Who Needs Enemies When We Have Each Other?

The Israeli government sometimes looks like a circular firing squad, with various ministers shooting in all directions.

It doesn't say much for the management skills Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acquired with his MBA at MIT. 

In the latest episode, two of the warriors firing salvos at each other are former IDF chiefs of staff, Ehud Barak, now defense minister, and Moshe Ya'alon, now vice premier.  Barak has accused Ya'alon and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz of coming under the influence of right wing extremist Moshe Feiglin, and they are in turn accusing him of putting his personal political ambitions ahead of the interests of the settlers.

They're upset because Barak ordered the evacuation of settlers who moved into a house in a Palestinian neighborhood of Hebron. 

And then there's always shoot-from-the-lip Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who after several years under investigation for fraud and various other corruption offenses, is now reportedly negotiating a plea bargain with prosecutors.

But however dysfunctional the Israeli government may be, it pales by comparison to the Palestinian Authority, which is not only divided between a Fatah government on the West Bank and a Hamas government in Gaza, but now the president and prime minister – Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad – aren't even speaking to each other.

All communication has been cut off, according to Israeli and Palestinian media.  Abbas won't answer Fayyad's calls and he tries to avoid personal encounters.

As much as Netanyahu and Abbas talk about making peace between Israel and the Palestinians, it seems their first job is make shalom and salaam within their own governments.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.