Violence Increasing In Israel As Many Wonder If A Third Intifada Is Next
Israel Erects Checkpoints As Violence Increases
Israeli authorities have started building roadblocks and checkpoints in some Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and deployed hundreds of police officers and soldiers on the roads and buses as violence increases.
While the attacks have been sporadic and there has not been a mass, unified as occurred during the second intifada last summer, many are wondering whether a third intifada can be avoided. Gregg Calstom is not confident one can be avoided, noting that the leaders in Israel and among the Palestinian Authority share one thing in common – both are disliked by their populaces. Furthermore, he adds, few global leaders are paying any attention to the violence.
“As the mood darkens, world leaders are nowhere to be found. Secretary of State John Kerry and Jordan’s King Abdullah helped to lower tensions last winter in personal meetings with Netanyahu and Abbas. This time, the White House has shown little interest in the situation, despite Kerry’s perfunctory phone calls over the weekend and his vague plans for a future visit.
“In a sign of just how far this conflict has fallen from the world agenda, President Barack Obama did not mention Israel or Palestine once in his address to the United Nations last month,” he writes in Foreign Policy.
The lack of a response from the Obama administration is not unintentional.
“America’s public response to the recent developments, which the parties still insist do not mount to a full-blown intifada, has been muted in comparison with previous outbreaks of violence. In private discussions, an Israeli government source in close contact with the administration said, American officials made clear they had no intention of wading into the conflict any deeper, or of launching a diplomatic campaign to address the situation,” reports the Jewish newspaper, The Forward.
“They’re just hoping it doesn’t get any worse so they’re not dragged into it,” an Israeli government source told the newspaper.
The troubling reality is that without American leadership, the odds are good that the violence will continue and worsen – which will certainly draw the US into the fight.