By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Israel and the United States are evaluating responses to the recent and very bold initiative taken by the Palestinians to join the United Nations via its agencies and treaties.
The obvious counter response by the United States is to withhold nearly $1 billion in funding.
Israel has many more options. They can decide not to hand over import taxes collected at Israeli ports for Palestinian products.
They can make traveling from area to area on the West Bank very difficult. Or they can grind the current political model to the ground.
Most importantly, Israel had the ability to withdraw its protection of Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Israel has made a concerted effort to squelch Hamas and other anti-PA activity in the West bank as a way of currying favor with Abbas, their peace partner and with his Palestinian Authority.
Israel can, easily and indirectly, cause the ousting of Abbas and his entire regime. It is a response that is being considered over all other responses right now.
The down side of implementing that plan is best articulated by the famous quote from Machiavelli: "the enemy you know is better than the enemy that you don't."
In this case, Israel knows both Hamas and Abbas and it is not going to be an easy decision.
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