Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Sunday that Israel is becoming increasingly isolated in the Middle East, and said Israeli leaders must restart negotiations with the Palestinians and work to restore relations with Egypt and Turkey.Let's not forget that Barak is a political rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In Israel's screwy parliamentary system it's not unusual to have to appoint rivals to key government positions even if they might undermine your policies. It's almost as if George Bush had appointed Al Gore as his defense secretary.
In a blunt assessment made as he was traveling to Israel, Panetta said the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East makes it critical for the Israelis to find ways to communicate with other nations in the region in order to have stability.
"There's not much question in my mind that they maintain that (military) edge," Panetta told reporters traveling with him. "But the question you have to ask: Is it enough to maintain a military edge if you're isolating yourself in the diplomatic arena? Real security can only be achieved by both a strong diplomatic effort as well as a strong effort to project your military strength."
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Israel has a responsibility to try and ease tensions in the region and find a way to resume negotiations with the Palestinians.
Consequently, anything Barak signs onto can be viewed with great suspicion as he could be actively undermining Netanyahu by going along with Panetta's fantasies. The fact is, if Israel is becoming more isolated it's because some of it's old allies are become radical Islamic states, such as Egypt and Turkey. That and the fact that it's best ally America has turned against it...at least in the White House.
And the Palestinians will never stop until Israel is destroyed. There simply isn't anyone rational left with whom Israel can negotiate.