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From today’s WSJ…

U.S., Israel Build Military Cooperation

Amid Fitful Diplomatic Relations, White House Fosters Defense Ties to Reassure a Pivotal Ally, Advance Mideast Peace

…While the U.S. and Israeli diplomatic relations weather their choppiest phase in years, behind the scenes, military commanders from the two countries have dramatically stepped up cooperation.

The intensified partnership is part of the Obama administration’s broader policy of boosting military support for American allies in the Mideast amid heightened tensions with Iran and its allies such as Hezbollah and Hamas, according to U.S. officials. The Obama administration believes it may also help induce Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make concessions in talks with Palestinians, these officials said.

U.S. military aid to Israel has increased markedly this year. Top-ranking U.S. and Israeli soldiers have shuttled between Tel Aviv and Washington with unusual frequency in recent months. A series of joint military exercises in Israel over the past months has included a record number of American troops…

Wtf…? Where’s the veritable ‘stick’? All I see are effing ‘carrots’…!

One typically would try to restrain a petulant child, not reward their continued petulance with a Banana Split…!

But, I digress…

Why is the Christian Science Monitor fretting about the Settlers’ woeful plight under the ‘Direct Talks’…?

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks look less likely as settlers fret over freeze

As the US steps up pressure for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is insisting on a extension of an Israeli settlement freeze set to expire next month. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has indicated that isn’t likely, citing public opposition.

…Indeed, in the more established Israeli settlements in the West Bank, everyone from young yeshiva students to grandmothers who have lived in these contested areas for a quarter of a century are dreading a possible extension of a settlement freeze that largely halted building in their expanding communities. At first, they saw the temporary freeze as a necessary political move, but now they fear Mr. Netanyahu will betray them as his predecessor Ariel Sharon did by evacuating Gaza’s Gush Katif settlement bloc in 2005.

“Netanyahu is very experienced, and he fell into a trap,” says Yehudah Bohrer, a founder of Beit El, a West Bank settlement. Mr. Bohrer voted for Netanyahu, but is now having doubts about him. “It’s not clear what [Netanyahu] will do… He will try to weasel out of ending the freeze…. [But] he has created a ‘freeze momentum’ that is hard to undo.”

Huh…? What ‘Settlement Freeze’ is he b’tching about…?

Any hoots, it looks like the farce errr… ‘Direct Talks’ is a ‘Go’…

From the Jpost…

Direct negotiations to begin next week
Report: Letter from Ashton says talks to be based on pre-1967 borders.

…On Friday, sources in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s officer released a statement denying a related report from London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, that said that Israel would evacuate 90% of the territory and 50,000 settlers in the West Bank. Netanyahu’s office said the report is a lie.

"In principle, President Abbas should be in a position to give a definite answer by Sunday or early next week," Ashton wrote. "Abbas is very close" to proceeding to direct talks.

The Quartet "should help President Abbas rally enough support, both at home and abroad, to engage in direct talks," Ashton reportedly added.

Ashton also recalled the Quartet’s demand that Israel stop building in the West Bank, in order to reach a peace treaty within two years. These conditions would "be issued concurrently with the announcement of the launch of direct talks."

We shall see…! I ain’t holding my breath tho…!

Btw… I did warn ya’ll…!

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