And Jerusalem Post editor David Horowitz seems to agree:
Netanyahu may argue that the last thing Israel dares do today is take significant “risks for peace” in the unpredictable Middle East, with the further private concern that American support is less reliable than it has been for years, as underlined by the rapid abandonment of long-term ally Mubarak. Much of the rest of the world quite obviously thinks differently. Obama’s conviction is apparently that Israel simply must do its best to forge ahead, with America at its side guaranteeing its security, or find itself a pariah nation, resisting a regional push for freedom, that America will be hard-pressed to defend.
AS HE strives frantically to stay afloat in the rising tide of diplomatic pressure, reduced to eking out a few hundred settler-home building starts in the aftermath of the Itamar murders, it has been widely reported that the prime minister will be unveiling a deadlock- busting initiative in the next few weeks, with much speculation about a declaration in favor of an interim Palestinian state.
Personally, I rather doubt it. Netanyahu himself, as far as I can ascertain, has made no promise to deliver any kind of dramatic program. And even if he had been considering one, his inclination to unveil concessions must surely have been greatly reduced by the combination of widening regional instability, the hardening PA negotiating positions, the Victoria interception and its reminder of Iran’s vicious ambition, and, most of all, the sheer inhumanity evidenced in the murders at Itamar.
Several senior people with whom I’ve spoken in recent days, furthermore, strongly doubt that Netanyahu has any kind of new, dramatic formula in mind. One of them indicated that Netanyahu’s game plan is to somehow muddle through the next few months, minimizing the damage of the Palestinians’ push for statehood at the UN General Assembly in September, navigating the Quartet’s impossible deadline for a deal by that same month, and keeping the US administration from imposing anything too unpalatable by November, at which point it will be a year until the presidential elections and Obama will have his hands full.
I would ask the prime minister directly about all this, of course. But Netanyahu, unlike any prime minister in recent years, has steadfastly refused since taking office to be interviewed by this newspaper. He has refused to be interviewed by most other Israeli newspapers, less fair-minded than this one, for that matter. He evidently prefers presidential-style public statements, shortish TV interview spots, and talking to certain foreign reporters who he may feel will ask him less searching questions.