Some of the recent behavior from Tel Aviv has made it difficult for US Secretary of State John Kerry to save the Israel-Palestine peace talks and it is likely that the frustration on both sides will last a while longer. It seems that Israel is weakening its case globally and allies are now becoming increasingly wary of the Jewish state.
Here are five signs showing that Israel is losing its footing:
Apparent Lack Of Concern For The Peace Process
The Israel-Palestine talks resumed three months ago after having been stalled for years.
Smack in the middle of peace talks with Palestine, Israel:
1. Destroyed a home belonging to the Catholic Church
2. Ordered further demolition of Palestinian flats in Jerusalem
3. Authorized the construction of nearly 1,000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West.
The Palestinian negotiators, engaged in peace talks with Israel, are said to have offered their resignations to protest against the continued construction of Israeli settlements.
Be it towards Iran or Syria, Israel has been behaving like a grouch. Sensing a thaw in ties between the US and Iran, the Jewish state, especially its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, issued a barrage of statements against Tehran’s alleged dual policies and false diplomacy.
Former Israeli Prime Minster Olmert has had no qualms in voicing his criticism of Netanyahu.
In his opinion, Netanyahu’s obsession with Iran has backfired instead of benefiting Israel.. "The question is whether we don't talk too much about it, we don't make it too much of a public issue, we don't create an unnecessary international debate that raises the profile of this, and perhaps prevent some countries from taking measures which they may have wanted to take but they don't want to be seen as Israel sort of giving orders, public orders to them," he said.
He is also known to have said that Netanyahu was "not dedicated to the pursuit of peace in a realistic way."
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Israel Making Its Allies Uneasy
Remember the Gaza Freedom Flotilla?
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed nine Turks aboard the Flotilla in 2010. That was one mistake that cost Israel dear and the country lost its only regional ally; Turkey.
Israel’s recent policies have even had a negative impact on relations with its closest allies such as the US. Public opinion in America has also shifted and many feel that Washington should decreaseits assistance to Israel.
The US State Department openly criticized the recent Israeli expansion of Jewish settlements. US Secretary of State John Kerry minced no words and said, "I want to make it extremely clear that at no time did the Palestinians in any way agree, as a matter of going back to the talks, that they could somehow condone or accept the settlements."
Meanwhile, South African Foreign Minister Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane recently said her country plans to reduce its ties with Israel, and that no official would travel to Israel unless the conditions improve.
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Dissent At Home, Economic Decline
All is not well on Israel’s home soil either. While the country is showing a strong international front, things are unraveling on the domestic side. In 2011, thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest against the country’s socio-economic conditions and judicial policies.
Just a few months ago, swarms of people came out to protest against austerity measures in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Be'er Sheva, chanting slogans like, "Bibi, I too am poor," and "Instead of giving to the poor, they give to the rich, what a corrupt government."
Israel’s economy is suffering. The country faces a massive budget deficit and its people are unhappy with their leadership. Meanwhile, the outside world has also become wary of Israel.
Netanyahu’s policies are harming the image of his country. Israel may never have been popular on a global scale, but people sympathized with the cause of giving the Jewish people a homeland. However, that sympathy is dwindling fast.