"The real deterrent factor acting upon Israeli leaders, including Ehud Barak, Bejamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon, has come from within the domestic political system: They feared the residents of the Golan Heights and the West Bank settlers: - Benziman While I agree that Israel is not acting today and in the recent past as peace partner, I don't believe the reason Benziman gives for this unfortunate stance. Sharon was able to overcome any "fear" of the public in Gaza. His problem was a lack of vision for the damage no-peace can cause Israel, and his inability to control his appetite for more land. Sharon rejected Bashar Assad's request to continue the peace process, explaining to his aides that he wanted to keep the Golan. And as far as the West Bank, the "disengagement" and later "convergence" ideas were to be done unilaterally in order to keep more land in Israeli hands. I take it that Netanyahu, coming from the same non-vision school of Likud, was motivated by the same reason. The real tragic figure in the story is Barak. Barak is a good strategist. He wanted to reach peace before nuclearization of the Islamic world. And he indeed pursued peace with Both Syria and the Palestinians. The Syrian track failed because of Barak?s fear (at Shepherdstown). Barak?s weakness is an inability to understand people. He therefore did not trust himself but polls, and became fearful of the public. On the Palestinian track he also failed. One partial reason (in addition to Arafat being a very difficult character) is the way Barak related to the Pals in Camp David (refusing to meet Arafat at all). The other reason (which you will not hear cited often) is Clinton being a coward and not wanting to antagonize Israel. Clinton brought NO American offer at all in Camp David. (The so-called ?Clinton parameters? were actually Barak?s.) Jimmy Carter was relentless with his efforts to breach the gaps between Begin and Sadat, but Clinton the Coward failed exactly here.
Islamist militants attack African Union base in southern Somalia (Reuters)
from the article: Is Israel a partner?