U.S. ability to shield Israel from the consequences of its actions has dimmed with Washington's own declining influence over long-time allies. It will take something a lot more substantial than the umpteenth rerun of the rituals of a moribund peace process for Washington to reverse Israel's isolation, but the shift in Israel's domestic politics -- behind the U.S. diplomatic shield -- over the past decade makes it less likely than ever that Israel will willingly agree to a two-state solution based on the international consensus. Perhaps ironically, though, the actions by Turkey and others could help any future U.S. effort to press the Israelis towards a credible deal -- by allowing Washington to point to visible negative consequences for Israel in maintaining the status quo.
Suspected Islamist militants attack Mali UN base, several dead (Reuters)
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