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Netanyahu, Liberman deepening Israel's isolation

The Israeli government has to understand that its barbs at European and American allies critical of settlement construction are ineffective, because settlement expansion will continue to isolate Israel internationally.
Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman exits a news conference on the sidelines of the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 29, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR487C1

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers order the advancement of new construction plans across the Green Line, the question that immediately comes to mind is whether Israel’s leaders understand that their policy is contributing to the country's isolation from the West, which sees the settlements in the occupied territories as a red flag. One wonders what actually went through Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's mind when he arrogantly reprimanded the Swedish government for daring to recognize a Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967, borders, and on Oct. 3 said, “Sweden must understand that relations in the Middle East are much more complicated than self-assembly furniture at Ikea.”

There are two possible answers to these questions. One, the provocative construction and verbal bravado are designed to cover up the gaping holes that have opened in the government’s flagship enterprise — stopping the Iranian nuclear program while removing the conflict with the Palestinians from the international agenda. The second possible answer is that Israeli officials believe the settlements only serve as an excuse for anti-Semitic leaders or parties with vested interests in the Arab world to attack the Jewish state. That means Israel’s actions or misdeeds do not and will not influence hostile attitudes by the US administration or the Swedish government.

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