The acrimony started with Sweden’s foreign minister, continued with the US ambassador, and reached a crescendo with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Sweden’s Margot Wallstrom is now unwelcome in Israel for criticizing the police killings of Palestinian knife assailants. Remarks by Dan Shapiro, the US envoy, were called “unacceptable and incorrect” for suggesting that a double standard exists in West Bank law enforcement. And Mr. Ban – despite his good ties with Israel – was assailed by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel’s ambassador to the UN as fanning terrorism for warning that Palestinian “resistance” would not subside absent statehood. Behind the fiery rhetoric, however, analysts say Netanyahu is quietly tempering his moves in order to preserve ties with allies like the US who can help an isolated Israel fend off new initiatives on behalf of Palestinian statehood.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.