Like a mother with her naughty son – West Bank edition

We all know that feeling. When as a kid you did something naughty and you knew your mom was gonna be disappointed. And after you got scolded, once back in your room, you found yourself thinking something like: “Wow, that reaction was disproportionate…”. Now, let’s leave  parenting tips aside and think about the fact that actually, very recently, a grown man who happens to be Israel’s justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, used the word “disproportionate” to describe the reaction the US had after finding out about new Israeli settlements being built in the West Bank. Sounds familiar?

The relationship between the United States and Israel is, generally speaking, a strong and healthy one. Israel is, after all, a “colony” of western civilization in the Arab world and the US and its allies always seem to have its safety at heart. Nowadays Israel boasts one of the most heavily armed and trained military forces in the world and that’s no surprise. The war in the Holy Land has been going on for almost seventy years and shows little sign of improvement, given that neither participant seem to have any intention of giving in and starting serious peace talks or searching for a sustainable solution. But what do the US have to do with all of this? The geopolitical situation is a well known one.

Like in Korea, the United States firmly back one of the participants in an ongoing never-ending war, but unlike Korea, the US have been campaigning for a peaceful, so called, “two states” solution, that would see a formal recognition of the West Bank as a Palestinian state. Just recently, the US and Israel signed a massive $38 billions deal for military assistance over the next decade, but something went wrong. Mere days after the signing of the aforementioned deal, news broke that Israel had been planning a new settlement in the West Bank, to house settlers from a nearby illegal outpost, Amona, destroyed after a ruling from an Israeli court. And Washington wasn’t pleased. On the contrary, the white house was extremely vocal with its disappointment for what is perceived as a breach of trust from its middle-eastern ally. Thus the scolding began.

Apparently Benjamin Netanyahu gave no warning to Barack Obama when the two met just a few days prior to the incident and Washington, who has been giving warnings to Israel over settling the West Bank, was understandably annoyed by the situation. Like a mother with her child, the US see a non-cooperative son who refuses to listen to his parents’ admonishments. That Netanyahu was never a big fan of Obama is a known fact, and ignoring  his colleague’s  plans for the future resolution of the conflict is a strong signal, especially knowing that the US will have a new president very soon. The timing couldn’t have been more appropriate.

November 8th 2016 will, once again, be an important date not only for Americans. Many others will be anxiously waiting for the results…


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