“Israelis should know that America’s commitment to Israel’s security remains unwavering.” From the very first words of Antony Blinken after his meeting in Jerusalem with Benjamin Netanyahu the weight and difficulty of the mission is felt: to convince the most right-wing government in the history of Israel to exercise self-control and moderation, to interrupt the spiral of violence in recent days.
Blinken reassures the Israeli leadership of Washington’s continued support, but also asks “urgent measures to return to calm“. The goal, underlines the US Secretary of State, is “to restore a sense of security for Israelis as well as for Palestinians, which obviously has been lacking”.
The use of euphemisms is diplomatic practice, but the context of recent days is that of a dramatic escalation of violence, amidst the massacres carried out by Palestinian bombers – the last one, a thirteen year old – and bloody Israeli raids in the West Bank. Shortly before, Blinken himself had tweeted asking the parties to exercise responsibility by avoiding “innocent victims” and “acts of violent retaliation against civilians”: “Calls for revenge are not the answer”. Same concept that Blinken will repeat tomorrow meeting in Ramallah the Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen – with the difference that the latter’s grip on the Palestinian armed factions is decidedly weaker.
And again, on a future scenario plan, Blinken does not fail to reaffirm the American position on the conflict, that of the solution “two peoples, two states“, insisted for many years in words but far from the reality of concrete political prospects: “anything that distances from the two-state solution is to the detriment of Israel’s long-term security”. On the Esplanade of the Mosques, the American position is that it must ” remain the current status quo”.
There is also a mention of internal Israeli issues. “Building consensus on new proposals is the most effective way to ensure they are accepted and resisted,” Blinken says. The reference is to the controversial proposal of justice reform of the Netanyahu government, which aims to bring the Supreme Court under the control of the executive and which is contested by the opposition and by a significant part of Israeli society.
But Blinken also had to show solidarity with Netanyahu. And he does it on theIran: “We agreed that Tehran must never acquire nuclear weaponsNot too veiled approval of the actions of Israeli intelligence, which according to many analysts have repeatedly targeted Iranian military targets – most recently two nights ago with a drone attack in Isfahan, the next day against an arms convoy in Syrian territory These are actions never officially claimed by Tel Aviv, even if most observers agree on their attribution to the Israeli armed forces.
Netanyahu confirms: “we will do everything in our power to achieve this goal”. “Iran is not only a threat to Israel and the region, but increasingly to the world,” concludes Blinken.