Netanyahu doesn’t want a sanctions-easing deal with the Iranians, which he sees as a Munich-like pact that will simply result in an uncontainable Iran later. But he also isn’t making a deal with the Palestinians happen, either.
Now, how do these seemingly separate issues fit together? Because Israel’s natural allies in the containment of Iran are the Sunni Gulf states that cannot make any overt alliance with Israel at the very least while it occupies the West Bank.
I am not one who thinks that concessions to create a Palestinian state will cure the ill will coming from the Islamic world, nor do I think it will reverse the purportedly “anti-Israel but not antisemitic” bent of so much of Europe. But I do think that compared with a nuclear Iran, a demilitarized Palestinian state is much less of a threat. I am also skeptical of whether Iran is truly trying to come back into the fold, or if this is just a deception.
But the United States can’t have it its own way on everything forever. If the other world powers want to deal with Iran, our filibustering might even be counterproductive. If we had a Palestinian deal in our pockets, we could all afford to take a much harder line on Iran.
Of course, there’s also the probability that the connection here from Netanyahu’s end is that he is trying to sabotage both the Palestinian deal and the Iranian deal and the Obama presidency. Time will tell.
If I was Obama, I might be willing to trade a lot for the elusive Palestine peace.