This year’s annual Saban Forum in Washington evolved into a long match of diplomatic ping-pong. The opening serve was delivered Dec. 4 by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. The ball was returned to the Israelis the next day by US Secretary of State John Kerry. On Dec. 6, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to join in, appearing via video to deliver the last word and final shot. This put the ball back in the American court, but at the last minute, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made an appearance to get in what was ultimately the final word.
Match point, however, was played by top American and Israeli officials behind the scenes, who said that at least on the diplomatic front, nothing new is expected between Israelis and Palestinians for the next 14 months. In other words, to borrow a favorite quote of former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, “We’re not being threatened by anything good.”