But maybe something is about to change.
Bibi stepped in it when his government humiliated Vice President on a peacemaking trip last week to Israel, just as some sort of "proximity negotiations" were established. Netanyahu claims he didn't know that the Shas minister(s) had approved even more new settlements in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians hope will be their future capital, but whether he did or not, he actually pissed off Biden, one of Israel's staunchest supporters for decades.
Biden responded by showing up ninety minutes late for a state dinner and twice upbraiding the Israeli government in public, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took it a step further by chewing out Bibi in a 45 minute phone call. Nice.
The upshot seems to be that this type of behavior on the part of Israel actually endangers American troops -- American lives -- overseas. This isn't just a haphazard opinion, but that of esteemed Gen. David Petraeus, per his briefing to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No joke.
Per Jeffrey Goldberg, here's President Obama's strategy for Israel in the Administration's response to this affront:
The goal is force a rupture in the governing coalition that will make it necessary for Netanyahu to take into his government Livni's centrist Kadima Party (he has already tried to do this, but too much on his terms) and form a broad, 68-seat majority in Knesset that does not have to rely on gangsters, messianists and medievalists for votes.
Here here. There is opportunity in this fight. Yes, various Palestinian factions including Hamas have been bad actors in the past. Yes, the Palestinians are often their own worst enemies. But how long can the status quo go on? Can the Far Right in Israel really colonize their way out of this historical problem?
Of course, the flip side is true: can a contiguous Palestinian state be created and eventually live side-by-side in peace with Israel?