Pushing Israel to invade Iran just got tougher
Per Haaretz today, the Labor Party has just agreed to a coalition with the Kadima Party, led by former Kadima Party Foreign Minister Livni, who is fast becoming a dove--and is more likely than ever to talk directly with Hamas, should Hamas want to talk with Israel. This also means the Cheney (Bush) administration is not likely to be able to push Israel to invade or bomb Iran. That is good news for those of us seeking the election of Obama in a few weeks. For just as low-information or swing voters flock to Democrats when there is an economic crisis situation, so too do they flock to Republicans when there is a military crisis. Low information voters tend to make "gut" decisions based upon the meta narratives they have believed in since they were youngsters.
There is also bad news coming out of Israel today: Hamas is increasing its demands for the release of the Israeli solider, Shalit. In this instance, Israel will likely have to negotiate with Hamas on other issues and then, when Hamas sees a deal is definitely in their interest, return to the issue of releasing Shalit. While Yossi Melman made the point several months ago that lopsided release agreements, where Israel releases hundreds of Arab prisoners for one Israeli Jewish soldier, have been done for many years, Hamas' arrogant negotiating stance may be the tipping point where the Israeli public decides enough is enough on further negotiations for the soldier, Shalit--even as the Israeli public seeks more aggressive talks on the broader strategic issues of peace and withdrawal from the occupied territories.
Also, this is an interesting opinion piece by Bradley Burston in Haaretz, entitled, "This year, this Jew is embracing jihad." It is an informative opinion piece and gives us a glimpse of the thinking from that growing percentage of Israelis who have had it with empty hawkish politicians and endless war. If, however, Hamas takes such thoughts as signs of weakness, and instead pursues further war against Israel, Hamas will find it has severely miscalculated. For nothing brings Israelis together better than an attack or a suicide bombing. And when the Israeli Jewish public comes together, it tends to turn to hawkish politicians, and so the cycle of violence has the grease, or better yet, blood, it needs to continue cycling.