I wrote yesterday that I would parse today the history of American commitments made to Israel and Israeli commitments made to the United States in the course of the rocky negotiations between allies around the off-and-on (mostly off) peace process. The fact is that it is a very intricate history and neither the Palestinians in Ramallah nor the government in Jerusalem come off 100% clean. But it is my view that Israel is about 90% right and that the Palestinian Authority--forget the ruling Hamas regime in Gaza which has promised nothing and actually won't--about the other 10%. If you disagree, tell me what pledges the P.A. and which of them it has kept.
In any case, as I sat down to write this morning, I found on my screen three different treatments of the matter I had written about.
The first was in The New York Times. Written by Ethan Bronner (with whom I sometimes disagree but who never dissimulates or fibs), the piece treats the Israeli claims that the Obama administration is explicitly disavowing Bush administration pledges to the previous governments of Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert while denying it knows of these pledges. I know who's right here...and you know who's right here.
The second is a translation from the Hebrew of an article in Yediot Ahranoth by Dov Weisglass who was Sharon's chief-of-staff. He actually negotiated most of these commitments with the Bush administration but some of them go back to Bill Clinton's time when Shimon Peres had succeeded Yitzhak Rabin as prime minister after the assassination. Weisglass is not lying.
The piece to which I want to link is by the learned Barry Rubin, director of Global Research in International Affairs. He is a scholar in contemporary Arab and Islamic politics. It is not exactly about the current administration breaking the promises of two previous ones. Instead, it evokes what occurs in Israel when Palestinian pledges, such as they are, turn out not to be pledges at all.