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November 1, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Israel does the right thing, but politics prevail

As the local political season comes to a close, I might be feeling the effects of all the arm-waving distractions that come with campaigns.

One side makes all sorts of claims about the opponent’s record, and the other side responds, “Ignore that stuff, look over HERE!”

The mix of cynicism and practical political manipulation shows up everywhere, and sometimes with curious twists. Take the news out of Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AP Photo Claudio Pen)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(AP Photo Claudio Pen)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did the right thing when he agreed to release Palestinian prisoners as part of peace talks set in motion by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Twenty-six prisoners were released on Wednesday, the second batch out of four headed home over the next several months. The final total will be 104 prisoners.

This action is hotly controversial in Israel, but it set the right tone for the renewed peace talks. Still, Netanyahu is really taking political heat and it flared with Wednesday’s release.

Now the prime minister is not only talking about more Israeli settlements in disputed territory, but early Thursday Israeli planes blew up what was reported to be a Syrian missile storage site.

What a coincidence. Does it change the regional military equation? Hard to know, but it certainly changes the conversation. Mission accomplished.

Thirty years ago, October 1983, a suicide bomber blew up a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The blast claimed 241 Marines. Days later the U.S. invaded Grenada.

A geopolitical coincidence? Perhaps, but the conversation changed at home.

0 Comments | Topics: Israel, Palestine, peace talks

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