Friday, March 26, 2010

Negev 2 - A different type of Spring

It's taken me a while to post some more photos of the Negev in the Spring, partly because I've been avidly following the crisis between the US and Israel that exploded during Netanyahu's recent visit to Washington.

Obama's demands, now being discussed by Bibi's mainly hawkish septet of ministers would essentially mean that Israel would have to show some serious good will towards the Palestinians, among other things by halting construction in East Jerusalem - anathema to Bibi's rightist and religious coalition partners  and to Bibi himself. As a result, Netanyahu has been left exposed and it remains to be seen how far he will be able to rely on Obama in the future.  

While the warm spring winds blow through the suddenly verdant desert, Israel's relations with its strongest ally are suddenly being put to the test, not a situation that Israelis are used to.

Netanyahu seems trapped like a moth in the harsh light of the crisis. If he sticks to his principles (preventing a the sort of concessions that would make a Palestinian state possible) he will be burned by Obama. In the unlikely event If he suddenly lurches leftwards, he will be burned by the Right and will lose his coalition. 

The sensible thing to would be to ditch the Right, create a new government with Kadima and Labour and move forward with the peace process.  While this could be the key to a more promising future, it runs against Netanyahu's nature.  We can expect more arm wrestling with Obama in the days and weeks to come. Let's hope that Obama hangs tough and forces Bibi to climb down. Meanwhile, in the Negev, natural harmony reigns.

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