Any chance of real engagement, Tel Aviv?

Hardline Zionist Isi Leibler writes regularly in the Jerusalem Post about the parlous state of Israel’s image in the world. His usual solution? Hit the enemy harder and go on the offensive. The only slight problem is that the world no longer wants to hear the bleating.

His latest article offers nothing in the way of real solutions, just the usual bluster, bile and anger. And the Israelis wonder why they have a serious image problem:

Global pressure is now also mounting to implement the secret and unauthorized offers extended by former prime minister Ehud Olmert to the Palestinians in the dying days of his tenure, when he desperately sought to end his term with a dramatic breakthrough on the peace process. The deal, which PA President Mahmoud Abbas rejected, included ceding all territory gained in the Six Day War, with a few land swaps to retain the major settlement blocs. Olmert even offered to hand over control of the Temple Mount to an international body controlled by Arabs. The lame-duck prime minister initiated this without reference to his cabinet, the Knesset or any other group – and the Netanyahu government has from the outset been adamant that it considers itself in no way obligated to honor these extraordinary unauthorized initiatives.

WE SHOULD have no illusions. The situation is grave. Tough days lie ahead, and we are probably more isolated today than at any time since the birth of the state. Netanyahu has offered the Palestinians an independent demilitarized state and a settlement freeze – far more than Yitzhak Rabin was willing to concede. Yet he is rebuffed by the Palestinians and accused of being intransigent by the global community, while the Americans, at best, sit on the sidelines. In fact, Obama went so far as to relate to the neighborhood of Gilo in Jewish Jerusalem as an area of contention, complaining that construction in the area “embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous.”

We must prepare ourselves.

We need to urgently formulate a global legal strategy on how to confront the Goldstone report, which our enemies are exploiting to transform us into a pariah state.

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