Logic Of Netanyahu Position


It was a relief to see that your reporter, Joshua Mitnick, has not forgotten about the reverberations of the Egyptian “revolution” on the peace process (“For Israelis, Eyes on Jordan, Egypt,” Feb. 4).

Perhaps the only benefit of the unfortunate turmoil in Egypt is the fact that Israel’s approach — concessions contingent upon security — has been vindicated by recent events. The cascade of protests and extremism from outside — Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon — and from within the West Bank and Gaza alike have alerted the international community to the explosive nature of the Middle East. A viable negotiating partner is quickly disappearing from the scene: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas faces opposition for his illegitimate role in the Palestinian Authority (his term has expired), while Gaza’s incorporation into any Palestinian state is unlikely if Hamas is strengthened through a Muslim Brotherhood-backed ally to the West.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to freeze settlements as a precondition to peace talks can now be perceived as a reasonable decision: dismantling or disabling settlements that serve as a security buffer against unstable regimes lead to Israeli vulnerability. Unfortunately, Israel may need to be increasingly aware of its borders in the coming months.