The influential magazine The Economist, claimed in an article published Sunday that the guidelines of the new Israeli government further undermine the already fragile relations between Jerusalem and the world.
The article analyzes the sensitive situation of Israel's foreign relations, detailing a list of difficulties with which Netanyahu is dealing with these days, starting with the French initiative to recognize a Palestinian state, then the possible European Union boycott of products made in the settlements, and concluding with the demand to suspend Israeli football from international play.
Referring to Barack Obama's interview with the Atlantic in which he admitted his administration's failure to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict, the article said that, "despite Mr. Obama’s apparent acceptance of defeat, he is quietly talking to European governments about their plans to squeeze Israel harder. François Hollande, France’s president, wants a UN Security Council resolution to set a clear timetable for negotiations leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Mr. Obama has asked France not to pursue its initiative until a deal is signed with Iran curbing its nuclear program, which he hopes will be by the end of June. But he is not insisting that it be abandoned."
The article goes on to say that, "the American administration lacks the stomach for more than one diplomatic crisis with Israel at a time. An accord with Iran will be followed by a showdown in Congress, where Israel’s many supporters will try to scupper the deal. In the meantime, the French are gathering support from Arab and European governments. The resolution is expected to call, among other things, for Jerusalem to serve as the capital of both Israel and Palestine."
Although in the past the US has vetoed UN resolutions calling for a joint capital, Israel now fears that Obama is considering changing that practice and may in the future abstain on such votes.
Other threats to Netanyahu's government discussed in the article are the possibility of EU labeling products made in the West Bank, potential EU limits on EU financing of joint research, the Palestinians threatening to indict Israel for war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the recent call of Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Association, to suspend Israel from participating in international football tournaments.
The article sums up by stating that, "some outsiders hope that a bit of pressure will spur Mr. Netanyahu to adjust his right-wing coalition, bringing Labor into the government with Mr. Herzog as foreign minister. But from the tone of his government’s first week, Mr. Netanyahu is currently facing in the opposite direction."