UN Security Council.
With the economic and political tensions in today’s world, the last thing we need is a gang of intransigent hawks running Israel. President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their Special Envoy George Mitchel will have their hands full trying to end the Mideast stand-off. But at least we know America has the best possible team working on the problem.